Review Questions For 3.6-3.8

1. Section 3.6 begins with an important distinction between conventional truth and ultimate truth. Explain this distinction as thoroughly and as accurately as you can using your own words. How do convenient designators fit into the account of this distinction?

2. How are conventional truth and ultimate truth related to one another? Your author asserts that the Buddha’s position on truth is inconsistent. Explain why your author thinks this.

3. Give and explain Milinda’s Principle. How is this principle supposed to function in the argument for the doctrine of non-self?

4. Why, according to your author, would Buddhists hold that it is useful to think of ourselves as persons (i.e. entities with persisting selves)? How do the two examples of causal series given by Nagasena illustrate what early Buddhists would take to be the ultimate truth about persons?

5. In section 3.8 your author gives the objection from rebirth. Explain this objection and how it is supposed to undercut the Buddhist doctrine of non-self. How does the doctrine of karma figure into this objection? Is the Buddhist answer successful? Why or why not?

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