SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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Buchler and Buddhism Revisited

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Though the naturalistic stance of Justus Buchler's metaphysics is quite different in orientation from the soteriological stance of many Buddhist schools, there are ways in which Buchler's commitment to what he calls "ontological parity" is a close relative of the Mahayana Buddhist conception of emptiness. Taking off from a paper written by Marjorie Miller in the 1970s which drew parallels between Buchler and Mahayana Buddhism, the attempt here is to refine a sense of those connections with particular attention to passages from Nāgārjuna, the great, third-century exponent of the Madhyamaka school. While reviewing some of the conceptual parallels and distinctions, the paper also touches on some practical implications of these stances, suggesting that the aesthetics of Zen-inspired practice and the poetics of Buchler are closely related outgrowths of these two approaches.


Charles Munitz    
United States


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