Tag: Metaphysics


What is Real? (New Paper)

Published yesterday in Organon F: International Journal of Analytic Philosophy (30.2: 182−220). abstract: Two of the most fundamental distinctions in metaphysics are (1) that between reality (or things in themselves) and appearances, the R/A distinction, and (2) that between entities that are fundamental (or real, etcetera) and entities that are ontologically or existentially dependent, the F/D distinction. While these appear to be two very different distinctions, in Buddhist metaphysics they are combined, raising questions about how they are related. In this paper I argue that plausible versions of the R/A distinction are essentially a special kind of F/D distinction, and...

A Buddha Land in This World (New Book)

My new book, A Buddha Land in This World: Philosophy, Utopia, and Radical Buddhism, has just been published. Here is the abstract/back cover blurb: In the early twentieth century, Uchiyama Gudō, Seno’o Girō, Lin Qiuwu, and others advocated a Buddhism that was radical in two respects. Firstly, they adopted a more or less naturalist stance with respect to Buddhist doctrine and related matters, rejecting karma or other supernatural beliefs. And secondly, they held political and economic views that were radically anti-hegemonic, anti-capitalist, and revolutionary. Taking the idea of such a “radical Buddhism” seriously, A Buddha Land in This World: Philosophy,...

Dissonant Reality

There is a persistent belief among both scientists and non-scientists that good theories must be somehow beautiful or elegant or something similar, because reality itself is ultimately – in some relevant sense – harmonious; or in other words, that science must be beautiful/​simple/​elegant/​etcera because the laws of nature are beautiful/​simple/​elegant/​etcera. This belief is particularly influential in physics and mainstream economics (which likes to mimic physics or an image thereof as much as possible). Sabine Hossenfelder has written an interesting book about how this belief “leads physics astray” rather than that it provides useful guidance. For an illustration of how deep...