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The Matter of Mindnature: Bell’s Theorem Tolls for Dogmatic ‘Middle Way’ Scepticism and Rings Out for ‘Experimental Metaphysics’ and ‘Quantum Mindnature’

Graham P. Smetham


In recent years there has developed a movement in the West which seeks to convince people that the original teachings of the Buddha were far more mundane than his later followers would have us believe. An extreme recent example of this is the book The Trouble with Buddhism in which Dr. Robert Ellis claims that every Buddhist who has ever lived has been ‘scandalously” confused about the central doctrines of Buddhism, especially the ‘Middle Way’ philosophy, which is a central teaching of all Buddhist schools. He also claims that if one takes Humean scepticism ‘seriously’, as he thinks one should do, it follows that it is impossible to know anything with any certainty. Metaphysics therefore become a ‘foolish’ dream. In fact according to Ellis it is “foolish” to think that quantum physics supplies “evidence about the universe itself.” This article considers Ellis’s claims regarding metaphysics and physics in detail, particularly focusing on the implications of the quantum violation of Bell’s theorem, in order to show that we must be sceptical of extreme scepticism.

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ISSN: 2153-8212