Buddhist 'Foundationalism' and the Phenomenology of Perception

Philosophy East and West 59 (4):409-439 (2009)
Abstract
In this essay, which draws on a set of interrelated issues in the phenomenology of perception, I call into question the assumption that Buddhist philosophers of the Dignāga-Dharmakīrti tradition pursue a kind of epistemic foundationalism. I argue that the embodied cognition paradigm, which informs recent efforts within the Western philosophical tradition to overcome the Cartesian legacy, can be also found– albeit in a modified form–in the Buddhist epistemological tradition. In seeking to ground epistemology in the phenomenology of cognition, the Buddhist epistemologist, I claim, is operating on principles similar to those found in Husserl’s phenomenological tradition.
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