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2023 | 12(1-2) | 88--100
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Navigating the Excluded Middle: The Jaina Logic of Relativity

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The Jaina tradition is known for its distinctive approach to prima facie incompatible claims about the nature of reality. The Jaina approach to conflicting views is to seek an integration or synthesis, in which apparently contrary views are resolved into a vantage point from which each view can be seen as expressing part of a larger, more complex truth. Viewed by some contemporary Jaina thinkers as an extension of the principle of ahiṃsā into the realm of intellectual discourse, Jaina logic marks quite a distinctive stance toward the concept of logical consistency. While it does not directly violate the law of excluded middle, it does, one might say, navigate this principle in a highly and potentially useful way. The potential usefulness of Jaina logic includes the possibility of its use in arguing for the position known as religious pluralism or worldview pluralism. This is a view which many philosophers see as holding great promise in developing a way to think about differences across worldviews in ways that do not lead to the kind of conflict and polarization that all too often characterizes ideological differences in today's world(original abstract)
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