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Durham e-Theses
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Metaphysics of 空 (śūnyatā: emptiness).Western analytical approach to Zen philosophy

Ihara, Yasushi (2006) Metaphysics of 空 (śūnyatā: emptiness).Western analytical approach to Zen philosophy. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Zen is a coherent system of philosophically plausible ideas. But Zen is often misunderstood to be anti-analytical or illogical. This is due to its core concept 空 (śūnyatā; emptiness). It is an idea that our experience and knowledge do not correctly represent the way the world is. 空 (emptiness) is not, however, a nihilistic concept. Zen believes that recognising our limitation and identifying our miscomprehension enable us to grasp the way the world really is (如; tathāta). The denial of our ordinary knowledge is, therefore, key to attain 悟 (bodhi; the enlightenment) and ultimately leads us to be liberated from 苦 (dukha; suffering). This thesis therefore concentrates on negating our metaphysical beliefs that shape our fundamental world view. In order to make this thesis accessible to western readers who has little or no knowledge of eastern philosophy, I will pick up only conclusion from Zen and try to reach the same conclusion using arguments which western philosophers are familiar with. I hope this will demystify Zen and, in future it will be studies in other branches of philosophy and as a sub-category of eastern or world philosophy.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:34

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