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)
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 Buddhistliterature 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)
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)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Buddhist funeral cultures of Southeast Asia and China Patrice Ladwig and Paul Williams; 2. Chanting as 'bricolage technique': a comparison of South and Southeast Asian funeral recitation Rita Langer; 3. Weaving life out of death: the craft of the rag robe in Cambodian ritual technology Erik W. Davis; 4. Corpses and cloth: illustrations of the pasukula ceremony in Thai manuscripts M. L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati; 5. Good death, bad death and ritual restructurings: the New (...) Year ceremonies of the Phunoy in northern Laos Vanina Boute;; 6. Feeding the dead: ghosts, materiality and merit in a Lao Buddhist festival for the deceased Patrice Ladwig; 7. Funeral rituals, bad death and the protection of social space among the Arakanese (Burma) Alexandra de Mersan; 8. Theatre of death and rebirth: monks' funerals in Burma François Robinne; 9. From bones to ashes: the Teochiu management of bad death in China and overseas Bernard Formoso; 10. For Buddhas, families and ghosts: the transformation of the Ghost Festival into a Dharma assembly in southeast China Ingmar Heise; 11. Xianghua foshi (incense and flower Buddhist rites): a local Buddhist funeral ritual tradition in southeastern China Yik Fai Tam; 12. Buddhist passports to the other world: a study of modern and early medieval Chinese Buddhist mortuary documents Frederick Shih-Chung Chen. (shrink)
This paper interprets Buddhist meditation from perspectives of Western psychology and explores the common grounds shared by the two disciplines. Cognitive operations in Buddhist meditation are mainly characterized by mindfulness and concentration in relation to attention. Mindfulness in particular plays a pivotal role in regulating attention. My study based on Buddhistliterature corroborates significant correspondence between mindfulness and metacognition as propounded by some psychologists. In vipassan? meditation, mindfulness regulates attention in such a way that attention is (...) directed to monitor the ever-changing experiences from moment to moment so that the practitioner attains the ?metacognitive insight? into the nature of things. In samatha meditation, mindfulness picks an object as the focus of ?selective attention' and monitors whether attention is concentrated on the chosen object so as to attain the state of ?concentration?. Nimitta that appears in a deep state of concentration resembles ?imagery? in psychology. Mindfulness consists in the wholesome functioning of saññ?. A finding by psychologists supports my view that saññ? can act as perception on the one hand and, on the other hand, it can produce nimitta ?imagery? in deep meditation where perception is suspended. (shrink)
Buddhist identity: a Buddhist by any other name? When we talk about a ?Buddhist? or ?Buddhists? in Canada and the United States, what exactly is our referent?a label or category, an identity, or perhaps something more? Is the term ?Buddhist? signifying a reified object (or subject?), one that subsumes all sorts of practices, beliefs, philosophies, and preconceptions under its umbrella? Or can the term be used to signify choice, personal commitment, motivation, partiality, and perhaps even struggle? (...) We have a great many labels and categorizations of the differences among and between Buddhists, but can we really assume that the term ?Buddhist? itself is unproblematic? Calling someone a Buddhist in the West, or ?naming? them as such, appears initially and on the surface a fairly straightforward undertaking. And yet, the very act of naming itself is a composite of assumptions and expectations. In much of the anthropological literature on initiation rituals, the act of naming has been construed as more-or-less a societal quest for order and control of the individual. Naming marks who is ?in? and who is ?out?. Being named is an important marker of social identity, socialness, and social belonging (inter alia, Jell-Bahlsen 1989; Jacquemet 1992; Cohen 1994). (shrink)
In the waning years of Spanish colonization in the Philippines, the ethnic Chinese there began gathering in private homes to carry out devotions to the bodhisattva Guanyin. These seeds of Chinese Buddhism in the Philippines bore fruit as temples began to be built during the American colonial period, and peaked in the decades following the Second World War. Based on fieldwork and the review of available literature, this article traces the development of Chinese Buddhism in the Philippines up to (...) the present time, and argues that religion played an important role in the preservation of ethnic identity for the Chinese Buddhists of the Philippines. This experience will be contextualized through references to the practice of Chinese Buddhism in other overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, and the efforts of Christian churches in the Philippines to link religion and Chinese identity. (shrink)
This question—why did Bodhidharma come from the West?— is ubiquitous in Chinese Ch’an Buddhistliterature. Though some see it as an arbitrary question intended merely as an opener to obscure puzzles, I think it represents a genuine intellectual puzzle: Why did Bodhidharma come from theWest—that is, fromIndia? Why couldn’tChina with its rich literary and philosophical tradition have given rise to Buddhism? We will approach that question, but I prefer to do so backwards. I want to ask instead, “why (...) was it so fortuitous for the development of Buddhist philosophy that Bodhidharma wentEast? I will argue that by doing so he gave a trajectory to Buddhist thought about the mind and knowledge that allows certain issues that are obscure in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, despite their centrality to the Buddhist critique of Indian orthodoxy, to come into sharper relief, and hence to complete a project begun, but not completable, in that Indo-European context. (shrink)
Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani is an essential work of Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophical literature. Written in an accessible question-and-answer style, it contains Nagarjuna's replies to criticisms of his philosophy of the "Middle Way." The Vigrahavyavartani has been widely cited both in canonical literature and in recent scholarship; it has remained a central text in India, Tibet, China, and Japan, and has attracted the interest of greater and greater numbers of Western readers. -/- In The Dispeller of Disputes, Jan Westerhoff offers (...) a clear new translation of the Vigrahavyavartani, taking current philological research and all available editions into account, and adding his own insightful philosophical commentary on the text. Crucial manuscript material has been discovered since the earlier translations were written, and Westerhoff draws on this material to produce a study reflecting the most up-to-date research on this text. In his nuanced and incisive commentary, he explains Nagarjuna's arguments, grounds them in historical and textual scholarship, and explicitly connects them to contemporary philosophical concerns. (shrink)
There are two temptations to be resisted when approaching Buddhist moral theory. The first is to assimilate Buddhist ethics to some system of Western ethics, usually either some form of Utilitarianism or some form of virtue ethics. The second is to portray Buddhist ethical thought as constituting some grand system resembling those that populate Western metaethics. The first temptation, of course, can be avoided simply by avoiding the second. In Buddhist philosophical and religious literature we (...) find many texts that address moral topics, and a great deal of attention devoted to accounts of virtuous and vicious actions, virtuous and vicious states of character and of virtuous and vicious lives. However, we find very little direct attention to the articulation of sets of principles that determine which actions, states of character or motives are virtuous or vicious, and no articulation of sets of obligations or rights. (shrink)
According to the Buddhist concept of ?dependent origination? (prat?tyasamutp?da), discrete factors come into existence because of a combination of causes (hetu) and conditions (pratyaya). Such discrete factors, further, are combinations of five aggregates (pañ caskandha) that, themselves, are subject to constant change. Discrete factors, therefore, lack a self-nature (?tman). The passing through time of discrete factors is characterized by the ?characteristic marks of the conditioned?: birth (utp?da), change in continuance (sthityanyath?tva), and passing away (vyaya); or, alternatively: birth (j?ti), duration (...) (sthiti), decay (jar?), and impermanence (anityat?). In the interpretation of the precise nature of these characteristic marks of the conditioned, and their relation to the discrete factor they characterize, different opinions were prevalent within the Sarv?stiv?da School of Buddhist philosophy, with, judging from later scholastic literature, the views of the D?r???ntika/Sautr?ntika and the Vaibh??ika sub-schools as most prominent ones. The Indian and Chinese Madhyamaka philosophers pointed to the fallacies in the Sarv?stiv?da interpretations of the nature of the characteristic marks of the conditioned and their relation to the discrete factors they characterize, and, hence, to the fallacies in the Sarv?stiv?da interpretations of the concepts ?time? and ?temporality? (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)
The aim of this paper is to compare the contents of the Lotus Stra and the style of presentation of its message with the thrust of the Buddha's teachings as they are preserved in the early Buddhist sources, particularly the Sutta Piaka of the Pāli Canon, and also in the Pāli commentarial literature. In the process it attempts to identify in the early sources the precedents of some of the bold statements in the Lotus Stra which appear as (...) complete innovations, but may be elaborations of elements contained in Pāli sources in germinal form. Despite the difference in style, language and mythological imagery, the conclusion is that both the Sutta Piaka and the Lotus Stra express in their respective manners the true spirit of the Buddhist message. Attention is drawn also to the striking parallels between the Buddhist picture of the multiple universe and modern cosmological theories. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to compare the contents of the Lotus S?tra and the style of presentation of its message with the thrust of the Buddha's teachings as they are preserved in the early Buddhist sources, particularly the Sutta Pi aka of the P?li Canon, and also in the P?li commentarial literature. In the process it attempts to identify in the early sources the precedents of some of the bold statements in the Lotus S?tra which appear (...) as complete innovations, but may be elaborations of elements contained in P?li sources in germinal form. Despite the difference in style, language and mythological imagery, the conclusion is that both the Sutta Pi aka and the Lotus S?tra express in their respective manners the true spirit of the Buddhist message. Attention is drawn also to the striking parallels between the Buddhist picture of the multiple universe and modern cosmological theories. (shrink)
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)
Thanks to the international celebrity of the present Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism is attracting more attention than at any time in its history. Although there have been numerous specialist studies of individual Tibetan texts, however, no scholarly work has as yet done justice to the rich variety of types of Tibetan discourse. This book fills this lacuna, bringing to bear the best methodological insights of the contemporary human sciences, and at the same time conveying to non-specialist readers an impression of (...) the broad domain of Tibetan religious and philosophical thought. For over a millenium a Tibetan Buddhist intelligentsia produced a vast literature in which they explored the legacy of Indian (and to a lesser extent Chinese) Buddhism, often with exceptional rigor and creativity. At the same time, they also articulated perspectives and raised questions that reflected a distinctly Tibetan heritage, above and beyond the impetus derived from foreign sources. The views they generated, Kapstein shows, were often strikingly original. Despite the traditional insistence on the preeminence of the Indian tradition, therefore, the Tibetan transformation of Buddhist discourse is worthy of study in its own right. Ranging widely over the immense corpus of Tibetan literature, Kapstein brilliantly illuminates many of the distinctive Tibetan contributions and points out some of the significant sources of Tibetan Buddhism's historical dynamism. (shrink)
In his famous text the Bodhicaryāvatāra, the 8th century Buddhist philosopher Śāntideva argues that anger towards people who harm us is never justified. The usual reading of this argument rests on drawing similarities between harms caused by persons and those caused by non-persons. After laying out my own interpretation of Śāntideva's reasoning, I offer some objections to Śāntideva's claim about the similar-ity between animate and inanimate causes of harm inspired by contemporary philosophical literature in the West. Following this, (...) I argue that by reading Śāntideva's argument as practical advice rather than as a philosophical claim about rational coherence, his argument can still have important in-sights even for those who reject his philosophical reasoning. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of a proper opponent (phyi rgol yang dag) in debate from the standpoint of the Tibetan Buddhist theory of argumentation. A proper opponent is a person who is engaged in the process of truth-seeking. He is not a debater who undertakes to refute the tenets of a proponent. But rather, he is the model debater to whom a proponent can teach truth by using a probative argument in the most effective way. A proper opponent (...) is thus the model thinker conceived by Tibetan Buddhist scholars, especially by the dGe lugs pa exegetes, to explain the idea of “inference for others.” The term phyi rgol yang dag figures in many text books of the dGe lugs pa school. And the germ of the dGe lugs pa's idea of ``proper opponent'' is found in early Tibetan tshad ma literature, too. The present paper shows that the dGe lugs pa scholars are largely concerned with the process by which one obtains an inferential knowledge about the unknown object, and also that they, when talking about a proper opponent, emphasize the pedagogical role of dialectic conversation rather than the competitive feature of debates. (shrink)
Buddhism traces its origin to the teachings of the historical figure of Gautama, the Buddha. Buddhist system addresses perennial human concerns and articulates profound insights into human nature and thus provides a practical context against the back ground of which it is possible to unravel the meaning of lives. Different branches of this school developed various scriptural traditions. Among them early Buddhist thought branched out into diversity of orders, schools of thought and teaching lineages. Wisdom and compassion are (...) the distinctive marks of Buddhism and this strife-tormented world is in dire need of these qualities. Buddhism not only talks about these qualities, it also illustrates the way how to acquire the same. Post-modernism which is a movement in different fields, culture, philosophy, literature, and arts etc. claims to decentralize the importance of reason. There are many post modern thinkers like, Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze, Guattari, Levinas who worked in their own way and they discerned a shift in the art and culture of their societies from a distinctively modern phase to a postmodernist phase. Considering these observations this paper is motivated by two questions. On the one hand, one is constantly intrigued by the vast treasures of early Buddhist heritage; on the other hand, one is perplexed by the post modern deconstructive method which has some point of similarities with early Buddhistthought. In between these two lines of thinking this paper tries to argue that the better our understanding and appreciation of this ancient legacy of Buddhist treasures becomes, the more able we will be to grasp the lines of post-modern thinking. There are certain concepts of Buddhism namely, language, writing, desire, suffering, death which are all important issues to the post-modern thinkers. The present paper is an effort to high light some of these concepts against the back ground of early Buddhist traditions. (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)
There is no shortage of testimony to literature's puzzling, unsettling, intoxicating, affecting, delighting powers. Nor has there been a shortage of attempts to define literature as a concept, a body of texts or a cultural practice. However, no definition has been able to pin down the peculiarity of literature or to chart our experience of the literary. In this volume, Derek Attridge ask us to confront with him the resistance to definition in order to explore afresh the (...) singularity of literature. In seeking new purchase on the elusive "literary", the author finds himself reflecting upon the history of Western art as a practice and as an institution. At its heart he finds a closely linked trinity of crucial issues: innovation or invention , the uniqueness or singularity of the artwork and, underlying these, the concept of otherness or alterity. Calling for a type of reading that does justice to these aspects of the literary work, he explores literature as event or performance and brilliantly retheorizes its place in the realm of the ethical. The author acknowledges the impossibility of definition and rather offers us an account of his particular "living-through" of the literary in the terms above and invites us to share with him the insights it might offer. The insights in this case are invaluable, as we are offered not only an original framework within which to consider texts, but a clear case for the ethical value of the literary institution to a culture. Never losing sight of the pleasures and potency of our experience of literature, The Singularity of Literature is itself a delight to read. Returning to arguments begun in his influential volume Peculiar Language , Derek Attridge here energizes discussion of the literary by forever shifting the terms of debate and offering new perspectives on questions that haunt every reader. (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)
The relationship of words to the things they represent and to the mind that forms them has long been the subject of linguistic enquiry. Joseph Graham's challenging book takes this debate into the field of literary theory, making a searching enquiry into the nature of literary representation. It reviews the arguments of Plato's Cratylus on how words signify things, and of Chomsky's theory of the innate "natural" status of language (contrasted with Saussure's notion of its essential arbitrariness). In the process, (...) Graham explores the issues of meaning and intentionality in representation, and questions of how the mind represents the world. Graham's use of linguistic theories and models leads him to a new response to Wimsatt's notion of the verbal icon, Stanley Fish's concept of literature as self-consuming artifact, and de Man's idea of its function as an allegory of reading. In showing them in fact to be complementary, he transcends the current controversies among literary theorists, arguing that the solution lies not in epistemology or philosophy, but in psychology and the study of how literature teaches and why humans learn best by example. (shrink)
German classicist's monumental study of the origins of European thought in Greek literature and philosophy. Brilliant, widely influential. Includes "Homer's View of Man," "The Olympian Gods," "The Rise of the Individual in the Early Greek Lyric," "Pindar's Hymn to Zeus," "Myth and Reality in Greek Tragedy," and "Aristophanes and Aesthetic Criticism.".
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.
How should we characterise the view that we can learn about the mind from literature? Should we say that such learning consists in acquiring knowledge of truths? That option is more attractive than it is sometimes made to seem by those who oppose propositional knowledge to practical knowledge or “knowing how”. But some writers on this topic—Lamarque and Olsen—argue that, while literature may express interesting propositions, it is not their truth that matters, but their “content”. Matters to what? (...) To literary criticism, they reply: there is no place in criticism for “debate about the truth or falsity of general statements about human life or the human condition.” I argue, to the contrary, that ideas of truth and truthfulness are woven into the fabric of a kind of criticism that is widespread now and comes with a long and distinguished history. (shrink)
This book examines the complex and varied ways in which fictions relate to the real world, and offers a precise account of how imaginative works of literature can use fictional content to explore matters of universal human interest. While rejecting the traditional view that literature is important for the truths that it imparts, the authors also reject attempts to cut literature off altogether from real human concerns. Their detailed account of fictionality, mimesis, and cognitive value, founded on (...) the methods of analytical philosophy, restores to literature its distinctive status among cultural practices. The authors also explore metaphysical and skeptical views, prevalent in modern thought, according to which the world itself is a kind of fiction, and truth no more than a social construct. They identify different conceptions of fiction in science, logic, epistemology, and make-believe, and thereby challenge the idea that discourse per se is fictional and that different modes of discourse are at root indistinguishable. They offer rigorous analyses of the roles of narrative, imagination, metaphor, and "making" in human thought processes. Both in their methods and in their conclusions, Lamarque and Olsen aim to restore rigor and clarity to debates about the values of literature, and to provide new, philosophically sound foundations for a genuine change of direction in literary theorizing. (shrink)
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)
This is the first comprehensive introduction to Deleuze's work on literature. It provides thorough treatments of Deleuze's early book on Proust and his seminal volume on Kafka and minor literature. Deleuze on Literature situates those studies and many other scattered writings within a general project that extends throughout Deleuze's career-that of conceiving of literature as a form of health and the writer as a cultural physician.
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)
Literature, like the visual arts, posess its own characteristic philosophical problems. Literary theorists have discussed widely the nature of literature, while analytic philosophers have dealt with literary problems within the framework of aesthetics or have restricted themselves to topics which are accessible only to a philosophical audience. Philosophy of Literature is unique in that it introduces the philosophy of literature from an analytic perspective which is both accessible to students of literature and students of philosophy. (...) Specifically, the book addresses: the definition of literature, the distinction between oral and written literature and the identity of literary works. Philosophy of Literature offers fresh approaches to traditional issues and raises new questions about the nature of philosophical problems which literature gives rise to. (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)
This monumental collection of new and recent essays from an international team of eminent scholars represents the best contemporary critical thinking relating to both literary and philosophical studies of literature. Helpfully groups essays into the field's main sub-categories, among them ‘Relations Between Philosophy and Literature’, ‘Emotional Engagement and the Experience of Reading’, ‘Literature and the Moral Life’, and ‘Literary Language’ Offers a combination of analytical precision and literary richness Represents an unparalleled work of reference for students and (...) specialists alike, ideal for course use. (shrink)
Recent philosophical discussion about the relation between fiction and reality pays little attention to our moral involvement with literature. Frank Palmer's purpose is to investigate how our appreciation of literary works calls upon and develops our capacity for moral understanding. He explores a wide range of philosophical questions about the relation of art to morality, and challenges theories that he regards as incompatible with a humane view of literary art. Palmer considers, in particular, the extent to which the values (...) and moral concepts involved in our understanding of human beings can be said to enter into our understanding of, and response to, fictional characters. The scope of his discussion encompasses literary aesthetics, ethics, and epistemology, and he makes extensive reference to literary examples. (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.
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)
Goethe and Wittgenstein -- Criticism without theory -- Wittgenstein's romantic inheritance -- Arnold and the socratic personality -- The dissolution of goodness : measure for measure and classical ethics -- Lamarque and Olsen on literature and truth -- The definition of 'art' -- Poetry and abstraction -- Larkin's 'Aubade'.
The great pessimist who believed in the best and expected the worst from writers here applies his caustic wit to literature and the literary scene. Schopenhauer's piercing analyses of style, critics, literary values, learning, and genius make this volume a handbook on writing--illuminated by the author's own shining, powerful style. The best way to discover the finest qualities of style and to form a theory of writing, he advises, is not to follow a trendy mannerism, but to study the (...) ways in which great authors executed their best work. Schopenhauer provides excellent examples for aspiring writers in this collection of essays from his celebrated work Parerga . Translated by T. Bailey Saunders. (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)
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)
Philosophy of Literature presents six newly-commissioned essays from international scholars that address some of the key issues relating to the philosophy of literature, a thriving and increasingly influential branch of aesthetics Features a half dozen newly commissioned articles from leading scholars in the field of philosophy of literature Focuses on a branch of aesthetics that has not received the attention it deserves Includes a reading on the historical relationship between philosophy and literature with recent developments and (...) projections for the future Contributors include Peter Lamarque (University of York), Peter Kivy (Rutgers University, USA) and Stein Haugom Olsen (University of Bergen, Norway). (shrink)
This book analyses the moral theory of the seventh century Indian Mahayana master, Santideva. Santideva is the author of the well-known religious poem the Bodhicaryavatara (Entering the Path of Enlightenment) , as well as the significant, but relatively overlooked, Siksasamuccaya (Compendium of Teachings) . Both of these works describe the nature and path of the bodhisattva, the altruistic spiritual ideal especially exalted in Mahayana literature. With particular focus on the Siksasamuccaya , this work offers a response to three questions: (...) What is Santideva's moral theory? How does it compare to other analyses of Buddhist ethics? Can one moral theory adequately describe Buddhist moral thought? An exegetical account of the bodhisattva path as outlined in the Siksasamuccaya is provided by textual analysis and translations. The central moral concept of this Buddhist thinker and Santideva's ethical presuppositions and moral reasoning are brought to light by analysing the use of key moral terms and comparing them to other Buddhists' principles. It is also considered in relation to dominant Western ethical theories. By focusing on a neglected Buddhist Sanskrit text by a major Mahayana figure, Barbra Clayton helps to redress a significant imbalance in the scholarship on Buddhist ethics, which has up to now focused primarily on the ethics of the Pali literature and as interpreted in the Theravada tradition. (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)
Being in Time is a provocative and accessible essay on the fragmentation of the self as explored in philosophy and literature. This original study is unique in its focus on the literary aspects of philosophical writing and their interactions with philosophical content. It explores the emotional aspects of the human experience of time commonly neglected in philosophical investigation by looking at how narrative creates and treats the experience of the self as fragmented and the past as "lost." Genevieve Lloyd (...) demonstrates the continuities and the contrasts between modern philosophic discussions of the instability of the knowing subject, treatments of the fragmentation of the self in the modern novel, and older philosophical discussions of the unity of consciousness. Combining theoretical discussion with human experience, Being in Time will be important reading to anyone interested in the relationship between philosophy and literature, as well as to more general audience of readers who share Augustine's experience of time as making him a "problem to himself.". (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.
This timely book argues that the institutionalisation of literary theory, particularly within American and British academic circles, has led to a sterility of thought which ignores the special character of literary art. Mark Edmundson traces the origins of this tendency to the ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry, in which Plato took the side of philosophy; and he shows how the work of modern theorists - Foucault, Derrida, de Man and Bloom - exhibits similar drives to subsume poetic art into (...) some 'higher' kind of thought. Challenging and controversial, this book should be read by all teachers of literature and of theory, and by anyone concerned about the future of institutionalised literary studies. (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 ...
Although existentialism and evolutionary biology might appear to be polar opposites, with the former denying a role for “human nature” and the latter emphasizing it, there are some unrecognized parallels. One in particular is that both disciplines assume that human life is not inherently meaningful, such that any attribution of meaning must arise from human actions. The present article traces some of this intellectual correspondence in the realm of literature.
Maurice Blanchot, the eminent literary and cultural critic, has had a vast influence on contemporary French writers—among them Jean Paul Sartre and Jacques Derrida. From the 1930s through the present day, his writings have been shaping the international literary consciousness. The Space of Literature , first published in France in 1955, is central to the development of Blanchot's thought. In it he reflects on literature and the unique demand it makes upon our attention. Thus he explores the process (...) of reading as well as the nature of artistic creativity, all the while considering the relation of the literary work to time, to history, and to death. This book consists not so much in the application of a critical method or the demonstration of a theory of literature as in a patiently deliberate meditation upon the literary experience, informed most notably by studies of Mallarme;, Kafka, Rilke, and Hölderlin. Blanchot's discussions of those writers are among the finest in any language. (shrink)