Chapter

An Introduction to Conventional Truth

Guy Newland and Tom Tillemans

in Moonshadows

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751426
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827190 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751426.003.0001
An Introduction to Conventional Truth

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The two truths (satyadvaya), conventional and ultimate, originated as a construct for reconciling scriptural statements; conventional truths were taken as a skillful method (upāyakauśalya) leading to the ultimate. Yet the two truths are also taken as standpoints and often as the two classes of things that those two standpoints present to view. For some, the conventional is the only actual basis for the ultimate, emptiness. When instead conventional truth (saṃvṛtisatya) is understood as merely “truth for the benighted,” then it will carry no normative force. Previewing the chapters, they are seen to address four questions: What is conventional truth? What sort of truth theory would best fit it? Can such truths be criticized and improved? How should one act in a world of conventional truth?

Keywords: conventional truth; saṃvṛtisatya; two truths; satyadvaya; Madhyamaka; skillful method; upāyakauśalya; truth

Chapter.  8758 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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