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Being and Ambiguity: Philosophical Experiments with Tiantai Buddhism

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by Brook Ziporyn
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Being and Ambiguity: Philosophical Experiments with Tiantai Buddhism by Brook Ziporyn

This bold work addresses primary questions of Western philosophy utilizing perspectives taken from the Tiantai school of Chinese Buddhism—perhaps the most fully articulated and rigorous philosophical system in East Asian history. Being and Ambiguity is an original work of philosophical speculation drawing on the contributions of such diverse thinkers as Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, Wittgenstein, Zizek, Sartre, Polyani, and Merleau-Ponty.

"With a marvelously quixotic sense of humor, Professor Ziporyn cracks open the most serious of our philosophical and cultural constructs—exposing their ambiguities and paradoxical peculiarities, their aporetic surprises, their disavowed associations. Before our very eyes the identical becomes different from itself, substance dissolves into its contingent properties, the subjective and the objective exchange places, love can turn into the hate, reason can lose its defenses against madness, and without even a blink, our reading becomes rewriting. This work makes an original and significant contribution to the current dialogue between Eastern and Western schools of philosophy."
David Michael Kleinberg-Levin, Author of The Philosopher's Gaze: Modernity in the Shadows of Enlightenment and Gestures Befitting the Measure: Physiognomies of Ethical Life

"There is nothing ambiguous about Ziporyn's relentlessly creative attempt to think through the conceptual matrix of Tiantai Buddhism in search of unexpected and philosophically transformative harmonies. This is no staid replay of Tiantai history in comparative context. It is a live performance of uroboros-like Tiantai thinking on contemporary themes—fusion philosophy that is challenging, complex, and occasionally even comic. An adventure of the first order."
Peter Hershock, Author of Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Response to the Information Age

"In this open and unholy marriage between Hegel and Tiantai Buddhism, lightly held together with the lubricating prose and humor of a Martin-Amis-in-disguise, one will find all philosophic problems identified, investigated, and resolved—resolved at least in a manner that measures up to the title: Being and Amibguity. But whether it's being or non-being that bothers you, this book has your number, your 'social security' number to be exact, since one of the subtle charms (terrors?) of this book is its commitment to drive philosophy through the carwash of mundane reality, soaking the big German/Buddhist topics in the hot-again-cold-again Real of being-for-the-Other, and the numberless other harrowing tasks that normal life requires. A must read for anyone interested in metaphysical sodomy."
Alan Cole, Author of Text as Father: Paternal Seductions in Early Mahayana Buddhist Literature

"Ziporyn carries out an audacious though experiment whose starting point lies in the classical Tiantai idea that being is fundamentally ambiguous. If this idea is valid, he argues, then no philosophical statement can be profound without being vapid. Fully embracing this implication, Ziporyn leads the reader on a fascinating adventure in which Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, and many others are seen through the lens of Neo-Tiantai ethics."
Andrew Cutrofello, Author of The Owl at Dawn: A Sequel to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

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Ebook Details
Pages: 474
Size: 1.4 MB
Publisher: Open Court
Date published:   2015
ISBN: 9780812699272 (DRM-EPUB)

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Nonfiction > Philosophy > Eastern > Buddhism

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