An Immersion workshop in Buddhist logic led by Atisha Mathur
The teachings of the Buddha and other masters often employ a specific logical language that we are unaware of. This logic has been studied in India as an independent subject and then used as a tool to understand philosophy so an individual can gain certainty in concepts such as Impermanence, Emptiness, and Nirvana which can otherwise sound very abstract.
In this workshop we will first learn the ‘language’ of logic by seeing the main tool used; the syllogism. Syllogisms are the building blocks of logic. First, we will look at what makes correct and incorrect syllogisms. The pedagogy of learning any subject through syllogisms has the advantage of being able to structure our thoughts into clear parts which further brings to light where we lack conviction due to partial information and where we are merely making assumptions instead of having actually understood.
By gaining familiarity with how syllogisms work through discussion and debates, we can then test and see if they can actually be incorporated into our natural ways of thinking.
We will then try and see how it can be used to delve deeper into the study of Buddhism with topics such as the Four Seals. What often emerges from studying such topics with the aid of syllogisms is recognizing the reasoning employed in the texts and a clear understanding of where each individual is in their understanding along with a good idea of what aspects need to be further clarified along with the means to clarify them.
Being by nature a subject that needs to be acquired through language, the format will be primarily discussions with the participants.
Atisha Mathur is a doctoral student at L’Orientale in Naples, Italy. Atisha finished his Madhyamika studies in 2019 at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamshala, India where he was studying for the Geshe studies program and currently lives.
He was born and grew up in New Delhi where he finished his schooling.