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Metaphysics and the Meaning of Life: Towards a Philosophy of Zen Buddhism Paperback – October 10, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Three Brothers Press (October 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982883706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982883709
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,307,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew K. on May 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The true test of a philosophy does not lie in its "rightness" or "wrongness" in the absolute sense but rather in its usefulness to each individual human. Certain insights must be deemed positive because they lead humans toward a clearer picture of themselves, and others negative because they lead them in the opposite direction. It is this clearer picture of the self and how the self relates to the world at large that leads the individual person to greater happiness and harmony with other humans.
In "Metaphysics and the Meaning of Life" (an appropriately lofty title for a philosopher as ambitious as this author clearly is) Joshua Davis introduces a concept that he calls "apprehension theory". This theory states (to sum it up very crudely) that reality belongs exclusively neither to the outside world nor the mind of the individual, but that instead it springs directly from the interaction of the two. To put it another way, the tree in the forest doesn't in fact exist until you, the individual, happen to perceive it (or "apprehend" it) for the first time, and when you leave the forest, not only does the tree not make a sound when it falls, but the tree isn't even there anymore since it is not being "apprehended". The tree, though, is not a figment of the subject's imagination--it is a tangible thing--still it can't be said that it truly exists on its own. It only obtains true existence once it is "apprehended".
I personally find "apprehension theory" very attractive--but I had myself in recent years already come to conclusions about the nature of reality that were similar to Davis', if in only a vague way.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
How does one apply the concepts of metaphysics in their search for meaning? "Metaphysics and the Meaning of Life" is an examination of the metaphysical from Joshua Carl Davis drawing on his own experience with eastern and western philosophies and brings an original take on the relationships between the mind and the body. Thoughtful with plenty to think about, "Metaphysics and the Meaning of Life" is a choice pick for philosophical metaphysics collections.
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