Some aspects of the free-will question in the Nikaayas

By Luis O. Gomez
Philosophy East and West
25:1 1975 p. 81-90
(C) by the University Press of Hawaii


p. 81 The scope of this article is limited to the tradition of the Nikaayas. Thus, for reasons of time and space, I have left out for future consideration the Maadhyamika theories of causation and the Yogaacaara theories of innate and developed seeds, both of which have important implications for the free-will question.(l) This essay, moreover, limits itself to a cursory examination of one question: in what ways could the Buddhism of the Nikaayas conceivably attempt or did in fact attempt to justify a doctrine of free will? The reader should also be forewarned of the unavoidable risk of discovering in Buddhist scriptures nonexisting theories and problems, which are often nothing but the distortions caused by our Western microscope. I would, therefore, like to underline the fact that we are here also concerned with speculative arguments that could be developed from basic Buddhist statements by implication, whether they were or were not formulated explicitly. Now, while the question of determinism versus free will has been considered at several junctions in the history of Indian philosophy, compared with the constant and systematic Western preoccupations with the problem, Indian interest seems rather sporadic. Perhaps this tells us much about the nature of "liberation" and about Indian conceptions of the self, in short, about the specific character of the categories of Indian thought. Liberation as the denial of individuality, or complete separation from the causal realm, seems foreign to the Western philosopher. The problem clearly could not be formulated precisely in the terms "determinism" and "free will," nevertheless, the problem of man's capacity to freely choose and by his own efforts be able to escape from the realm of conditioning could hardly be called anything else but the problem of free will.(2) Perhaps the oldest formulation of the problem in the history of philosophy can be discovered in speculations that took form in the sixth century B.C. in India. In those days it seems that wandering ascetics were classified into two groups depending on their doctrine of human action, or better, of the "efficacy of action" (kriyaa).(3) Thus, there were the kriyaavaadins (or karmavaadins) who claimed that there would be retribution for human deeds,(4) and the akriyaavaadins for whom all human effort was fruitless.(5) The terms also implied that the first group advised some kind of action or human effort that would lead to release from sa.msaara, whereas the second group advised abstention from action.(6) But, for our purposes, it will suffice to concentrate on a third aspect of this twofold classification. As a corollary of the positions mentioned above, kriyaavaada also implied that our state of being in the present life was the result of our deeds in previous lives, whereas the akriyaavaadin believed that deeds, past, present, or future, had no effect on the condition of living beings. Thus, in its more extreme forms the akriyaavada would say that there is actually no ------------------- Luis O. Gomez is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. p. 82 causal connection between what a living being does and what he is or becomes, in this or in another life. The Buddhists are often called kriyaavaadins; they themselves refer to the teaching of Buddha as kriyaavaada or karmavaada. The Jains, however, seem to have considered them akriyaavaadins.(2) The reason is obvious, to the Buddhist what determined the future was not the act itself but the intention of the act.(8) This to the Jain seemed to culminate, by necessity, in moral corruption, for then, they claimed there would be no objective criteria for right and wrong. In a certain sense the Jains were right in claiming that the Buddhist was not a kriyaavaadin; at least we must grant that Buddhism does not represent strict karmavaada, that is, it would not accept a necessary and unqualified relation of cause and effect between an act and its retribution. Evidently the Buddhist would consider certain acts as not retributable.(9) Now, this very question is central to the problem of determinism: whether the human condition is or is not necessarily and absolutely determined. The question whether this predetermination is of one's own doing is ultimately irrelevant if the determination is unqualified.(10) The Buddhist texts, therefore, will often offer a view of karmic causation that could best be described as "weak" or modified kriyaavaada: the human condition is not totally or absolutely determined by the deeds of the human agent. At least two ways of formulating this "weak" kriyaavaada suggest themselves in the Nikaayas. First, the paali texts tell us that `Saakyamuni himself did not consider that the cause-effect relationship implied necessarily strict determination or a one-to-one correspondence of act and fruit. The second approach is the classic doctrine of pratiityasamutpaada. Regarding the denial of strict determination, there is more than one passage in the Paali canon to prove it. I would like to quote three of these which illustrate three central aspects of what may be called "early Buddhist denial of determinism." These three aspects are: first, the acceptance of the fact that certain elements of reality are casual, or at least caused by nonkarmic causes; second, the acceptance of the fact that a given act will not always have the same effect, depending on circumstances; and third, the affirmation of the efficacy of human effort. The first aspect is attested in Sa.myutta Nikaaya IV. 230-231. Siivaka, the wandering ascetic approaches Gautama with the following question: "There are, Gotama, some `srama.nas and braahma.nas who speak thus, who hold this view: 'Whatever a human person experiences, whether pleasure or pain, or neither pleasure nor pain, all that is caused by former deeds.' Now, what says the venerable Gotama about this?" To this the Buddha replies unhesitantly: "There are, Siivaka, also feelings experienced here that arise from bile. You yourself, Siivaka, must know this, how certain feelings arise from bile. This is acknowledged by the world to be true.... those `srama.nas and braahma.nas who speak thus, who hold this view: 'whatever a human person experiences, p. 83 whether pleasure or pain, or neither pleasure nor pain, all that is caused by former deeds,' with respect to what they themselves know go too far, and with respect to what the world acknowledges to be true, go too far." Gautama then enumerates other similar causes: phlegm, wind, the humors, the seasons, and lastly, but of the utmost importance, feelings could arise on account of untoward circumstances (visamaparihaarajaani), on account of an accident (opakkamikaani) or through the maturation of previous karman (kammavipaakajaani).(11) The second aspect is attested in another passage from the Nikaayas, equally pertinent. Here (A^nguttara Nikaaya I. 249-253) Gautama appears to be censuring karmic determinism once more, but the concepts of effective karman vs. ineffective karman, and the concept of maturation (vipaaka) are now brought to the fore: "If someone would speak thus, monks: 'exactly as this man performs deeds, thus does he experience its [fruit],' if this were so, monks, one could not live the saintly life, no opportunity would appear to put a proper end to sorrow. But if someone would speak thus, monks: 'Exactly as this man performs a deed that is to have a consequence, thus does he experience the fruit of its maturation,'if this were so, monks, one could live the saintly life, an opportunity would appear for putting a proper end to sorrow." There are, therefore, acts that do entail a consequence (literally: 'acts that are to be experienced', vedaniiya^m karnma^m), and those that do not entail a fruit. Moreover, the nature of the consequence does not necessarily correspond or is not directly proportional to the nature or intensity of the act, for the final result depends on the maturation of the fruit, the vipaaka, and this maturation depends on the soil in which the act is, so to speak, planted. Our text does not use the simile of the seed, which has become more or less standard in scholastic literature, but uses a simile that has given the title to this vagga of the Tikanipaata, the Lo.naphalavagga.(12) Supposing a man puts a grain of salt into a small cup, says our simile, the water would become undrinkable. But, "suppose that a man, monks, would throw a grain of salt into the river Ganges.... Would this river Ganges also become salty and undrinkable because of this grain of salt?... In the same way, monks, a man could perform here even a slight sinful action the result of which would lead him to hell. But, again, monks, a man could perform an equally slight sinful action the result of which would be experienced in this very life, and would not appear to be even light, much less grievous."(13) The third aspect of the Buddhist denial of strict determinism is the affirmation of the effectiveness of human effort. If the human condition were the exclusive result of previous deeds, then the actions and experiences of the present would all be predetermined, effort would be pointless, insofar as it would be predetermined effort. These arguments are suggested in the Devadahasutta of Majjhima Nikaaya (II. 214 ff.), where `Saakyamuni explains to his disciples how he argued against the niganthas: p. 84 There are, monks, some `srama.nas and braahma.nas who speak thus, who hold this view: "Whatever a human person experiences, whether pleasure or pain, or neither pleasure nor pain, all this is caused by former deeds. Thus they claim that by means of austerities they put an end to past deeds, that they abstain from performing any new deeds [in the present], that they are not accumulating [any more deeds] for the future. Because there is no accumulation for the future, there will come about the extinction of all deeds, with the extinction of all deeds comes about the extinction of sorrow, with the extinction of sorrow there comes about the extinction of feeling, with the extinction of feeling all sorrows will be exhausted.(14) But this doctrine the Buddha rejects outright. Among the reasons he offers for his position, Gautama argues: "...when you have eager undertaking, eager effort, do you then experience a sharp, severe and painful feeling associated with that undertaking? Or, again, when you do not have eager undertaking, eager effort, do you then not experience a sharp, severe and painful feeling associated with undertaking?" To this, of course, the niganthas assent, whereupon, Gautama presents the necessary implications: if this is so, then how could the niganthas possibly claim that "whatever a man experiences is caused by former deeds"? Only if the opposite were true, that is, if intense effort and the nigantha austerities were not accompanied by equally intense pain, only then would it be true that whatever a man experiences is the result of previous deeds. For if the intense effort and application, which austerities require, bring about a correspondingly painful feeling here and now, that very fact proves that one does have experiences brought about by one's own effort in this very life. The Buddha then proceeds to ask the niganthas whether they accept the possibility of changing the outcome of karman by effort: the possibility of forcing deeds that are to mature in the present to mature in a future life, of converting the outcome of deeds that are to mature in painful sensations so that they will mature as pleasant feelings, etc. The niganthas deny the possibility of altering karman in anyway.(15)The Buddha then points out, that if this is so, "all undertaking is fruitless, all effort is fruitless." Moreover, if this thesis of the niganthas were true, Gautama continues in a passage of obvious irony: "If the pleasure and pain that living beings experience is caused by previous deeds, then, monks, the niganthas must have been in previous lives doers of evil deeds, for now they undergo such sharp, severe and painful sensations [in their austerities]. If the pleasure and pain that living beings experience is caused by the creation of a god, then, monks, the niganthas must have been created by an evil god.... If... by chance... [they] must have been the fruit of ill-fortune..." The Buddha thereupon explains the way in which his monks practice fruitful effort (saphalo upakkamo).(16) "A monk does not soil with pain an otherwise unsoiled self, and he does not abandon the happiness pertaining to the Dhamma, nor does he become attached to this happiness. He discerns thus: `If I were to p. 85 oppose the formation of the cause of sorrow, by opposing this formation I would become dispassionate. Also, if I were to become evenminded in respect to this cause of sorrow, if I were to develop this evenmindedness, I would become dispassionate."(17) The text goes on to describe in detail the Buddha's path to salvation, which, like the lines quoted earlier, is based all on the notion of dispassion or detachment. For the Buddhist, the central element in the process of the origin of suffering is of course the attached mind, and the mind can be subjected to control.(18) But all of the previous considerations would not be analyzed by a Buddhist without reference to the doctrine of dependent origination. Any consideration of the problem of determinism in Buddhism would have to take into account this conception, in spite of the fact that, as we have seen earlier, many a passage will discuss the problems of human action and determinism without even mentioning the doctrine of dependent origination. I would like to consider two key passages from Sa.myuutta Nikaaya which bring together the concepts of karman and nonself with the doctrine of dependent origination. In the first one of these--from the Natu^mhasutta (Sa.myutta Nikaaya II. 64-66), the notion of nonself is explained in what is obviously one of its oldest formulations, the intention being not to formulate a metaphysical theory on the absence of a self but rather to offer a foundation or justification for the doctrine of detachment by means of an analysis of what is not of the self. That is, the question is not the existence or absence of a self, but the problem of what belongs to the self (pariggaha, mamakaara, or mamatta) .(19) Gautama explains to his monks: "This body, monks, is not yours, nor does it belong to others. It should be known, it should be considered, monks, as former deeds purposefully performed and thought out.(20) In regard to it, monks, a well-instructed noble disciple practices well centered attention (yoniso manasikaara) only on dependent origination: 'When this is, that is; from the arising of this, that arises; if this is not, then that is not; from the stopping of this, that is stopped.'" The text follows with the complete formula in its classical twelve-member version. But what is truly significant in this passage is that if its concluding statement is taken as a law of universal application, it would seem to contradict openly the texts we have considered earlier in this article. It would seem to affirm rather explicitly a law of total determination. But the concluding statement is not complete without the twelve links, and the chain they form is reversible; the twelve links are not meant to represent absolute determination. Our text seems to be clarifying precisely this point when it states that former deeds, "purposefully performed and thought out" and not just any deed, are the conditioning factors. In the Acelakassapasutta, also from Sa.myutta Nikaaya (II. 19-22), the pratiityasamutpaada is put to a different use. avoiding the "eternalist" and the "annihilationist" extremes. Although the questions asked do seem to be parallel to the problems considered in the Devadahasutta, in the end we are p. 86 disappointed. For the intention here seems not to be an explanation of the possibility of fruitful human effort, but rather to deal with a strictly cosmological issue. Kassapa enquires whether it is oneself who is responsible for one's suffering or whether someone else is the cause, whether both oneself and another are the cause, whether neither is the cause. To all questions he receives a negative answer: "Whoever says: 'He who performs [the deed] is he who experiences its [fruit]', Kassapa, implies the eternalist view that suffering has been caused by oneself. Whosoever says: `One performs [the deed], another experiences [its fruit]', Kassapa, implies the annihilationist view that suffering has been caused by another. Avoiding both extremes, the Tathaagata teaches Dhamma by the middle [way]:..." By way of conclusion Gautama then recites the pratiityasamutpaada in anuloma and pratiloma sequences.(21) In both these passages from the Sa.myutta Nikaaya the implications for the free-will question have to be drawn out with great care. The Buddhists evidently want to secure continuity while avoiding the pitfalls of an unchanging self.(22) Since their prime interest is thus to establish firmly a type of "moral responsibility" without a self-existing substratum, which would operate within a system of strict moral causation, the pratiityasamutpaada, in underlining causal concatenation, overlooks the pitfalls of strict determination. If the self were unchanging, it is true, the case for free will and moral responsibility would be lost, but an ever changing self is not sufficient guarantee for free will. For if the change were constant and regular, this process itself would become the new 'unchanging self'. The deterministic ring in the theory of nonself, when it is explained in terms of its sister theory of dependent origination, is rather transparent in the famous stanzas from the Selaasutta (Sa.myutta Nikaaya I. 134). Maara appears before the nun Selaa and asks: By whom was this puppet (bimba) made? And where is the puppet's maker? Wherefrom, again, does it arise? And where will it cease? Selaa's reply is classic: This puppet is not made by itself, Nor are its misfortunes made by another. Conditioned by causes it arises, Upon the destruction of its causes it ceases. The question is how much of the puppet is conditioned, or what is the extent of its predetermination if no other cause for the arising of phenomena is accepted aside from previously conditioned causes. And again, is there much meaning in asking for the degree of the puppet's determination if "it" does not exist beyond its causes and conditions?(23) The Buddhist, of course, will always insist on the desirability and possibility p. 87 of release; he is convinced that the causal series can be stopped, in this conviction is the very ground for all Buddhist hope. Because this is repeated so often, Buddhism could not be accused in any way of pessimism or fatalism. But it is not at all clear how the Buddhist can wriggle out of the deterministic quagmire into which his much cherished theory of conditioning could draw him. If he were to make a distinction between a 'strong' and a `weak' conditioning, and choose the latter, that is, if he were to accept an open system, which would allow for the occasional intervention of forces beyond or at the root of the causal structure, as the passages quoted in the first part of this article seemed to indicate, then the Buddhist position would still present difficulties but would not suggest so strongly a deterministic vein. But to allow a system open, in this sense, would evidently invite in a "self-existent" principle. Call it "the will," call it "the mind," it nevertheless looks too much like a "self" and therefore appears as a solid support for attachment. But there is a positive element in the doctrine of causation, an element which probably was central to its original formulation. The notion that dependent origination is the way to avoid the eternalist and the annihilationist views has important implications for the free-will question. For the eternalist view also means the view that there will be no end to sa.msaara. This is in a certain way the determinist position, or at least one important aspect of it. The annihilationist view, on the other hand, could imply that the world lacks continuity, that all is the product of pure chance. Both extremes of course are fatal to any doctrine of salvation. And both pitfalls the Buddhist is trying to avoid. Thus, if causation is presented only as an explanation of continuity-without-fatalism, there is no problem, at least no immediate or obvious difficulty.(24) But once causation is introduced as the only explanation for the human condition, then we are, in a subtle way back to the eternalist view, at least back to its great defect: too much regularity. Purportedly, causation should introduce the elements of variety and change into the universe, but in fact, quasi-mechanistic causation could turn into the Buddhist nightmare.(25) Now, would there be anyway in which the theory of conditioned production could be conciliated with the nondeterministic statements of the passages quoted in the first part of this article? If one were to try to harmonize both doctrines, it would be necessary to regard the statement "if this is, then that comes to be" as referring to one given realm of reality; that is, in no way can this be a statement of universal validity, if we are to avoid determinism. The need to conciliate dependent origination with the possibility of universal release, with the possibility that every living being can become free from conditioning not be mere chance, nor by inexorable necessity, but by a freely undertaken effort to become free, this fundamental need, no doubt, must be seen as an essential part of what must have motivated the formulation of the theories of double truth. Thus, a "realm" was secured in which causation would not obtain, or rather, a perspective from which conditioning does not entail p. 88 suffering.(26) Another possible conciliation could take place by accepting the possibility that salvation not be universal and thus release could be explained in terms of the necessary force of specific causal elements within the universe of causation, which would be capable of generating, or contain in themselves, the root of liberation.(27) The basic dilemma could be stated thus: "if there is control, then there must be a controlling power which must be 'self-existing' or 'independent' (self-acting)," but this to the Buddhist seems too close to the self to be acceptable. On the other hand, if there can be no control, since no-control implies total dependence on external conditions, then there is determinism.(28) The Buddhist answer is, of course, neither of the two horns, but a middle way. Considering the Buddhist identification of "independent" with "self-existing," "substantial," and "permanent," it is evident that their assertion to the effect that, in fact if there were independent agency, there would be a self, and then there would be determinism, is in a certain way justified. And an unchanging agent is not only a predetermined cause, it is a contradiction in terms.(29) The question is then, does the Buddhist middle way solve the problem, and the answer again is obvious, if by causation is meant "weak" conditioning, then perhaps it does solve it, but if total conditioning of the series is intended, then the Buddhist would be no better than the AAjiivika.(30) NOTES 1. The development of the latter Abhidharma, Maadhyamika and Yogaacaara aspects are merely hinted at in the article, for example, see notes 23, 27, and 29. 2. The classical distinction between libertas and liberum arbitrium should be kept in mind (cf. Augustine, Enchiridion XXXII, and Op. imperf. contra Julian. VI. 11). Augustine, however, sees the will as totally free from the contingent (De libero Arbitrio I. 1-3, II. 4-5), his main problem being God's foreknowledge; but, the opposite is true of modern Western philosophy after Locke. What is offered above as a general characterization of Indian notions of freedom (libertas) is nothing but a simplification: "denial of individuality" can hardly describe the Nyaaya, it would be inaccurate to speak of a complete breakage with sa.msaara in the Mahaayaana, etc. 3. The sources are by no means clear. Cf. H. Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, Part II (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1884) , pp. 309, 316-319, 385 (note 1) . `Siilaa^nka's comments on these passages are classical, but late; see Suutrak.rtaa^ngasuutra with the Commentary Niryukti of Bhadrabhu and the added commentary of `Siilaa^nkaacaarya (Bhavnagar: Sri Godiparsva Jaina Granthamala, 1950) , pp. 194b-195a, 210b-212a. Evidently the commentators are not following any historical tradition in their interpretations: cf., op. cit. pp. 214a ff., 229a ff. See also A. L. Basham, History and Doctrines of the AAjiivikas (London:. Luzac, 1951), pp. 226-227, and the comments on these passages by K. N. Jayatilleke, Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge (New York: Humanities Press, 1963), pp. 140-141, cf. pp. 261,444-446, and 469. 4. See D. I. 115 and Vinaya I. 71. Also, S. II. 33 ff. All references to the Paali canon are made to the Paali Text Society eds., the Nikaayas are represented by the first letter of their title. 5. The locus classicus is D. I. 52 ff. The fruitlessness of human effort does not necessarily imply a denial of the law of karman as seen in the threefold classification of akiriyaa found in A. I. 173-175; the belief that the human condition is the exclusive result of previous action, that it is the result p. 90 of creation by a god, or that it is the result of sheer chance. See our consideration of the Devadahasutta below. 6. This the way the terms are interpreted when the Buddha declares himself to be both a kiriyaa vaadin and an akiriyaavaadin, for he advises abstention from evil and practice of virtue, A. I. 62. 7. Jacobi, loc. cit., the question is by no means clear. The Buddha is explicitly accused of this doctrine in A. II. 232, by So.nakaayana, but his allegiances are not mentioned. 8. See Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, pp. 414-415. The locus classicus for this question is, of course, the Upaalisutta (M. II. 371 ff.) . Cf. `Srii-Suuyaga.daa^mga-sutta (Dvitiiyaa^mgam) (Suutrak.rtaa^nga-suutra, the Second A^nga of the Jain canon with commentaries in Sanskrit by Siila^ngaacharya (`Siilaa^nka) and Harshakula... )(Bombay: Nirnayasagara Press, 1879), pp. 323, 927-928. 9. See below our consideration of A. I. 249-253. See also A. I. 134-136, specially section 2, p.135 "Ya^m bhikkhave alobhakata^m kamma^m alobhaja^m ... lobhe vigate eva^m ta^m kamma^m pahiina^m hoti ucchinnamuula^m? taalaavatthukata^m anabhaavakata^m aayati^m anuppaadadhamma^m. ..." etc. 10. This is clearly the position of some passages in the Nikaayas, such as the Devadahasutta, discussed later, and the text referred to in note 5. But I am not too sure that all Buddhists would concur: cf., for example, Bodhicaryaavataara and Pa~njikaa, IX. 71-73, and the key passages in VI. 30-32. 11. This passage should be compared with A. II. 87, where it is explained that the enlightened are able to overcome even these roots of sorrow. According to Buddhaghosa's Saaratthapakaasinii, the wise are able to convert these unpleasant feelings into kusalavedanaa (Vol. II, pp. 154-155 of the Syaamara.t.tha edition, Bangkok, 1920). The meaning of opakkamika is problematic and Buddhaghosa's explanation highly questionable ("aya^m coro vaa paradaariko vaa ti gahetvaa jannukakapparamuggaraadii hi nippo.tana-upakkama^m paccaya^m katvaa uppannaadi ..."). 12. Lo.nakapaaliavagga in the Naalandaa edition. 13. On vedaniiya^m kamma^m, cf. note 9, herein. On vipaaka, see also S. 1. 92, II. 128 and A. III. 410 ff. On the possible implications for the freewill question found in the connection between the initiating javana and the vipaaka see Manorathapuuranii (II. 360 in the paali Text Society edition) and a parallel explanation in Visuddhimagga XIX. 14 (p. 601 of the paali Text Society edition). 14. This caricature of Jainism somehow sounds like a description of Buddhism, but the Devadhasutta makes a clear distinction, which is reinforced by passages such as D. II. 230, A.I. 134-136, 249-253 (discussed earlier), II. 230-232, and M. I. 93. 15. This doctrine does not seem to correspond to classical Jaina teachings. Cf. Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, pp. 297-301, also 257 ff. On the efficacy of effort for the Buddhists, one cannot overlook the important section on the aarabha-dhaatu found in A. III. 337-338, explained rather cursorily by Manorathapuuranii (II. 132 in the Syaamara.t.tha edition) . Cf. also Papa~ncasuudanii (Syaamara.t.tha, II. 4 1 7) on the initial lines of the Devadaha. 16. The term padhaana which I have translated above as 'effort' when it was found beside upakkama ("endeavor, undertaking"), reappears below as a verb and verbal noun, the meaning there is "to fight against, strive against." 17. The phrase "bhikkhu na heva anaddhabhuuta^m attaana^m dukkhena addhabhaaveti" translates rather clumsily into English, but should not be taken as an affirmation of an ego, the adjective is to be construed in apposition with the reflexive. 18. See, for example, the Upaalisutta. 19. But according to the orthodox tradition "self" and "possession" are inseparable, thus the Saaratthapakaasinii comments on this sutta: "attani sati attaniya^m naama hoti. attaayeva ca natthi. asmaa na tu^mhaakan ti aaha." (Syaamara.t.tha edition, III. 79.). 20. The paali terms are abhisa^nkhata and abhisa~ncetayita, cf. S. II. 39-41, III. 86-91. By itself, however, abhisa^nkhaara can refer to the mere accumulation of karman, thus Buddhaghosa's Saaratthapakaasini, Vol. III. p. 80. (Bangkok: Syaamara.t.tha edition, 1920). 21. The anuloma is the antidote to annihiliationism, the pratiloma to eternalism. 22. This is the function of the notion of santaana. 23. Again, if the conditioning is reciprocal and not lineal, the very concepts of conditioning and determination will change meaning radically--to the point of self-negation in the Maadhyamika. But, the question of freely exerted effort would still be far from solved. 24. The fundamental paradox of free agency in a conditioned world still remains. Two Western p. 90 treatments of this metaphysical question, which should someday be compared with the typology of the Buddhist problem, are Schelling's Philosophische Untersuchungen uber des Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit and Schopenhauer's Uber die Freiheit des menschlichen Willens. In these works, however, the opposition absolute-facticity is, unfortunately for our comparison, rooted in very different presuppositions. 25. I here follow closely Peirce's definitions of necessitarianism in "The Doctrine of Necessity Examined" (The Monist 2 (1892): 321-337; see also Collected Papers, vol. 6). The possibility of freedom within necessity is defended by Hume (Treatise, Bk. II, Pt. II, Sec. 2) and the tradition that descends from him down to Ayer and Nowell Smith. An important aspect of Hume's position is brilliantly examined and criticized by Philippa Foot in "Free Will as Involving Determinism" (The Philosophical Review 46, no. 4 (Oct., 1957): 439-450). 26. This would be the solution suggested by the Maadhyamika. See, for example, the references in note 10, above, and the highly poetical stanzas IX. 32-35 and 142-154 of the Bodhicaryaavataara. Their position, however, is not and was not intended to be (at least explicitly) an explanation for the possibility of free will or free agency, but rather as an explanation for the possibility of a state of freedom (libertas). 27. But, this is, of course, a form of determinism. In regard to the problems which the Buddhists encountered with this theory, see D. S. Ruegg, La theorie du tathaagatagarbha et du gotra (Paris: Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, 1969), pp. 175 ff. 28. Or causalism, with similar implications for the religious path. 29. Thus Bodhicaryaavataara VI. 27-31. 30. Paraphrasing Kamalasiila who considers the view that Buddhism teaches the giving up of all action as a reduction of Buddhism to aajiivikism. Third Bhaavanaakrama, pp. 14, 20-21 in G. Tucci's edition (Minor Buddhist Texts, Part III, Rome: ISMEO, 1971)