Chapter

Debate in the Curriculum

Georges B. J. Dreyfus

in The Sound of Two Hands Clapping

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780520232594
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928244 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520232594.003.0012
Debate in the Curriculum

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The Collected Topics explain the basic logical procedure and the main philosophical notions as preparation to the use of debate in the study of the five great texts of the Ge-luk curriculum. This chapter shows how debate provides the central scholastic methodology in the Ge-luk tradition, examining its relation to pedagogy, logic, epistemology and Madhyamaka. In discussing the final point in this training, the Geshe examination, the author again draws on his own experience. Ge-luk students first encounter the great Indian texts that support Tibetan monastic intellectual life in their study of the Ornament, which initiates them into the art of reading commentaries. At the same time, students also start to use the debate system they have learned previously while studying the Collected Topics. One of the striking features of debate is its emphasis on analysis and critical thinking.

Keywords: Collected Topics; debate; curriculum; Ge-luk; pedagogy; logic; epistemology; Madhyamaka; Geshe examination; Ornament

Chapter.  17330 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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