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We can learn to see appearance as reality?

Michel Bitbol illustrates how the West has inherited from Parmenides, Plato, and Aristotle a conception which identifies being or reality with what intelligence can grasp through its concepts. This conception relegates appearing, in particularly sensible appearing, to a subordinate rank: illusory half-being, or even non-being. This conception has motivated the multi-millennial quest for reality hidden behind the veil of appearances; a quest using all the tools of the intellect, from logic to mathematics. But several recent advances in cognitive science (enaction), and quantum physics deeply question this age-old dichotomy of intelligible reality and empirical appearance. These advances can only be understood within a philosophical framework that is truly different from the post-Platonic atmosphere. Such alternative philosophical framework will be sought in phenomenology, whose slogan (in French) is “autant d’apparaître, autant d’être”, and in the most daring insights of Buddhism, illustrated by the words of Dogen: “There is nothing hidden behind the phenomena”. The endeavour of knowledge then acquires a new meaning: it is no longer a question of lifting the veil of appearances in order to find an intelligible reality behind it, but of “making appearing appear” (J. Patocka), or again to differentiate between phenomenon and phenomenality (Dharma-dharmatâ-Vibhaga).


Event organized by Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in collaboration with the University of Pisa, under the patronage of the Italian Buddhist Union and the Region of Tuscany. 

Photos from the conference:

Vedi altri video relativi a: MindScience Academy Conference. Reality is not as it appears. Altri video di: Michel Bitbol.