2 thoughts on “Gongsun Long, Paradox & A White Horse Is Not A Horse

  1. Interesting stuff. I have read in a few commentaries on Koans that masters, in one line, speak from an “absolute” point of view, then in the next, from a “relevative” point of view. If the student fails to understand, or to follow, and respond accordingly, they “fail”.

    Beyond this, I have not caught on to many tactics of logic in Koans… though the comical “nine times nine is eighty one” from Yunmen (I believe joshu says something similar too) comes to mind… I’m not sure you could call this a play on logic, per se, but it smells similar.

    Anyway, excited for more material!

  2. As I work through the Laozi, Zhuangzi, the Daoists, and then on through Zen and the koan collections, I will continue to point out the parallels of language. Also, check out the Gautama, because that is also logic, practices of argument and debate, that is important to Zen.

    I have particular views about what logic and thought are, that I would say are decently Buddhist and later Wittgensteinian, and part of the problem with seeking logic within thought is that we seek words and order where thought does not have words or order, but rather includes objects, emotions, imaginary things, and other things.

    This is both more “dogmatic”, argumentative, eliminative logic, and “skeptical” practices, mental and physical, that open us to more possibilities of things, words, emotions, and their interconnections, like Zen, but like all thought also, whether or not it is aimed at defending belief or opening doubt. It is hard to do one without the other. I think the koans show that, in varied ways, like the thought experiments of Wittgenstein’s notebooks, but I haven’t yet posted the videos I want to about it. Those will follow soon. It all has to do with the tangled and various, overlapping interrelations of words and emotions, “logic” and “semantics”.

    Thank you again for the comments. They are incredibly encouraging to me.

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