David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Sophia 50 (3):429-452 (2011)
Although the authors of modern scientific psychology agreed on precious little, Freud and Jung both insisted that any complete science of psychology requires some way to explain the intergenerational inheritance of character traits or personal habits of mind and action. Yet neither they nor their heirs in contemporary philosophy, psychology or cognitive science have been able to provide a plausible conceptual framework, much less a mechanism to account for the conservation of forms of personal agency across multiple lives. Is there a role in contemporary philosophy and psychology for an intergenerational theory of human agency informed by the Buddhist theory of karma? This paper argues the affirmative case, offering both a current scientific reading of karma and a Buddhist scientific approach to the metaphysical and metapsychological problems caused by the divergence of modern science and religion in the West. The model of intergenerational agency I present here is based on a comparative study of ordinary language philosophy in ancient India and the contemporary West. Its premise is that most theories of moral development and psychological agency are limited by the insistence on a substantial or essential ground for the designation of a person or self. Ordinary language philosophy offers greater conceptual freedom because it accepts a distinctively human theory of self as a linguistic construction that refers to mind/body systems and elements in which there is no substantial or essential self. This conceptual freedom permits a model of human agency as an open system of linguistic reference that can be transmitted across generations in the course of language acquisition. Such a system is not merely discursive in that language serves to guide the social construction not just of discursive thinking but also of learned patterns of perception and action mastered together with language in the course of neuropsychological development. This model has implications for both Buddhist and Western worldview, popular and scientific, as well as for bioethics and the practice of psychotherapy
|Keywords||Agency Karma Reincarnation Intergenerational transmission Evolutionary psychology Bioethics Ordinary language philosophy Nagarjuna Chandrakirti Wittgenstein|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
William A. Rottschaefer (1997). The Biology and Psychology of Moral Agency. Cambridge University Press.
S. Matthew Liao (2010). Agency and Human Rights. Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (1):15-25.
John Deigh (1996). The Sources of Moral Agency: Essays in Moral Psychology and Freudian Theory. Cambridge University Press.
David DeMoss (2003). Connectionist Agency. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (2):9-15.
Alfred R. Mele (2005). Motivation and Agency: Precis. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 123 (3):243–247.
Ronald N. Giere (2006). The Role of Agency in Distributed Cognitive Systems. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):710-719.
T. T. J. Kircher & D. Leube (2003). Self-Consciousness, Self-Agency, and Schizophrenia. Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):656-669.
Charles Taylor (1985). Human Agency and Language. Cambridge University Press.
M. Synofzik, G. Vosgerau & A. Newen (2008). Beyond the Comparator Model: A Multi-Factorial Two-Step Account of Agency. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1):219-239.
Ilkka Pyysiäinen (2003). True Fiction: Philosophy and Psychology of Religious Belief. Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):109 – 125.
Bence Nanay (2002). Evolutionary Psychology and the Selectionist Model of Neural Development: A Combined Approach. Evolution and Cognition.
Ilkka Pyysia¨Inen (2003). True Fiction: Philosophy and Psychology of Religious Belief. Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):109-125.
Francesco Amigoni, Viola Schiaffonati & Marco Somalvico (2002). Multiagent System Based Scientific Discovery Within Information Society. Mind and Society 3 (1):111-127.
Lynne Rudder Baker (2011). First-Personal Aspects of Agency. Metaphilosophy 42 (1-2):1-16.
Added to index2011-03-13
Total downloads17 ( #235,515 of 1,938,441 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #281,963 of 1,938,441 )
How can I increase my downloads?