Tibetan Buddhist scholar-monks have long engaged in face-to-face public philosophical debates. This original study challenges Orientalist text-based scholarship, which has missed these lived practices of Tibetan dialectics. Kenneth Liberman brings these dynamic disputations to life for the modern reader through a richly detailed, turn-by-turn analysis of the monks' formal philosophical reasoning. He argues that Tibetan Buddhists deliberately organize their debates into formal structures that both empower and constrain thinking, skillfully using logic as an interactional tool to organize their reflections. This careful investigation of the formal philosophical work of Tibetan scholars is a pathbreaking analysis of an important classical tradition. An accompanying website that offers examples of debating strategies, videos of actual debates (with English translations), and an interactive debate can be found at http://www.thdl.org/DebateTutorials/.