Selbst Das selbst ist nicht selbst

Erkenntnis 32 (3):295-340 (1990)
EVEN SELF IS WITHOUT SELF. The Buddhist triad of body, speech and mind and the concept of self as their function are analysed from an analytic philosopher;s point of view. Buddhism is seen as an empirical religion with intersubjective operationalisations of its concepts. The mind is not observable but can be found by empirical methods in the traces of its actions, which can be found in the utterances of speech. Semantical and other paradoxes do not permit the location of mind within the hierarchy of languages. Mind has an active aspect by choosing a suitable frame of reference for every activity of the aspect of speech and is thus irreducible to that aspect. Mind is the space, the essence, indescribable by language, of possible frames of reference for perception and cognition. This absolute aspect of the mind corresponds to an absolute aspect of the self, unique by identitas indiscernibilium, which cannot be perceived, but can be found by the exercise of awareness; while the relative self corresponds to the individual form of cognition and does not therefore presuppose a semantical regress of ever richer metalanguages
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