1504 Chapters
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4 Levinas on What Is Demanded of Us

Hilary Putnam Indiana University Press ePub

Levinas survived the Second World War under difficult and humiliating circumstances,1 while his family, with the exception of his wife and daughter, perished. These experiences may well have shaped Levinas’s sense that what is demanded of us is an “infinite” willingness to be available to and for the other’s suffering. “The Other’s hunger—be it of the flesh, or of bread—is sacred; only the hunger of the third party limits its rights,” Levinas states in the preface to Difficult Freedom. To understand fully what Levinas means here would be to understand his whole philosophy. I want to attempt a beginning at such an understanding.

Levinas’s audience is typically a gentile audience; he celebrates Jewish particularity in essays addressed to Christians and to modern people generally. Levinas is fully aware of this. Thus he writes (in “A Religion for Adults,” 13), “Lest the union between men of goodwill which I desire to see be brought about only in a vague and abstract mode, I wish to insist here on the particular routes open to Jewish monotheism.” A few pages later, he writes:

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8 Tiantai: The Multiverse as You

Brook A. Ziporyn Indiana University Press ePub



The Multiverse as You


Question: If you add the idea of Emptiness and the Two Truths theory (chapters 2 and 3 of this book) to the Buddha-nature and Original Enlightenment (chapter 4) and run that through the notion of the interfusion of different points of views in the “new Middle Ways” presenting the non-duality of desire and desirelessness, time and timelessness, good and evil, enlightenment and delusion suggested by the Lotus Sūtra (chapters 5, 6, and 7), what do you get?

Answer: Tiantai Buddhism.

A very greatly oversimplified restatement of the Tiantai view of the relation of conscious beings to the world they live in can be put like this: every event, function, or characteristic occurring in experience is the action of all sentient and insentient beings working together. Every instant of experience is the whole of existential reality, manifesting in this particular form, as this particular entity or experience. But this “whole” is irreducibly multiple and irreducibly unified at once in the following way: all possible conflicting, contrasted, and axiologically varied aspects are irrevocably present—in the sense of “findable”—in each of these totality effects. Good and evil, delusion and enlightenment, Buddhahood and deviltry, are all “inherently entailed” in each and every event. More important, however, these multiple entities are not “simply located” even virtually or conceptually; the “whole” that is the agent performing every experience is not a collection of these various “inherently entailed” entities or qualities arrayed side by side like pebbles in a bag. Rather, they are “intersubsumptive.” That is, any one of them subsumes all the others. Each part is the whole, each quality subsumes all other qualities, and yet none are ever eradicable. A Buddha in the world makes the world all Buddha, saturated in every locus with the quality “Buddhahood”; a devil in the world makes the world all devil, permeated with “deviltry.” Both Buddha and devil are always in the world. So the world is always both entirely Buddhahood and entirely deviltry. Every moment of experience is always completely delusion, evil, and pain, through and through, and also completely enlightenment, goodness, and joy, through and through.

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Mathematical Discourse from Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (1938)

LARRY A HICKMAN Indiana University Press ePub

The ability of any logical theory to account for the distinguishing logical characteristics of mathematical conceptions and relations is a stringent test of its claims. A theory such as the one presented in this treatise is especially bound to meet and pass this test. For it has the twofold task of doing justice to the formal character of the certification of mathematical propositions and of showing not merely the consistency of this formal character with the comprehensive pattern of inquiry, but also that mathematical subject-matter is an outcome of intrinsic developments within that pattern. For reasons suggested in the closing sentence of the last chapter, the interpretation of the logical conditions of mathematical conceptions and relations must be such as to account for the form of discourse which is intrinsically free from the necessity of existential reference while at the same time it provides the possibility of indefinitely extensive existential reference—such as is exemplified in mathematical physics.

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VII. "The Individual's Responsibility is Not to Society, But to Himself."

J Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub
Medium 9781934989111

Chapter 12: Education and Integration

J Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub

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