[Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying [confused]

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Sun Jun 6 15:44:36 MDT 2010

On Jun 6, 2010, at 9:29 AM, Erik Hoogcarspel wrote:

> That's an eloquent way to boost about your limitations, Richard.

No boasting intended. I do regard my philosophical limitations as something of a handicap, part of the general handicap of having an American education, followed by a Canadian education. The Anglo-American philosophers were so dominant in philosophy departments forty years ago in North America that one could hardly learn about anyone else in a philosophy department. But I cannot say the philosophy programs were solely responsible for lack of education. Mostly it was my own fault that I chose almost nothing in the philosophy department but courses in logic, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind. I had almost no interest at all in anything that was not connected with mathematics or the natural sciences. Even my interest in Buddhism was, at first, almost exclusively an interest in logic. By the time my interests expanded, I was much to old to learn anything new. It should be borne in mind that I have no degrees in philosophy and therefore did not meet any of the requirements of philosophy majors. I majored in Sanskrit and was primarily interested in morphology, syntax and semantics. It was mostly by committing various kinds of fraud that I managed to get jobs teaching religious studies, Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy. Such a fraud would never have worked in Europe. It is only in cultural backwaters such as the United States that one can pass oneself off as something one is not.

Richard Hayes
Department of Pseudo-philosophy
University of New Mexico (where if you can eat the chile, you can have the job)

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