Philosophical Method Questions The Uddalaka Metaphysics

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Topic #02 > A Philosophical Method Question (20 points)
How should the Nyagrodha seed be viewed?
First, for the Uddalaka view and method, use the “Twelfth Khanda” of “The Chandogya
Upanishad” as your textual basis (Phan 2002: 265) for your interpretation of the Uddalaka view
of the Nyagrodha seed. For the Laoian view and method, use chapter 1 and chapter 16 of The
Dao De Jing as your textual basis (page 73.[1], 73-74.[4]).
01_ The Uddalaka Metaphysics Quote
The father said: “My son, that subtle essence
which you do not perceive there, of that very essence
this great Nyagrodha tree exists.
“Believe it, my son. That which is the subtle essence,
in it all that exists has its self. It is the True.
It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.”
(“The Chandogya Upanishad,” cited in Phan 2002: page 265)
02_ The Student Hermeneutic Tasks (8 Points)
02.a (2 points): What are the key concepts used in the quote? List them.
02.b (2 points): Why can the method that Uddalaka used to teach his son about the metaphysics
of Sat by means of the Nyagrodha seed be called an experiential method (Twelfth Khanda)?
Make a point in the form of a sentence and argue to validate your point.
02.c (4 points): Why can the method Uddalaka used to teach his son Svetaketu about how to
view the Nyagrodha seed be called a metaphysical method (as revealed in the quote)? Make a
point in the form of a sentence and argue to validate your point.
03_ The Laoian Ontology Quotes
Therefore let there always be non-being [wu ?vô-ccp]
so we may see their subtlety.
And let there always be being [you?h?u-ccp]
so we may see their outcome [or manifestation-ccp].
(The Dao De Jing, chapter 1, trans. Wing-tsit Chan 1963,
cited in Phan 2002: page 73)
Being empty to the utmost
Maintaining complete tranquility
The ten thousand things come forth
I thereby observe their returns
All things flourish luxuriantly
Each one of them returns to its root
Returning to the root is called tranquility
It is the return to destiny
(The Dao De Jing, chapter 16, trans. Chánh Công Phan 2012,
for translation by Wing-tsit Chan 1963, see Phan 2002: page 73)
04_ The Student Hermeneutical Tasks (10 Points)
04.a (5 points): What are the key concepts used in the two quotes? List them.
04.b (3 points): Given the way Lao Zi views the Mother Dao in chapter 1 and the ten thousand
things in chaper 16 as the methodological basis, how would Lao Zi view the Nyagrodha seed if
he were asked? Make your point in the form of a sentence and argue for your claim.
04.c (2 points): Why can the Laoin view of the Nyagrodha seed (as interpreted by you) be called
an ontological view rather than a metaphysical view performed by Uddalaka? Make your point
in the form of a sentence and argue for your claim.
05_ General Comparative Analyses (2 Points)
05.a (2 points): Why can the Uddalaka view of the Nyagrodha seed be called a monotheistic
view but the Laoian view of the Nyagrodha seed a non-monotheistic view (or organic view)?
Make your point in the form of a thesis-sentence and argue to validate your claim.

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