David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):75-99 (2010)
In this paper, I take up the problem of the self through bringing together the insights, while correcting some of the shortcomings, of Indo–Tibetan Buddhist and enactivist accounts of the self. I begin with an examination of the Buddhist theory of non-self ( anātman ) and the rigorously reductionist interpretation of this doctrine developed by the Abhidharma school of Buddhism. After discussing some of the fundamental problems for Buddhist reductionism, I turn to the enactive approach to philosophy of mind and cognitive science. I argue that human beings, as dynamic systems, are characterized by a high degree of self-organizing autonomy. Therefore, human beings are not reducible to the more basic mental and physical events that constitute them. I critically examine Francisco Varela’s enactivist account of the self as virtual and his use of Buddhist ideas in support of this view. I argue, in contrast, that while the self is emergent and constructed, it is not merely virtual. Finally I sketch a Buddhist-enactivist account of the self. I argue for a non-reductionist view of the self as an active, embodied, embedded, self-organizing process—what the Buddhists call ‘I’-making ( ahaṃkāra ). This emergent process of self-making is grounded in the fundamentally recursive processes that characterize lived experience: autopoiesis at the biological level, temporalization and self-reference at the level of conscious experience, and conceptual and narrative construction at the level of intersubjectivity. In Buddhist terms, I will develop an account of the self as dependently originated and empty, but nevertheless real.
|Keywords||Buddhism Enaction Self Reductionism Emergence|
|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
Miri Albahari (2006). Analytical Buddhism: The Two-Tiered Illusion of Self. Palgrave Macmillan.
Antonio R. Damasio (1999). The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. Harcourt Brace and Co.
Ezequiel Di Paolo (2009). Extended Life. Topoi 28 (1):9-21.
Shaun Gallagher (2000). Philosophical Conceptions of the Self. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (1):14-21.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Marco Caracciolo (2012). Narrative, Meaning, Interpretation: An Enactivist Approach. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (3):367-384.
Bronwyn Finnigan (2011). How Can a Buddha Come to Act?: The Possibility of a Buddhist Account of Ethical Agency. Philosophy East and West 61 (1):134-160.
Charles Goodman (2009). Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Christian Coseru (2009). Mind in Indian Buddhist Philosophy. In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mark T. Unno (1999). Questions in the Making: A Review Essay on Zen Buddhist Ethics in the Context of Buddhist and Comparative Ethics. [REVIEW] Journal of Religious Ethics 27 (3):507 - 536.
Joanna Rogers Macy (1979). Dependent Co-Arising: The Distinctiveness of Buddhist Ethics. Journal of Religious Ethics 7 (1):38 - 52.
Matthew MacKenzie (2008). Self-Awareness Without a Self: Buddhism and the Reflexivity of Awareness. Asian Philosophy 18 (3):245 – 266.
Added to index2009-05-27
Total downloads120 ( #7,231 of 1,096,251 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #56,841 of 1,096,251 )
How can I increase my downloads?