Some Mahāsāṃghika Arguments for the Cognition of Nonexistent Objects

Abstract
The present paper explores some pre-Vibhāṣika sources including the Kathāvatthu, *Śāriputrābhidharma, and Vijñānakāya. These sources suggest an early origin of the concept of the cognition of nonexistent objects (asad-ālambana-jñāna) among the Mahāsāṃghikas and some of its sub-schools. These scattered sources also indicate some different aspects of this theory from that held by the Dārṣṭāntikas and the Sautrāntikas. In particular, some Mahāsāṃghika arguments for the cognition of nonexistent objects reveal how a soteriologically-oriented issue gradually develops into a sophisticated philosophical concept.
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Terence Parsons (1982). Are There Nonexistent Objects? American Philosophical Quarterly 19 (4):365 - 371.
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