Re: FW: Religous Variation

Peter D. Junger (junger@PDJ2-RA.F-REMOTE.CWRU.EDU)
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 11:59:09 -0400

J Cook writes:

: From: Peter D. Junger \ Internet: (junger@pdj2-ra.f-remote.cwru.e
: du)
: Subject: Re: FW: Religous Variation
: "Edward W. Farrell" writes:
: I am not aware of the existence of a "theory of mind" with the same definitio
: n
: of, say, the theory of relativity. The unique problem with a theory of mind
: is
: regression, i.e., the subject of the theory is also its object. As a tool of
: science, then, such a theory would always be subject to buffeting by the very
: sorts of beliefs it is engaged in explaining. As difficult as this is, deali
: ng
: with mind openly and straightforwardly is all the more essential in my view.
: Is not the Buddha Dharma, at least in many of its traditional manifestations,
: such a ``theory of mind'' (and a lot more besides)? And is not much of the
: Buddhist practice directed towards freeing ourselves from that ``buffeting''
: by
: extinguishing our attachment to those beliefs, and all other beliefs as well?
: Farrell's project strikes my ears as being frightfully parochial.
: -------- REPLY, End of original message --------
: In what sense is it "frightfully parochial"?
: Your reference to Buddhism strikes me as being "frightfully" irrelevant.

My comment about the remark being parochrial was made, of course, in
the context of a bunch of anthropologists trying to determine what
religion is and one of them saying that it would take a certain sort
of theory of mind, but that he did not know of any such theory, when
one of the world's major religions does have such a theory.

What is frightful is the arrogance with which the author of remark
ignores the insights of the subjects of his study--though I suppose that
that is one way to resolve the problem of self-reference that the author

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH