Date: June 1 (Thursday), 15:00-16:30 (Filippo), 16:45-18:15 (Ricki)
Place: 大会議室, basement, Faculty of Letters Main Bldg., Kyoto University. (building no.8 of this map)
Speaker: Dr. Filippo Casati (Kyoto University), Prof. Ricki Bliss (Lehigh University & University of Hamburg)
Heidegger and the paradox of Being
The vast majority of analytic philosophers have considered Heidegger both obscure and incomprehensible. The main reason is that, especially in the late part of his philosophical trajectory, he intentionally challenges the principle of non-contradiction, endorsing inconsistent positions. Of course, this was enough for the faint of heart – at least, hearts in thrall to Aristotle – to condemn him to the realm of the nonsensical. In my talk, I will show that one possible way to make sense of Heidegger is to interpret him as a dialetheist. I will also briefly show how my interpretation can help us to better understand Nishitani – one of the most important thinkers of the Kyoto School.
Priest, One, and Svabhava: Bringing own-being back
In his One: Being an Investigation into the Unity of Reality and of its Parts, including the Singular Object which is Nothingness Graham Priest argues for, amongst many other things, an account of the structure of reality according to which everything is empty. The view that he develops is, in fact, consistent with that of the Chinese Buddhist Hua-Yen tradition, where, crucially, everything depends on everything else. To understand why one would want to argue for the emptiness of all things, one first needs to understand what it is that these things are empty of. Translated variously as `own-being’, `essence’, `intrinsic nature’, and `substance’, the Sanskrit term `svabhava’ is what picks out that thing that the Buddhist analysis is supposed to show us everything, it turns out, is lacking.
According to Priest’s view, everything is empty, it lacks `own-being’, and, thereby, has purely relational quiddity. Everything is empty, on Priest’s view, because everything has its nature in dependence upon something, in fact, everything, else. Interestingly, though, it is also a feature of Priest’s view that everything is also self-dependent. In this paper, I suggest that self-dependence looks dangerously close to smuggling back in the kind of `own-being’ that the Buddhist analysis, and Priest’s with it, is designed to avoid; and therewith, that Priest’s attempt at developing a Hua-Yen account of the structure of the world fails by its own lights.