This, the third Volume in this Encyclopedia to deal with Buddhistphilosophy, takes the reader from the middle of the sixth. Many of the authors and texts treated here are not well known to the casual student of Buddhism.
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 (...) class='Hi'>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 Buddhistphilosophy 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)
The Buddhist philosophical tradition is vast, internally diverse, and comprises texts written in a variety of canonical languages. It is hence often difficult for those with training in Western philosophy who wish to approach this tradition for the first time to know where to start, and difficult for those who wish to introduce and teach courses in Buddhistphilosophy to find suitable textbooks that adequately represent the diversity of the tradition, expose students to important primary texts (...) in reliable translations, that contextualize those texts, and that foreground specifically philosophical issues. BuddhistPhilosophy fills that lacuna. It collects important philosophical texts from each major Buddhist tradition. Each text is translated and introduced by a recognized authority in Buddhist studies. Each introduction sets the text in context and introduces the philosophical issues it addresses and arguments it presents, providing a useful and authoritative guide to reading and to teaching the text. The volume is organized into topical sections that reflect the way that Western philosophers think about the structure of the discipline, and each section is introduced by an essay explaining Buddhist approaches to that subject matter, and the place of the texts collected in that section in the enterprise. This volume is an ideal single text for an intermediate or advanced course in Buddhistphilosophy, and makes this tradition immediately accessible to the philosopher or student versed in Western philosophy coming to Buddhism for the first time. It is also ideal for the scholar or student of Buddhist studies who is interested specifically in the philosophical dimensions of the Buddhist tradition. (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)
The doctrine of the two truths - a conventional truth and an ultimate truth - is central to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology. The two truths (or two realities), the distinction between them, and the relation between them is understood variously in different Buddhist schools; it is of special importance to the Madhyamaka school. One theory is articulated with particular force by Nagarjuna (2nd ct CE) who famously claims that the two truths are identical to one another and yet (...) distinct. One of the most influential interpretations of Nagarjuna's difficult doctrine derives from the commentary of Candrakirti (6th ct CE). In view of its special soteriological role, much attention has been devoted to explaining the nature of the ultimate truth; less, however, has been paid to understanding the nature of conventional truth, which is often described as "deceptive," "illusion," or "truth for fools." But because of the close relation between the two truths in Madhyamaka, conventional truth also demands analysis. Moonshadows, the product of years of collaboration by ten cowherds engaged in Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, provides this analysis. The book asks, "what is true about conventional truth?" and "what are the implications of an understanding of conventional truth for our lives?" Moonshadows begins with a philosophical exploration of classical Indian and Tibetan texts articulating Candrakati's view, and uses this textual exploration as a basis for a more systematic philosophical consideration of the issues raised by his account. (shrink)
Comparative philosophy of religions -- Disciplinary challenges -- A grammar for comparison -- Comparative philosophy of religions -- Content, structure, and arguments -- Epistemology -- Religious epistemology in classical India: in defense of a Hindu god -- Interpreting Nyāya epistemology -- The Nyāya argument for the existence of Īśvara -- Defending the Nyāya argument -- Shifting the burden of proof -- Against Īśvara: Ratnakīrti's Buddhist critique -- The section on pervasion: the trouble with natural relations -- Two (...) arguments -- The section on the reason property -- The section on the target property -- Is Īśvara the maker of the world? -- Language, mind, and ontology -- The theory of exclusion, conceptual content, and Buddhist -- Epistemology -- The theory of exclusion -- What exclusion is not -- Semantic value -- Ratnakīrti's inferential argument -- Jñānaśrīmitra's three questions -- Ratnakīrti's world: toward a Buddhistphilosophy of everything -- An inventory of mental objects/images -- The contents of perception -- The contents of inferential/verbal awareness -- Nonexistence, existence, and ultimate existence -- The Īśvara-inference, revisited -- Who created the world? -- The values of Buddhist epistemology -- Foundational figures and foundational texts -- The soteriological significance of epistemology -- Jñānaśrīmitra on epistemology as pedagogy -- Ratnakīrti's framework of value -- Religious reasoning as religious practice. (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.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; Part I. Nihilism and Buddhism: 1. Nietzsche as Buddha; 2. Nietzsche as anti-Buddha; Part II. Suffering: 3. Amor Fati and the affirmation of suffering; 4. Nirvana and the cessation of suffering; Part III. Compassion: 5. Overcoming compassion; 6. Cultivating compassion; Conclusion: toward a new response to the challenge of nihilism.
In this essay, which draws on a set of interrelated issues in the phenomenology of perception, I call into question the assumption that Buddhist philosophers of the Dignāga-Dharmakīrti tradition pursue a kind of epistemic foundationalism. I argue that the embodied cognition paradigm, which informs recent efforts within the Western philosophical tradition to overcome the Cartesian legacy, can be also found– albeit in a modified form–in the Buddhist epistemological tradition. In seeking to ground epistemology in the phenomenology of cognition, (...) the Buddhist epistemologist, I claim, is operating on principles similar to those found in Husserl’s phenomenological tradition. (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 ...
The true man without any rank.--Two dimensions of ego consciousness.--Sense and nonsense in Zen Buddhism.--The philosophical problem of articulation.--Thinking and a-thinking through kōan.--The interior and exterior in Zen.--The elimination of color in Far Eastern art and photography.
Kant's epistemology and the Buddhistphilosophy are an idealism. But these two different philosophies have in themselves the contradictory element, namely the element of the outer sense of bodies and of the inner mind. Although Kant's transcendental idealism and the school Vijnanavadin (唯識學派) acknowledge only the representations and the consciousnesses., the mind need to be affected by the outer part. In Kant's theoretical philosophy the outer sense of bodies plays an alien role. It stands outside the subject. (...) In spite of this, the subject have to relate itself to the outer element. And in the Buddhism, in order to have consciousnesses, the subject have to be transformed from the fundamental ground, the Alayavijnana (第8 識). But the Alyavijnana need to have a certain moment in order to be transformed. In my paper I have concentrated myself on the problem of relation of the mind to the matter. I have tried to see into the way in which these two philosophies develop this relation. Moreover I am also interested in the problem in relation to the theoretical, practical, and aesthetical fields. (shrink)
The dramatic title Against a Hindu God: BuddhistPhilosophy of Religion in India, while accurate enough in some respects, does not do justice to this subtle, densely argued, technically demanding, and often astonishingly wide-ranging book by Parimal Patil. The traces of the doctoral thesis that it was in a previous life are still there, evident in the concern to explain methodology to inquisitorial examiners and the reluctance to let any footnote go by if it can possibly be included. (...) That said, it is a powerfully realized book. Against a Hindu God is structured in such a way as to gradually focus in on the subject of the core third chapter that gives the book its name, Ratnakīrti’s argument in the .. (shrink)
This paper argues that the central philosophical movement in the complex history of Buddhism that originated with Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha and carried on by Nāgārjuna (among other later Buddhist philosophers) shares some common themes with the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey. These themes are the rejection of traditional metaphysics as definitive of philosophy, a return to the correct understanding of the nature of experience, and a particular view about the conduct and nature of philosophy. Dewey (...) is used to illuminate such controversial problems in the Buddhist tradition as why the Buddha is silent about metaphysical questions, what it means to say that everything is anitya, and how we are to understand Nāgārjuna's key concepts of prattyasamutpāda and únyatá. (shrink)
As a critic, I am in the unenviable position of agreeing with nearly all of what Mark does in this lucid, erudite and creative book. My comments will hence not be aimed at showing what he got wrong, as much as an attempt from a Madhyamaka point of view to suggest another way of seeing things, in particular another way of seeing how one might think of how Madhyamaka philosophers, such as Någårjuna and Candrak¥rti, see conventional truth, our engagement with (...) conventional truth, and the status of persons. I suspect that this alternative is also in the minds of earlier Buddhist philosophers, and that Madhyamaka may be more an explicit working out of ideas implicit in the tradition than a radical break. If this suspicion—for which I will not argue here—is correct, this alternative is also available to those to whom Mark refers as “reductionists.” I think that this way of seeing things may put certain ideas in Buddhistphilosophy into better focus, and may indeed make them more attractive as well. (shrink)
The Buddhism has been developed as a philosophical system along with the Brhamanic tradition to maintain a complete and distinct identity of its own thought after Buddha. This paper attempts to understand the basic philosophical foundation of Buddhism. It believes that the Four Noble Truths (ārya-satya) are the original teachings of the Buddha which contained philosophical insights and thoughts like its doctrine of pratītya-samutpāda. It also presumes that the very existence itself produces the whole human predicaments in the form of (...) anxiety, desire, anger, sorrow and pain which are the effects that relate to certain causes. In Buddhism, two revolutionary views, i.e., universal impermanence (anityatā-vāda) and refutation of permanent soul-substance (anātma-vāda) are formulated. These views are the anticipated philosophical ideas of Buddhism which have a parallel to the sceptic philosophy of Hume in western philosophy. (shrink)
Japanese Buddhism is sometimes called “funeral Buddhism” contemptuously. Buddhism is often criticized in that it serves only the dead and does not useful for the living. In truth, the main duties of Buddhist monks are to perform funeral services, maintain graves and perform memorial services for the dead in Japan today. Modern Buddhist leaders in Japan tried to argue against such criticism and insisted that Buddhism in origin was not a religion for the dead but for the living. (...) In the post-modern situation, however, the philosophy of the dead is becoming necessary instead of the philosophy of the living that has been prevalent in modern ages. The living human beings cannot live without thinking of the dead. For example, the war victims in Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Nanjing and other places do not forgive us even today. In this situation, it is necessary to evaluate Buddhist tradition in Japan that shows us the way how to go with the dead. In this paper, first, I will introduce the philosophy of Tanabe Hajime (1885-1962) who insisted the existential co-operation with the dead under the influence of Zen Buddhism and next, examine some Mahayana Buddhist sutras from the viewpoint of the relation between the living and the dead. (shrink)
It has been argued that the use of the concept of ākāra—a mental “form,” “appearance” or “aspect”—in Buddhist epistemological analysis or pramāṇa exhibits continuities with earlier Buddhist thinking about mental processes, in particular in Abhidharma. A detailed inquiry into uses of the term ākāra in pertinent contexts in Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośabhāṣya brings to light different semantic nuances and functions of this term. The characteristic use of ākāra in Buddhist epistemological discourse turns out to be continuous with only some (...) of the nuances it has in Abhidharma. Moreover, ākāra becomes associated with novel explanatory functions in Buddhist pramāṇa. These discoveries underscore the need to pay closer attention to the reuse of terms and concepts, ideas and arguments in Buddhistphilosophy, and to the often subtle adaptations and transformations that formed an integral part of its history. (shrink)