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Mu

A term borrowed from Zen Buddhism that can be used as an avoiding answer on yes–no questions to avoid a possible false dilemma, e.g. when it is based on false premisses.

Semantically it is comparable to answering “neither … nor”, as in:

Do you have a sister or a brother?
Neither … nor.

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The Japanese word “mu” (Kanji: , Hiragana: ) describes the absence of something. It may be translated as “nothing” or “without”. It is also a central concept in the philosophy of Zen where it is used to show the limitations of a dualist world-view.

As a logical concept, it was made popular in the Western world by Douglas Hofstadter’s book “Gödel, Escher, Bach”.

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Ad Hominem Info is a project to explain and categorize the most common systematic fallacies and fallacies. On this page, you will find a background article that briefly explains an important logical concept, which may be needed to better understand another article in this area.
For more information, please see the main category “logic

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