Re: Zen: Dees - Redundant
Joe E. Dees (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed, 22 Sep 1999 22:36:30 -0500
Date sent: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 04:15:16 -0400
From: Robert Owen <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Zen: Dees - Redundant
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > logical operation (in this case negation) to two nonequivalent terms
> > > > Neither this, nor that, nor [neither this nor that], nor [both this and
> > > > that].
> > >
> > > Not required. The Boolean transform of nor [both this and that] which
> > > is equivalent to not[this and that] is [not-this or not-that]. But this
> > > is the inclusive OR, so it includes as a true case [not-this AND not-that].
> > > But this readily transforms into not[this OR that] or neither this nor that,
> > > which was explicitly stated.
> > >
> > Not both/and is not equivalent to not neither/nor, any more than
> > both/and is equivalent to neither/nor. The application of the same
> > results in the creation of two more nonequivalent terms. Q.E.D.
> This is great fun, Joe. The linguistic expression was never meant to
> be formally rigorous. The Hindu "neti-neti" actually means, simply,
> not this, not that. My intention, when I wrote:
> > What is Zen? Mu. What is not-Zen? Mu.
> > Neither this, nor that, nor [neither this nor that]
> was to suggest to the reader the need to eliminate all dualistic thinking,
> i.e. that any and all conceptual distinctions must collapse, and with them
> thinking itself, to experience the "meaning" of anything. The verbal state-
> ment taken literally is not even a logically correct rendering of "neti-neti".
> My point was simply that the exclusiveNOR's in the original could be
> simplified to precisely the expression you suggested:
> [- a . - b]
> While I will admit to an equivocation in the original regarding the use of
> exclusiveOR and exclusiveNOR, I did so because "Mu" could never possibly
> be reduced to a verifiable proposition regardless of how many negations
> it contained. Any such expression would require both the Law of the
> Excluded Middle and the Law of Contradiction. If we succeeded at that,
> we would fail, because the resultant statement would have to be either
> true or false, another "discrimination" forbidden by Buddhism of any kind.
> Do you suppose we have come up with a genuine Koan without a Roshi
> to clap us both about the ears?
It just goes to show that no logical corral can constrain a stallion
which, like Zen, refuses to acknowledge its validity.
With Kindest Regards, Joe
> Take care,
> Robert M. Owen
> The Orion Institute
> 57 W. Morgan Street
> Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA