Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Second, my aim in quoting these passages is to focus not on individuals but on the general features and
underlying misconceptions of the common view. I realize that leaving one’s sources unnamed is not in line with modern practices, but I can state honestly that I have tried to find passages that give the clearest and most responsible expression of the common view so as to highlight its salient features. I hope that you, the reader, will understand why I have handled these quotations in this way.
In reading this, it seems that one could
take Thanissaro Bhikkhu at face value. Alternatively, one could
read the book through a lens of "attack" and "defend".
Given that, as Frankie Goes To Hollywood pointed out back in the early 80's, "When two tribes
go to war, a point is all that you can score", there's probably more practical value for the reader in accepting Thanissaro Bhikkhus terms of engagement.
Either that or simply put the book down if those terms of engagement are unacceptable to the reader. No one is forcing anyone to read anything, after all, and he is not charging you anything for it.
To read beyond that Introduction simply to complain that it's not how we would have done it, that we demand scholastic citations, that we take offence to certain perceived caricatures, or that we would prefer otherwise in terms of a book on mindfulness seems like an exercise in futility, completely devoid of utility and metta.