Dialectical Practice in Tibetan Philosophical Culture An Ethnomethodological Inquiry into Formal Reasoning

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-09-26
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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Tibetan Buddhist scholar-monks have long engaged in face-to-face public philosophical debates. This original study challenges Orientalist text-based scholarship, which has missed these lived practices of Tibetan dialectics. Kenneth Liberman brings these dynamic disputations to life for the modern reader through a richly detailed, turn-by-turn analysis of the monks' formal philosophical reasoning. He argues that Tibetan Buddhists deliberately organize their debates into formal structures that both empower and constrain thinking, skillfully using logic as an interactional tool to organize their reflections. This careful investigation of the formal philosophical work of Tibetan scholars is a pathbreaking analysis of an important classical tradition. The book is packaged with a CD-ROM that offers examples of debating strategies, videos (with English translations) of actual debates, and an interactive debate.

Author Biography

Kenneth Liberman is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Forewordp. ix
A Postcolonial Inquiry into Tibetan Dialecticsp. 1
Orientalism and Tibetological Praxisp. 3
Ethnomethodology and the Retrieval of Ordinary Societyp. 25
The Organization of Reasoning in Tibetan Philosophical Debatesp. 51
Philosophical Praxis in the Tibetan Academyp. 79
Organizing the Objectivity of the Discourse: Dialectics and Communicationp. 81
Reason as a Public Activityp. 107
Rhymes and Reason: Reason as the In Vivo, Concerted Work of Tibetan Philosophersp. 121
Strategies in Tibetan Philosophical Debatesp. 165
A Sociology of Reasoningp. 235
Using Reasons: Capabilities of Formal Analysisp. 237
Some Betrayals of Formal Analysisp. 273
Bibliographyp. 309
Indexp. 319
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