David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Asian Philosophy 5 (2):109 – 125 (1995)
Abstract Philosophers belonging to the Buddhist school of Sarv?stiv?da believed in the real existence of past and future dharmas. This paper explores the implications, soteriological and philosophical, of an argument for this belief presented at the beginning of an early abhidharma text. The argument is two?fold: that past states of mind can be directly perceived; and that the temporal and causal context of these states of mind, including their karmic future and the possibility of an alternative saving future, can also be directly perceived. The paper relates the Sarv?stiv?dins? theory of time to Buddhist concerns with self?knowledge and with conditional?ity; and suggests that the argument is an early example of their adherence to the epistemological position of Direct Realism
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