Volume 23, December 2018
Bhartṛhari and the Daoists on Paradoxical Statements
Rather than considering paradox in a literal sense to be unresolvable, both Bhartṛhari and the Daoists develop a distinctive hermeneutics to decipher them, always exploring an overarching meaning where the fundamental differences are contained within. The conversation on paradox escapes the boundary of paradox then, as it relates to interpreting negation, and above all, the philosophy of semantics. Being and non-being, one and many, or something being both true and false at the same time are examples found from their texts. Just as the static and dynamic domains of the Dao remain a key to address paradox in Chinese literature, the stratification of speech, wherein deeper layers of speech are capable of resolving the apparent tension found at the surface level, seems central to Bhartṛhari’s approach.