Abstract. Rudyard Kipling, the famous english author of « The Jungle Book », born in India, wrote one day these words: « Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet ». In my paper I show that Kipling was not completely right. I try to show the common ground between buddhist philosophy and quantum physics. There is a surprising parallelism between the philosophical concept of reality articulated by Nagarjuna and the physical concept of reality (...) implied by quantum physics. For neither is there a fundamental core to reality, rather reality consists of systems of interacting objects. Such concepts of reality cannot be reconciled with the substantial, subjective, holistic or instrumentalistic concepts of reality which underlie modern modes of thought. (shrink)
As a specific domain of inquiry, “Buddhist epistemology” (sometimes designated in the specialist literature by the Sanskrit neologism pramāṇavāda, or the “theory of reliable sources of knowledge”) stands primarily for the dialogical-disputational context in which Buddhists advance their empirical claims to knowledge and articulate the principles of reason on the basis of which such claims may be defended. The main questions pursued in this article concern the tension between the notion that knowledge is ultimately a matter of direct experience---which the (...) Buddhist considers as more normative than other, more indirect, modes of knowing---and the largely discursive and argumentative ways in which such experiential claims are advanced. (shrink)
The problem of personal identity is often said to be one of accounting for what it is that gives persons their identity over time. However, once the problem has been construed in these terms, it is plain that too much has already been assumed. For what has been assumed is just that persons do have an identity. A new interpretation of Hume's no-self theory is put forward by arguing for an eliminative rather than a reductive view of personal identity, and (...) by approaching the problem in terms of phenomenology, Buddhist psychology, and the idea of a constructed self-image. (shrink)
This systematic introduction to Buddhist ethics is aimed at anyone interested in Buddhism, including students, scholars and general readers. Peter Harvey is the author of the acclaimed Introduction to Buddhism (Cambridge, 1990), and his new book is written in a clear style, assuming no prior knowledge. At the same time it develops a careful, probing analysis of the nature and practical dynamics of Buddhist ethics in both its unifying themes and in the particularities of different Buddhist traditions. The (...) book applies Buddhist ethics to a range of issues of contemporary concern: humanity's relationship with the rest of nature; economics; war and peace; euthanasia; abortion; the status of women; and homosexuality. Professor Harvey draws on texts of the main Buddhist traditions, and on historical and contemporary accounts of the behaviour of Buddhists, to describe existing Buddhist ethics, to assess different views within it, and to extend its application into new areas. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The canonical Buddhist account of the cognitive processes underlying our experience of the world prefigures recent developments in neuroscience. The developments in question are centered on two main trends in neuroscience research and thinking. The first of these involves the idea that our everyday experience of ourselves and of the world consists in a series of discrete microstates. The second closely related notion is that affective structures and systems play critical roles in governing the formation of such states. Both of (...) these ideas are contained within the Buddhist theory of dependent co-origination. This paper explicates the theory of dependent co-origination in light of the aforementioned developments. It examines the role of the theory of dependent co-origination within Buddhism and it draws attention to critical differences with the neuroscientific account of the same process. Finally, it discusses specific ways in which these differences may be usefully applied to neuroscience research and thinking. (shrink)
This volume collects Jay Garfield's essays on Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Buddhist ethics and cross-cultural hermeneutics. The first part addresses Madhyamaka, supplementing Garfield's translation of Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (OUP, 1995), a foundational philosophical text by the Buddhist saint Nagarjuna. Garfield then considers the work of philosophical rivals, and sheds important light on the relation of Nagarjuna's views to other Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical positions.
This book is a philosophical critique of the Buddhist tradition (not a scholarly work about the Buddhist tradition), applying the standards of judgement developed in 'A Theory of Moral Objectivity'. It is argued that although the Buddhist tradition provides access to the insights of the Middle Way, many other aspects of Buddhist tradition are inconsistent with this central insight. The sources of justified belief in Buddhism, karma, conditionality, concepts of reality, monasticism and Buddhist ethics are all subjected to the (...) same critique. (shrink)
Most modern scholars seem to assume that Buddhist monks in early India had a good knowledge of Buddhist doctrine and at least of basic Buddhist texts. But the compilers of the vinayas or monastic codes seem not to have shared this assumption. The examples presented here are drawn primarily from one vinaya , and show that the compilers put in place a whole series of rules to deal with situations in which monks were startlingly ignorant of both doctrine and text. (...) One of these examples is particularly interesting for what it suggests about the linguistic sophistication of nuns, and another because it presents a case in which a nun is required to fill an important liturgical role in public and in the presence of monks. (shrink)
This work introduces the reader to the central issues and theories in Western environmental ethics, and against this background develops a Buddhist environmental philosophy and ethics. Drawing material from original sources, there is a lucid exposition of Buddhist environmentalism, its ethics, economics and Buddhist perspectives for environmental education. The work is focused on a diagnosis of the contemporary environmental crisis and a Buddhist contribution for positive solutions. Replete with stories and illustrations from original Buddhist sources, it is both informative and (...) engaging. (shrink)
“One should always cherish some ambition to do something in the world. They alone rise who strive.” is the great wording of Dr.Ambedkar. There are two fundamental types of human nature. Creative and possessive. Creative humans use human intellect for creative endeavors which enriches human thought; knowledge and wealth thereby contribute to the development of human heritage for the posterity. Possessive people, on the other hand do not believe in the use of human intellect for creative purpose. Gautam Buddha, Jesus (...) Christ, Guru Nanak, Kabeer, Ravidas, Tukarama, Krantiba Jotirao Phoolay, Periyar and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar they all belong to the great class of Ceative humans called as Humanists in Indian context. Here we studies Ambedkar’s views related to humanism and Buddhism. (shrink)
Early Buddhist Metaphysics provides a philosophical account of the major doctrinal shift in the history of early Theravada tradition in India: the transition from the earliest stratum of Buddhist thought to the systematic and allegedly scholastic philosophy of the Pali Abhidhamma movement. Entwining comparative philosophy and Buddhology, the author probes the Abhidhamma's metaphysical transition in terms of the Aristotelian tradition and vis-à-vis modern philosophy, exploits Western philosophical literature from Plato to contemporary texts in the fields of philosophy of mind and (...) cultural criticism. (shrink)
David Webster explores the notion of desire as found in the Buddhist Pali Canon. Beginning by addressing the idea of a 'paradox of desire', whereby we must desire to end desire, the varieties of desire that are articulated in the Pali texts are examined. A range of views of desire, as found in Western thought are presented as well as Hindu and Jain approaches. An exploration of the concept of ditthi (view or opinion) is also provided, exploring the way in (...) which 'holding views' can be seen as analogous to the process of desiring. Other subjects investigated include the mind-body relationship, the range of Pali terms for desire, and desire's positive spiritual value. A comparative exploration of the various approaches completes the work. (shrink)
Fundamental Buddhist teachings -- Main features of some western ethical theories -- Teravāda ethics as rule-consequentialism -- Mahāyāna ethics before Śāntideva and after -- Transcending ethics -- Buddhist ethics and the demands of consequentialism -- Buddhism on moral responsibility -- Punishment -- Objections and replies -- A Buddhist response to Kant.
It has been claimed that Indian Buddhism, as opposed to East Asian Chan/Zen traditions, was somehow against humour. In this paper I contend that humour is discernible in canonical Indian Buddhist texts, particularly in Indian Buddhist monastic law codes (Vinaya). I will attempt to establish that what we find in these texts sometimes is not only humourous but that it is intentionally so. I approach this topic by comparing different versions of the same narratives preserved in Indian Buddhist monastic (...) law codes. (shrink)
I argue that three recent studies (Imagining the Life Course, by Nancy Eberhardt; Sensory Biographies, by Robert Desjarlais; and How to Behave, by Anne Hansen) advance the field of Buddhist Ethics in the direction of the empirical study of morality. I situate their work within a larger context of moral anthropology, that is, the study of human nature in its limits and capacities for moral agency. Each of these books offers a finely grained account of particular and local Buddhist ways (...) of interpreting human life and morality, and each explores complex conceptions of moral agency. I suggest that these three studies share similar interests in moral psychology, the human being across time, the intersubjective dimensions of moral experience, and what life within a karmic framework looks like. I propose that their contributions offer some of the most refreshing and interesting work generated in Buddhist ethics in the last decade. (shrink)
The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a growing interest in Buddhism, and it continues to capture the imagination of many in the West who see it as either an alternative or a supplement to their own religious beliefs. Numerous introductory books have appeared in recent years to cater to this growing interest, but almost none devotes attention to the specifically ethical dimensions of the tradition. For various complex cultural and historical reasons, ethics has not received as much (...) attention in traditional Buddhist thought as it has in the West. Written by Damien Keown, one of the few experts worldwide who specializes in the area, Buddhist Ethics illustrates how Buddhism might approach a range of contemporary morals ranging from abortion to euthanasia, sexuality to cloning, and even war and economics. (shrink)
In this clearly written undergraduate textbook, Stephen Laumakis explains the origin and development of Buddhist ideas and concepts, focusing on the philosophical ideas and arguments presented and defended by selected thinkers and sutras from various traditions. He starts with a sketch of the Buddha and the Dharma, and highlights the origins of Buddhism in India. He then considers specific details of the Dharma with special attention to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and examines the development of Buddhism in China, (...) Japan, and Tibet, concluding with the ideas of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. In each chapter he includes explanations of key terms and teachings, excerpts from primary source materials, and presentations of the arguments for each position. His book will be an invaluable guide for all who are interested in this rich and vibrant philosophy. (shrink)
Morrison offers an illuminating study of two linked traditions that have figured prominently in twentieth-century thought: Buddhism and the philosophy of Nietzsche. Nietzsche admired Buddhism, but saw it as a dangerously nihilistic religion; he forged his own affirmative philosophy in reaction against the nihilism that he feared would overwhelm Europe. Morrison shows that Nietzsche's influential view of Buddhism was mistaken, and that far from being nihilistic, it has notable and perhaps surprising affinities with Nietzsche's own project of (...) the transvaluation of all values. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to determine the applicability of Buddhist practices in today’s workplaces. The findings were supported by interviews with Buddhist masters and Buddhist business practitioners, as well as literature review, through phenomenological analysis. As a means of presenting the main reasons why Buddhist practices should be considered in contemporary workplaces, a SWOT analysis is presented. In this analysis, a number of strengths for using Buddhist practices in workplaces are listed such as pro-scientific, greater personal responsibility, and (...) healthy detachment, while potential weaknesses such as non-harming, equanimity, and no competition are also reviewed. Both the strengths and the weaknesses could be listed in reverse if applied to a different extent. Among the opportunities were issues such as re-educating the world of business, enhancing personal ownership and a healthier society, while the threats comprised issues such as creating different imbalances, disinterest, and stationary development. (shrink)
Newman Robert Glass argues that there are three workings of emptiness capable of grounding thinking and behavior: presence, difference, and essence. The first two readings, exemplified by Heidegger and Mark C. Taylor respectively, present opposing views of the work of emptiness in thinking. The third, essence, presents a position on the work of emptiness in desire and affect. Glass begins by offering a close analysis of presence and difference. He then fashions his own understanding of essence, or emptiness. He goes (...) on to use this third reading to construct a comprehensive Buddhist position based in desire and affect -- a Buddhism of essence. (shrink)
Introduction: Experiential deconstructive inquiry -- Foundational philosophies and spiritual methods -- Non-duality in Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism -- Ontological differences and non-duality -- Meditative inquiry, questioning, and dialoguing as a means to spiritual insight -- The undoing or deconstruction of dualistic conceptions -- Advaita Vedanta : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- Upaniads that art thou (Tat Tvam Asi) -- Gauapda (c.7th century) : no bondage, no liberation -- Aakara (c.7th-8th century) : there (...) is no apprehender different from this apprehension to apprehend it -- Modern and contemporary masters -- Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) : who am I? -- H.W.L Poonja (1910-1997) : you have to do nothing to be who you are! -- Gangaji (b. 1942) : you are that! -- Advaita Vedanta summary : nothing ever happens -- Zen Buddhism : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- The Lakvatra Sutra and the Vajracchedik Prajñpramit Sutra all things ... are not independent of each other and not two -- Ngrjuna (c.113-213) : Sasra is Nirva -- Eihei Dgen (1200-1253) : if I am already enlightened, why must I practice -- Contemporary masters -- Ekai Korematsu (b. 1948) : return to the spine -- Hgen Yamahata (b. 1935) : why not now -- Zen Buddhism summary : neither being nor non-being is to be taken hold of -- Deconstructive techniques and dynamics of experiential undoing -- Deconstructive techniques common to both traditions -- The teacher-student dynamic -- Key deconstructive techniques -- Unfindability analysis -- Bringing everything back to the here and now -- Paradoxical problems -- Negation -- Dynamics of experiential undoing -- Non-dual experiential space -- Experiential mapping : practitioners in the space -- Experiential undoing in Advaita Vedanta -- Experiential undoing in Zen Buddhism -- Conclusion: Deconstruction of reified awareness. (shrink)
An Essay in Comparative Neurophilosophy -- Preface -- Introduction: Buddhism Naturalized -- The Bodhisattva's Brain -- The Colour of Happiness -- Buddhist Epistemology and Science -- Buddhism as a Natural Philosophy. Buddhist Persons -- Being No-self & Being Nice -- Virtue & Happiness -- Postscript: Cosmopolitanism and Comparative Philosophy.
Bioinformatics is a new field of study whose ethical implications involve a combination of bioethics, computer ethics and information ethics. This paper is an attempt to view some of these implications from the perspective of Buddhism. Privacy is a central concern in both computer/information ethics and bioethics, and with information technology being increasingly utilized to process biological and genetic data, the issue has become even more pronounced. Traditionally, privacy presupposes the individual self but as Buddhism does away with (...) the ultimate conception of an individual self, it has to find a way to analyse and justify privacy that does not presuppose such a self. It does this through a pragmatic conception that does not depend on a positing of the substantial self, which is then found to be unnecessary for an effective protection of privacy. As it may be possible one day to link genetic data to individuals, the Buddhist conception perhaps offers a more flexible approach, as what is considered to be integral to an individual person is not fixed in objectivity but depends on convention. (shrink)
Aiming to complicate this story, Dan Arnold confronts a significant obstacle to popular attempts at harmonizing classical Buddhist and modern scientific thought: since most Indian Buddhists believe that the mental continuum is uninterrupted ...
What turns the continuous flow of experience into perceptually distinct objects? Can our verbal descriptions unambiguously capture what it is like to see, hear, or feel? How might we reason about the testimony that perception alone discloses? Christian Coseru proposes a rigorous and highly original way to answer these questions by developing a framework for understanding perception as a mode of apprehension that is intentionally constituted, pragmatically oriented, and causally effective. By engaging with recent discussions in phenomenology and analytic philosophy (...) of mind, but also by drawing on the work of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, Coseru offers a sustained argument that Buddhist philosophers, in particular those who follow the tradition of inquiry initiated by Dign?ga and Dharmak?rti, have much to offer when it comes to explaining why epistemological disputes about the evidential role of perceptual experience cannot satisfactorily be resolved without taking into account the structure of our cognitive awareness. -/- Perceiving Reality examines the function of perception and its relation to attention, language, and discursive thought, and provides new ways of conceptualizing the Buddhist defense of the reflexivity thesis of consciousness-namely, that each cognitive event is to be understood as involving a pre-reflective implicit awareness of its own occurrence. Coseru advances an innovative approach to Buddhist philosophy of mind in the form of phenomenological naturalism, and moves beyond comparative approaches to philosophy by emphasizing the continuity of concerns between Buddhist and Western philosophical accounts of the nature of perceptual content and the character of perceptual consciousness. (shrink)
Nanotechnology has been proclaimed as a new technology that could bridge the gap between the rich and the poor countries. Indeed many countries in Asia are fast developing their nanotechnological capabilities. However, one needs to take into consideration the role that culture and values play in adoption of nanotechnological policies, keeping in mind that technology and culture are deeply dependent on each other. I offer a criticism of the dependency theory in economic development, which says that there is an unbridgeable (...) divide that the poorer countries cannot cross. As with other powerful technologies, nanotechnology can create as many problems as solutions. I concentrate how insights from the Buddhist tradition, prevalent in Thailand, could illuminate how nanotechnology could be introduced into the lifeworld of a people. (shrink)
Virtuous Bodies breaks new ground in the field of Buddhist ethics by investigating the diverse roles bodies play in ethical development. Traditionally, Buddhists assumed a close connection between body and morality. Thus Buddhist literature contains descriptions of living beings that stink with sin, are disfigured by vices, or are perfumed and adorned with virtues. Taking an influential early medieval Indian Mahayana Buddhist text-Santideva's Compendium of Training (Siksasamuccaya)-as a case study, Susanne Mrozik demonstrates that Buddhists regarded ethical development as a process (...) of physical and moral transformation. Mrozik chooses The Compendium of Training because it quotes from over one hundred Buddhist scriptures, allowing her to reveal a broader Buddhist interest in the ethical significance of bodies. The text is a training manual for bodhisattvas, especially monastic bodhisattvas. In it, bodies function as markers of, and conditions for, one's own ethical development. Most strikingly, bodies also function as instruments for the ethical development of others. When living beings come into contact with the virtuous bodies of bodhisattvas, they are transformed physically and morally for the better. Virtuous Bodies explores both the centrality of bodies to the bodhisattva ideal and the corporeal specificity of that ideal. Arguing that the bodhisattva ideal is an embodied ethical ideal, Mrozik poses an array of fascinating questions: What does virtue look like? What kinds of physical features constitute virtuous bodies? What kinds of bodies have virtuous effects on others? Drawing on a range of contemporary theorists, this book engages in a feminist hermeneutics of recovery and suspicion in order to explore the ethical resources Buddhism offers to scholars and religious practitioners interested in the embodied nature of ethical ideals. (shrink)
From about the fourth to the tenth century Buddhist monks in China engaged in formal, semi-public, religious disputation. I describe the Indian origins of this disputation and outline its settings, procedures, and functions. I then propose that this disputation put its participants at risk of performative contradiction with Buddhist tenets about language and salvation, and I illustrate how some chinese Buddhists attempted to transcend these contradictions, subverting disputation through creative linguistic and extra- linguistic strategies.
This paper investigates the effects of Buddhist ethics on consumers’ materialism, that is, the propensity to attach a fundamental role to possessions. The literature shows that religion and religiosity influence various attitudes and behaviors of consumers, including their ethical beliefs and ethical decisions. However, most studies focus on general religiosity rather than on the specific doctrinal ethical tenets of religions. The current research focuses on Buddhism and argues that it can tame materialism directly, similar to other religions, and through (...) the specific Buddhist ethical doctrines of the Four Immeasurables: compassion, loving kindness, empathetic joy, and equanimity. The empirical results show the following: (1) Buddhism reduces materialism directly and through some of the Four Immeasurables, and (2) despite the doctrine of non-existence of the self, positive emotions toward the self are still present, and the self absorbs the effects of Buddhist ethics on materialism. The latter finding suggests a “resistance of the self” that is coherent with the idea of a consumer who leverages the self to go beyond it. (shrink)
This article develops a new and expanded interpretation of the typology exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism. The proposal refines the categories of what was originally a Christian typology in order to provide a truly cross-cultural and interreligious framework to better understand and compare the most common views of religious diversity found not only in Christianity, but also in Buddhism and other religions. Although building upon Schmidt-Leukel's logical reinterpretation of the typology, the article substantially modifies his framework and understands the typology, not (...) as a comprehensive classification of possible attitudes toward other religions, but rather as an open-ended framework to clarify the nature of the most common theologies of religions that exist in reality. The new interpretation provides a more precise definition of inclusivism that does not conflate inclusivism with the affirmation of a singular maximum, thus distinguishing between absolutistic and non-absolutistic forms of inclusivism. The new interpretation introduces an intermediate position between inclusivism and pluralism called pluralistic inclusivism. The article challenges David Ray Griffin's concept of generic pluralism and proposes a new understanding of pluralism indebted to Raimundo Panikkar. (shrink)
Buddhism has not only produced an influence upon the ancient world culture but is also playing an important role in world affairs today. This article analyzes several important problems in the world today: world peace, disarmament, economic justice, human rights, environmental protection, and universal cooperation in world problem solving. The writer holds that, to solve these problems, we should study Buddhist theory and get some helpful ideas from it.
As a great synthesist for the School of Principles of the Northern and Southern Song dynasties, Zhu Xi’s influence over the School of Principles was demonstrated not only through his positive theoretical creation, but also through his choice and critical awareness. Zhu’s relationship with Confucianism and Buddhism is a typical case; and his activities, ranging from his research of Buddhism (the Chan School) in his early days to his farewell to the Chan School as a student of Li (...) Dong from Yanping and then to his critical awareness of the Chan School, developed in his association with Wang Yingchen, set the entire course of his relationship with Confucianism and Buddhism. It fostered his antagonistic attitude towards the Chan School, which lasted his entire life. Zhu approached the Chan School mainly as an objective social and cultural phenomenon; his discrimination between Confucianism and Buddhism was from an epistemological point of view; and his refutation of the Chan School was mainly from the point of view of language and methodology, an antagonistic attitude of how to face learning. Therefore, his opposition to the Chan School not only directly fostered an awareness of the Confucians of the Ming dynasty against Buddhism, who simply viewed the latter as an external and objective existence, but to a certain extent resulted in the disappearance of the transcendence of the School of Principles, and caused a total change in academic direction during the Ming and Qing dynasties and the formation of the Qianjia Hanxue . What is more, such an opposition to Buddhism continues to influence people’s understanding of the School of Principles. (shrink)
"This paper examines Kant's moral theory and compares it with certain key aspects of oriental (especially Buddhist) moral philosophy. In both cases, we focus on the suggestion that there may be a connection between a person's physical health and moral state. Special attention is paid to the nature of pain, illness, and personal happiness and to their mutual interrelationships. A frequently ignored feature of Kant's approach to morality is his preoccupation with health, and his attempt to interpret it in terms (...) of the moral law. An obvious antithesis of the health-moral imperative would be an illness-pathological imperative; we will regard both as forms imposed on our experience by the human mind. We demonstrate that the Kantian path to understanding the “moral metaphysics of medicine” can be supported by Tibetan medicine and Buddhist ethics. What Buddhism understands as moral law, or “Sila”, corresponds directly to Kant's theory. In both cases, health is the supreme judge that demonstrates whether or not our moral state is justifiable. Our principal intention is to show that, through the power of mind, a person’s moral state can--and in fact does--influence the body, having as its expression either health or illness. By considering the relevance of the Kantian interpretation of morality to medicine, we regard proper attention to the former as the surest path to the goal of maintaining personal health.". (shrink)
In this autoethnographic essay, I reflect on my brief personal experiences of conducting field research on ways in which way a small group of Tibetan Buddhist monks enact a monastic total institution in Ladakh, India. More specifically, I analyze my experiences in view of the relationship between dual and nondual mind, as discussed by Henry Vyner (2002) in Anthropology of Consciousness, and use this analysis to develop preliminary insights into the ways in which a Tibetan Buddhist monastery is constituted.
As Buddhism spread into China, the Mahayana (Dacheng) and Hinayana (Xiaocheng) schools, as well as the kong 空 (empty) or you 有 (being) schools, each developed separately, with all sorts of competing theories emerging. While Chinese Buddhism saw a revival in modern times, Western science also gained ground all over the country, and many scholars, technologists and monks sought to interpret the meaning of kong according the achievements and method of the natural sciences. They used science to interpret (...) the content and methods of Buddhist teachings, ontology, and outlook on life. Of the scholars who did so, Wang Jitong (王季同) and You Zhibiao (尤智表) are the most excellent. (shrink)
In "The Law of Peoples", John Rawls proposes a set of principles for international relations, his "Law of Peoples." He calls this Law a "realistic utopia," and invites consideration of this Law from the perspectives of non-Western cultures. This paper considers Rawls's Law from the perspective of Engaged Buddhism, the contemporary form of socially and politically activist Buddhism. We find that Engaged Buddhists would be largely in sympathy with Rawls's proposals. There are differences, however: Rawls builds his view (...) from the idea of independent nation--states, while the Buddhists see the world more in terms of a single humankind, the members being highly interdependent with one another, and also with the physical world. The Buddhists would also push harder than Rawls for global structures building multilateralism, restrict more severely justifications for war and behavior in war, stress economic justice more heavily, and insist on all the human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (shrink)
Indian Buddhist sources speak of five sins of immediate retribution: murder of mother, father, an arhat, drawing the blood of a buddha, and creating a schism in the monastic community. This category provides the paradigm for sinfulness in Buddhism. Yet even these sins can and will, be expiated in the long run, demonstrating the overwhelmingly positive nature of Buddhist ethics.
The paper argues that empirical work on Buddhist meditation has an impact on Buddhist epistemology, in particular their account of unity of consciousness. I explain the Buddhist account of unity of consciousness and show how it relates to contemporary philosophical accounts of unity of consciousness. The contemporary accounts of unity of consciousness are closely integrated with the discussion of neural correlates of consciousness. The conclusion of the paper suggests a new direction in the search for neural correlates of state consciousness (...) or creature consciousness. (shrink)