chapter  5
13 Pages

Negative dialectics in comparative philosophy: the case of Buddhist free will quietism

The hermeneutic situation One compelling piece of evidence that something is fishy or, what is different, that something is off in the discussion of Buddhism and free will, comes from observing the set of answers considered by the Western philosophers who ask about the Buddhist view on free will, who claim to find or think they are entitled to say what Buddhists say, think, or should say or think about free will. These readings all occur inside a consensus that there is no theorizing inside classical Buddhism about free will (Garfield 2014). Here is a brief tour:

1 Charles Goodman’s original view (2002) was that Buddhism is a form of hard determinism. Goodman’s recent view (Chapter 3) is that it might be useful, a matter of upāya, skillful means, given the make-up of certain contemporary Buddhists, raised, for example, in cultures where believing in hard determinism would be depressing, to have them believe or make-believe that they have free will.