Wittgenstein and Zen Buddhism: One Practice, No Dogma

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This chapter addresses homologies between Wittgenstein's account of philosophical practice in both the Tractatus and the Investigations with accounts of practice in Zen. The chapter argues that both Wittgenstein and such Zen thinkers as Shunryu Suzuki regard philosophy as, at one level, indicating that ordinary practice, ordinary language, and ordinary life are “in order” as they are—requiring neither critique nor validation by philosophy—while, at another, they regard philosophical insight as necessary to living ordinary life in an enlightened way. The distinction between ordinary life and enlightened life is, on both accounts, profound but ineffable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPointing at the Moon
Subtitle of host publicationBuddhism, Logic, Analytic Philosophy
EditorsJay L. Garfield, Tom J. F. Tillemans, Mario D'Amato
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780195381559
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Zen Buddhism
  • Wittgenstein
  • Buddhists
  • ordinary life
  • ordinary language

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