We're all given the same twenty-four hours a day. We can spend our time feeling hurried and harried, overwhelmed by chores and demands, distracted and burned out . . . or we can awaken to Buddha Standard Time, the realm of timelessness where every choice, every action, and every breath can be one of renewal and infinite possibilities. Buddha Standard Time shares one of the great realizations of Buddhism, an insight that anyone can learn to apply. (...) The minutes and hours of our days do not simply march from future to present to past. Rather, each moment is intersected by a fourth dimension. By learning to live in this dimension-Buddha Standard Time-we reduce the amount of stress in our lives and find greater focus, fulfillment, creativity, and even wisdom. Drawing on Tibetan Buddhism and other great wisdom traditions, as well as on neuroscience and holistic traditions, renowned teacher and national bestselling author Lama Surya Das shares real world examples, practical exercises, and essential techniques. The pace and pressure of today's world feels relentless. That is why, now more than ever, we need the ancient wisdom contained in Buddha Standard Time. Far from being at the mercy of time's demands, we will finally realize that we have, in fact, all the time in the world. (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)
For Vajrayana Buddhism, the now is an interval, a boundary, a point of tension and suspension with an atmosphere of uncertainty. It is a bifurcation point of variable length; its name is “bardo.” The bardo is immersed in the conventional, or “seeming” reality. It emerges from what is called the “unstained” ultimate or primordial emptiness or “basal clear light.” Further, the ultimate (basal clear light) is not the sphere of cognition. Cognition, including cognition of time, belongs to (...) conventional reality. Buddhahood, in contrast, is a condition of uncompounded knowledge where basic mind blossoms without temporal or other cognitive distinctions, unmade, unfabricated, luminous and pristine. -/- Cyclical existence involves both the ultimate and the conventional as it moves through six bardos—all of which are the effulgent of the basal clear light—until Buddhahood. The six are: the bardo of this life (or birth); the bardo of dream; the bardo of meditation; the bardo of dying; the bardo of dharmata (or reality); and the bardo of existence. Each realm is both ultimate and conventional, and has specific initiation-based yogas to investigate these differences. The process of transition from one to the next involves at least three bodies, one mind, and aspects of speech. -/- In each bardo, the character of the now as embodiment and temporal knowing varies yet a complete and consistent cross-bardo yogic wisdom leads to its total cessation in the basal clear light; the now is extinguished. -/- The author presents, from the viewpoint of a knowledgeable practitioner of over 30 years, an essay on Vajrayana Buddhist time, drawing implications for Fraser’s time typology. The essay will draw from English translations of significant older, tantric texts on dream yoga (Tsongkhapa, 1996), deity yoga (Fremantle, 2001), the Chod (Edou, 1996), tantric time (T. Gyatso, 1985; Prasad, 1991; Berzin,1997; Lamrimpa, 1999; and K. Gyatso, 2004), the bardo of death (Fremantil 2001), and empowerment (Rangdrol, 1993). Useful practices that can be applied by the audience to test the tradition and author’s assertions will be suggested (Tulku, 1977). (shrink)
Pure Land Buddhism ascribes to Amida some of the roles ascribed to God by Whitehead. The failure of Whiteheadians to clarify how God can play these roles also leaves doubtful the claim of Pure Land Buddhism. On the other hand, Whitehead’s emphasis on perpetual perishing reinforces the original Buddhist teaching of impermanence and together they provide the basic insight for authentic life.
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)
Visit the author's Web site at www.11PicsOfTime.com Time is a mystery that has perplexed humankind since time immemorial. Resolving this mystery is of significance not only to philosophers and physicists but is also a very practical concern. Our perception of time shapes our values and way of life; it also mediates the interaction between science and religion both of which rest fundamentally on assumptions about the nature of time. C K Raju begins with a critical exposition (...) of various time-beliefs, ranging from the earliest times through Augustine, Newton and Einstein to Stephen Hawking and current notions of chaos and time travel. He traces the role of organised religion in subverting time beliefs for its political ends. The book points out how this resulted in a facile dichotomy between 'linear' and 'cyclic' time, thereby inaugurating a confusion which, according to the author, has handicapped Western thought ever since, eventually influencing the content of science itself. Thus, this book daringly asserts that physical theory, traditionally regarded as amoral and objective, has depended on cultural beliefs about time. The author points out that time beliefs are again being manipulated today as the credibility of science is being exploited to promote a picture of time and, hence, a pattern of human behaviour which is convenient to the agenda of globalisation of culture. The linkages between modern theology and this 'brave new physics' are traced against the wider context of the so-called 'clash of civilisations', and the attempts to remake the world order. The conclusions point to the need to de-theologise time. The author challenges Einstein's understanding of relativity theory and suggests that a 'tilt in the arrow of time', or a small tendency towards cyclicity, will help repair the prevalent confusion about time. A 'tilt' also enables a physics that permits both memory and creativity, so that purpose and spontaneous growth of order are returned to human life. The book ends with a vision of Man as Creator, surprising God. Extensive research in physics, the history of science, comparative religions, and sociology lend weight to the important and challenging conclusions reached by the author. Written as a rejoinder to Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, this book goes much further and, unlike any previous book, it gives a critical exposition of various world religions-Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism-while exploring their intricate links, through time beliefs, to current physics on the one hand, and to global political and economic trends, on the other. This book will appeal to scholars and laypersons equally. It will fascinate anyone who reads it and will teach its readers to question the unquestionable. (shrink)
A well-known feature of great works of art is their power to “live on” long after the moment of their creation – to remain vital and alive long after the culture in which they were born has passed into history. This power to transcend time is common to works as various as the plays of Shakespeare, the Victory of Samothrace, and many works from early cultures such as Egypt and Buddhist India which we often encounter today in major art (...) museums. -/- What is the nature of this power and how does it operate? The Renaissance decided that works of art are timeless, “immortal” – immune from historical change – and this idea has exerted a profound influence on Western thought. But do we still believe it? Does it match our experience of art today which includes so many works from the past that spent long periods in oblivion and have clearly not been immune from historical change? -/- This book examines the seemingly miraculous power of art to transcend time – an issue widely neglected in contemporary aesthetics. Tracing the history of the question from the Renaissance onwards, and discussing thinkers as various as David Hume, Hegel, Marx, Walter Benjamin, Sartre, and Theodor Adorno, the book argues that art transcends time through a process of metamorphosis – a thesis first developed by the French art theorist, André Malraux. The implications of this idea pose major challenges for traditional thinking about the nature of art. (shrink)
In South Asia, the period between 1100 and 1300 CE was a particularly prolific time for theorists from India's three main indigenous religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism - to articulate their views on the face-to-face gift encounter. Their gift theories shaped a cosmopolitan sensibility that shared ethical and aesthetic values that reached across regional, sectarian, and religious boundaries. This book explores the ethical and social implications of unilateral gifts of esteem, offering a perceptive guide to the uniquely (...) South Asian contributors to theoretical work on the gift. (shrink)
This compelling study of the Ri-me movement and of the major Buddhist lineages of Tibet is comprehensive and accessible. It includes an introduction to the history and philosophy of the Ri-me movement; a biography of the movement's leader, the meditation master and philosopher known as Jamgon Kongtrul the Great; helpful summaries of the eight lineages' practice-and-study systems, which point out the different emphases of the schools; an explanation of the most hotly disputed concepts; and an overview of the old and (...) new tantras. Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1813-1899) is a giant in Tibetan history, renowned for his scholarly and meditative achievements, but also for his energetic yet evenhanded work to unify and strengthen the different lineages of Buddhism. The Ri-me movement, led by Kongtrul and several other leading scholars of the time, was a unifying effort to cut through interscholastic divisions and disputes that were occurring between the different lineages. These leaders sought appreciation of the differences and acknowledgment of the importance of variety in benefiting practitioners with different needs. The Ri-me teachers also took great care that the teachings and practices of the different schools and lineages, and their unique styles, did not become confused with one another. This lucid survey of the Ri-me movement will be of interest to serious scholars and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. (shrink)
Both Buddhism and Marxism have strengths and weaknesses in helping us to understand human experiences and social problems. Rather than trying to create a synthesis of the two perspectives, I attempt to discern the elements in each which can help us experience better lives and be more effective political activists. Buddhism identifies those understandings and practices which lead to greater happiness and less suffering in response to existential challenges that we all must face as mortal human beings, irrespective (...) of the particular family, society, or historical era that we live in. But while Buddhism captures certain basic aspects of universal human experience, it does not take account of the interaction or dialectic between humans qua social beings and the relatively permanent social structures that humans both reinforce and challenge in the course of history. The latter is the province of a radical social theory, such as Marxism. At the same time, however, Marxism does not address the ways in which, at an experiential level, life causes suffering and anguish irrespective of the social context. (shrink)
The modern hospice movement is generally understood to have begun with the founding in 1967 by Cicely Saunders of the St. Christopher's Hospice in the United Kingdom. As the movement has grown, it has inspired Buddhists in Asia to rediscover and revive their own traditions around death and caring for the terminally ill and the bereaved that date back to the time of the Buddha. In Asia and the West as well, we are witnessing the work of several groups (...) attempting to apply Buddhist teachings and practices in modern medical settings or develop new institutions for holistic care based in Buddhist values. This paper draws on research conducted by the Ojo and Death Project established in 2006 by the Jodo Shu Research Institute (JSRI) in Tokyo, that is to be published in a volume by Wisdom Publications under the title, Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved: Global Perspectives edited by Watts and Tomatsu (2012).1 It shows some of the innovative work that Buddhists in Asia and the West are doing in the area of caring for the terminally ill and, also, the bereaved, explores issues that can be seen especially well in the Japanese context, and reviews shared fundamental issues that emerged across the whole range of organizations studied over the first five years of this research programme. (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)
I distinguish paradoxes and hypodoxes among the conundrums of time travel. I introduce ‘hypodoxes’ as a term for seemingly consistent conundrums that seem to be related to various paradoxes, as the Truth-teller is related to the Liar. In this article, I briefly compare paradoxes and hypodoxes of time travel with Liar paradoxes and Truth-teller hypodoxes. I also discuss Lewis’ treatment of time travel paradoxes, which I characterise as a Laissez Faire theory of time travel. Time (...) travel paradoxes are impossible according to Laissez Faire theories, while it seems hypodoxes are possible. (shrink)
This paper outlines some key issues that arise when agency and temporality are considered jointly, from the perspective of psychology, cognitive neuroscience, phenomenology, and action theory. I address the difference between time simpliciter and time as represented as it figures in phenomena like intentional binding, goal-oriented action plans, emulation systems, and ‘temporal agency’. An examination of Husserl’s account of time consciousness highlights difficulties in generalizing his account to include a substantive notion of agency, a weakness inherited by (...) explanatory projects like neurophenomenology. I conclude by sketching a project analogous to the projects in neurophenomenology, based on Thompson’s naïve action theory. (shrink)
I gave the name “R theory of <span class='Hi'>time</span>" to the Buddhist philosophy of <span class='Hi'>time</span> (and the Buddhist philosophy of atomism ) in my 2005 article in The 'Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies because after studying the currently discussed non Buddhist philosophies of <span class='Hi'>time</span> that have been offered to us by many physicists and analytic philosophers (these theories are discussed below), I found that they seemed to not agree as much as I thought theories (...) of <span class='Hi'>time</span> should with the findings of quantum physicists. Rather, the non Buddhist philosophies of <span class='Hi'>time</span> seemed to only be in agreement with relativistic physics, but not at all in agreement with quantum physics. But on the other hand, it seemed to me that the Buddhist philosophy of <span class='Hi'>time</span> agreed best with quantum theory, and thus I published an article about the Buddhist philosophy of <span class='Hi'>time</span> in order to try to show why. (shrink)
Thinking about time travel is an entertaining way to explore how to understand time and its location in the broad conceptual landscape that includes causation, fate, action, possibility, experience, and reality. It is uncontroversial that time travel towards the future exists, and time travel to the past is generally recognized as permitted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, though no one knows yet whether nature truly allows it. Coherent time travel stories have added flair to (...) traditional debates over the metaphysical status of the past, the reality of temporal passage, and the existence of free will. Moreover, plausible models of time travel and time machines can be used to investigate the subtle relation between space-time structure and causality. -/- It surveys some philosophical issues concerning time travel and should serves as a quick introduction. It includes a new and improved way to define a time machine. (shrink)
McTaggart famously argued that time is unreal. Today, almost no one agrees with his conclusion. But his argument remains the locus classicus for both the A-theory and the B-theory of time. I show how McTaggart’s argument provided the impetus for both of these opposing views of the nature of time. I also present and defend what I take to be the correct view of the nature of time.
: Concerning time, we have many puzzles, such as what eternity is, how it is related to the passage of time, whether the passage of time is irreversible, whether things past are no longer, whether the future is non-predictable, whether or not the present exists, and so on. This article is an attempt to discuss such experiences of the passage of time. First, a Buddhist practice in the Dzogchen tradition that deals with the experience of the (...) passage of time will be introduced, then Longchenpa’s concept of four times (dus-bzhi) will be analyzed and its significance to the history of Buddhism discussed. Next, Heidegger’s concept of four-dimensional time and its elaboration by later philosophers will be discussed. It will conclude with the similarities and differences between the four-dimensional time theories as found in these two diverse traditions, and the possible reasons for their striking similarities. (shrink)
Dharmakīrti, elaborating one of the Buddhist tradition's most complete defenses of rebirth, advanced some of this tradition's most explicitly formulated arguments for mind-body dualism. At the same time, Dharmakīrti himself may turn out to be vulnerable to some of the same kinds of arguments pressed against physicalists. It is revealing, then, that in arguing against physicalism himself, Dharmakīrti does not have available to him what some would judge to be more promising arguments for dualism (arguments, in particular, following Kant's (...) 2nd Critique) – and indeed, that these arguments actually cut against Dharmakīrti's own position. After elaborating and characterizing Dharmakīrti's case for rebirth, then, this article briefly considers an argument that Dharmakīrti cannot himself enlist for this purpose. (shrink)
Comparisons, and by that I mean the hunt for essential similarities or at least serious family resemblances, between the ethical views of Western and non-Western thinkers have been a staple of comparative philosophy for quite some time now. Some of these comparisons, such as between the views of Aristotle and Confucius, seem especially apt and revealing. However, I’ve often wondered whether Western “ethical theory”—virtue ethics, deontology, or consequentialism—is always the best lens through which to approach non-Western ethical thought. Particularly (...) when the discussion has turned to Buddhism and Buddhist ethics, theories of this sort at best seem to have an uncertain application. This is not to say that .. (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)
Certain philosophers and scientists have noticed that there are data that do not seem to fit with the traditional view known as the Mind/Brain Identity theory (MBI). This has inspired a new theory about the mind known as the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition (HEC). Now there is a growing controversy over whether these data actually require extending the mind out beyond the brain. Such arguments, despite their empirical diversity, have an underlying form. They all are disputes over where to draw (...) the line between intrinsic and relational causal powers. The second-century Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna deals with similar issues when he argues for a middle way between the two positions that were known in his time by the terms eternalism and nihilism. Eternalism, like MBI, asserts that the mind is a permanent enduring substance (although the two theories disagree as to how long mind endures). Nihilism argued that the mind had no intrinsic existence, and today some argue that HEC could lead us to a similar conclusion. Nagarjuna's argument for a middle way between these two extremes is similar to an argument that can be made for HEC. We can accept that neither the brain nor any other single physical item is identical to the mind without falling down the slippery slope that leads to "The mind does not really exist, and therefore we are one with everything." Nagarjuna was correct to say that the mind has conventional reality—that the mind exists even though there is no sharp border between the mind and the world. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt a philosophical analysis of the Chinese Buddhist thought of linguistic reference to shed light on how the Buddhist understands the way language refers to an ineffable reality. For this purpose, the essay proceeds in two directions: an enquiry into the linguistic thoughts of Sengzhao (374-414 CE) and Jizang (549-623 CE), two leading Chinese Madhyamika thinkers, and an analysis of the Buddhist simile of a moon-pointing finger. The two approaches respectively constitute the horizontal and vertical axes (...) of this essay. The simile of a moon-pointing finger originated in Indian Buddhism and later received much attention in Chinese Buddhism. In light of the Chinese Buddhist interpretations of the simile, I set forth six theses to make explicit the philosophic implications there involved. They are: (1) words in no way correspond with the ineffable Real and cannot say or properly express the Real; (2) words can point toward the Real by means of the forms meant or properly expressed by them; (3) the forms are plainly different from the Real and so are to be negated; (4) one who takes the forms for the Real not only misunderstands the Real but is also ignorant of the function of language; (5) the forgetting of words and their forms can dissolve the entanglement of language and thought and even lead to the intuition of the Real; (6) the intuition of the Real depends upon extra-linguistic factors as well as language. In elaborating the theses, I resort to passages in Sengzhao’s and Jizang’s works to disclose their linguistic thoughts in relation to the theses. A main concern here is to show how one can speak the unspeakable, how one can refer to an ineffable reality without committing self-contradiction. This is done in relation to their views, the theses as well as a free interpretive analysis. I construe the notion of indication as involving the imposition-cum-negation method and argue that one can use words to indicate the ineffable without at the same time describing it. The ineffable is indescribable, but it can be intimated through indication. Meanwhile, I also discuss Zhuangzi’s notion of word-forgetting as it plays a role in the simile and in Jizang’s philosophy of language. One of the purposes of this essay is to show that while valuing the therapeutic and evocative functions of religious language, Chinese Buddhist thinkers also understand the language indicatively. Without taking note of the indicative function of religious language, one cannot form an adequate picture of the Chinese Buddhist -- especially, the Chinese Madhyamaka -- philosophy of language. (shrink)
Over twenty-two years have passed since the beginning of the lexicographical compilation that has resulted in what is presently named the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (DDB), and over thirteen years have passed since its installation on the WWWeb. Originally uploaded with approximately 3,200 entries, this compilation of terms, text names, person names, school names, etc., contains, at the time of this writing, over 45,000 entries, based on the contributions of 57 individuals. The DDB is also subscribed to by (...) twenty university libraries from top-rated institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia. Originally viewed by its creator primarily as a lexicographical tool for the translation of Buddhist canonical texts, the DDB is now fulfilling that role to a degree that is enhanced greatly by the concurrent maturation of canonical text digitization projects undertaken by the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA), the SAT Taishō Daizōkyō, Research Institute for Tripiṭaka Koreana (RITK), and the digital Hanguk bulgyo jeonseo (HBJ). As the usage of these digital canons grows in scope and sophistication, translators around the world can benefit immensely by the integrated usage of digital canons and the DDB, both through its web implementation and the usage of localized tools. This paper discusses some of the main benefits of combined usage of digital text and digital lexicon. (shrink)
I thank Professors Finnigan and Garfield (Jay) and the editors of Philosophy East and West for inviting me to join in this discussion of Chinese Buddhism. I have not taken many opportunities in my career to write about Zen Buddhism and Daoism, although I have been fascinated by their connection. I remember quite clearly a discussion I had with Jay some years back in which I broached the idea that Daoism had contributed important dialectical steps leading to the (...) formulation of Zen, which I join the Chinese tradition in regarding as the highest version of the Buddhist insight. Jay argued to me at that time that the necessary insights were actually all available in Nāgārjuna. I am accordingly pleased to see him .. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the claim that early Buddhism could be interpreted as an empirical philosophy. Made in a time when verifiable foundations were thought to lend credence to a system of belief, the assertion served to differentiate Buddhism from a “mystical” Hinduism and even to give it a leg up over theistic religions. The position of this paper is that the Buddhist Empiricism Thesis is most certainly false. That position is arrived (...) at via a close examination of Buddhist means to knowledge and doctrinal content, which unfortunately entails taking only the most shallow view of a deep subject matter. This superficiality is no reflection on Buddhist belief, but rather is the necessary effect of refuting empirical claims for beliefs which are much more than merely “verifiable”. (shrink)
In the Classical world, the language of cosmology was a means for framing philosophical concerns. Among these were issues of time, motion, and soul; concepts of the limited and the unlimited; and the nature and basis of number. This is no less true of Indian thought-Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Ājivika-where the prestige of the cosmological idiom for organizing philosophical and theological thought cannot be overstated. This essay focuses on the structural similarities in the thought of Plotinus and Buddhist cosmological/philosophical (...) speculation. It builds on research concerning the Buddha-field (buddhakṣetra), which identified two discrete numerologies central to this speculation: the thousands of worlds (sāhasralokadhātu) comprising the field of a single Buddha (buddhakṣetra), characteristic of the Hinayana, and the innumerable or incalculable (asaṃkhyeya) Buddha-fields filling the ten regions of space, characteristic of the Mahāyāna. The Enneads of Plotinus serve as a lens through which to view in a fresh way a broad range of difficult issues associated with Buddhist cosmology in three general areas. First, it asks whether Plotinus' understanding of Intellect and his treatment of infinite and essential number afford an understanding of the innumerables and thousands central to the concept of the Buddhā-field. This analysis involves a consideration of the Hindu creator god, Brahma, as 'demiurge.' Second, it suggests analogies between the One, Intellect, and Soul of Plotinus and the three Buddhist Realms-the Formless Realm, the Realm of Form, and the Realm of Desire. Finally, it explores the possibility that an understanding of the Enneads can provide a model for relating the cosmologies of the Hīnayāna and the Mahāyāna. (shrink)
This highly original work explores the concept of self-awareness or self-consciousness in Buddhist thought. Its central thesis is that the Buddhist theory of self-cognition originated in a soteriological discussion of omniscience among the Mahasamghikas, and then evolved into a topic of epistemological inquiry among the Yogacarins. To illustrate this central theme, this book explores a large body of primary sources in Chinese, Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan, most of which are presented to an English readership for the first time. It (...) makes available important resources for the study of the Buddhist philosophy of mind. (shrink)
It sometimes happens that advances in one area of philosophy can be applied to a quite different area of philosophy, and that the result is an unexpected significant advance. I think that this is true of the philosophy of time and meta-ethics. Developments in the philosophy of time have led to a new understanding of the relation between semantics and metaphysics. Applying these insights to the field of meta-ethics, I will argue, can suggest a new position with respect (...) to moral discourse and moral reality. This new position retains the advantages of theories like moral realism and naturalism, yet is immune to many of their difficulties. (shrink)
Time is the greatest modern scarcity. What used to be considered signs of success--being busy, having many responsibilities, being involved in many projects or activities--are today being felt as afflictions. The bestselling author of Money and the Meaning of Life, philosopher Jacob Needleman, shows how to take a bold and unconventional approach to time. The aim: to get more out of it by breaking free of our illusions about it. Needleman dispenses with tricks and techniques that only serve (...) to make our obsessiveness more "efficient." Instead he shows how we can understand what our days are for. It's this understanding that allows time to finally begin to "breathe" in our lives. People can learn to experience time more purposefully and meaningfully. We need not be at time's mercy. Needleman rejects time-management techniques in order to reveal ancient and little-known modern practices for exploring one's internal clock. He reveals how time is experienced by the soul. Drawing on the wisdom literature that chronicles the ways of Buddhists, poets, and philosophers, one learns: What it could mean to chart one's real past, unclouded by emotions How memory can lie to us Why we need not be obsessed with the future How to experience time so that it is not an enemy robbing us of the joy of life How to have more "nonpsychological time," or "time of the heart [that] does not move," such as moments of ecstasy or joy in which time is cut off from the physical world How to experience the gifts of time. (shrink)
Antje Jackelén's Time and Eternity successfully employs the method of correlation and a close study of the question of time to enter the dialogue between science and theology. Hermeneutical attention to language is a central element of this dialogue, but we must be aware that much science is untranslatable into ordinary language; it is when we get to the bigger metaphysical assumptions of science that true dialogue begins to happen. Thus, although the method of correlation is a useful (...) way to approach this dialogue, there is not a strict equivalence in this relationship. Theology needs science more than science needs theology. In speaking of time and God we must keep in mind the relational nature of classical Christian theism, even in its most austere forms. We should not read Enlightenment ideas of God back into the classical Christian tradition or neglect the apophatic emphasis in Christian theism, which warned against assuming knowledge of the divine nature. God's relation to time always lies beyond our understanding. Studying the effects of either the Newtonian or Einsteinian concepts of time on our theological concepts should not detract our attention from the "lived time" that characterizes human experience. Consideration of the notion of time in the Madhyamaka Buddhist tradition reminds us that we cannot control the inner reality of time and that for humans time is something to be considered pragmatically. (shrink)
Dōgen's views of time are descriptively compared to the modern western philosophical view called "B-theory" and found to contain elements of each of the four main tenets of the B-theory. Furthermore, a fundamental incongruency is discovered. Even accounting for traditional Buddhist approaches to apparent contradictions, Dōgen's problems in this regard call into question the assumption of consistency that has characterized modern interpretations of his views on time.
I would like to thank the Sangha for inviting me to speak with you tonight. Some of you may be wondering what Measure H has to do with the Buddhadharma and why we are taking time during the period for sutra lectures to discuss it. I think it's very important to remember that all dharmas are Buddhadharmas, and that the Venerable Master Hua taught us that we have a responsibility towards the country in which we are (...) living. This is one of the few places in the world where we can freely practice Buddhism without interference or oppression from the government. This is a democratic country in which the principle of freedom of religion is practiced. In order to protect freedom of religion and to maintain the democracy in this country, all the people in the country, including us-both lay Buddhists and monastic Buddhists-must act responsibly. If you are a citizen, you have the responsibility to vote intelligently. If you are a teacher, you have a responsibility to teach the students how to be knowledgeable and responsible citizens of this country. And if you are student, you should learn what it means to be a responsible citizen. And if you are in none of those categories, you still have a responsibility to do whatever you can to lessen the suffering of all the sentient beings in this country. That is why it is important that you understand about Measure H and its relationship to the Buddhadharma. (shrink)
The author of this paper aimed to understand the early Buddhism community in its entirety by examining the individual episodes in the "Mahavagga". There is a remarkable experience of the psychic power between the Buddha and the Brahmins. They are both aware of coming across of psychic forces that entered the way to the Buddhist Community. Using the brahmins mythology as a instrument for missionary work, the early Buddhism brings people close to Buddha's community. The Buddha visited Uruvela-Kassapa (...) and took lodging for the night where the sacred fire was kept, in spite of Kassapa's warning that the spot was inhabited by a fierce Naga. The Buddha, by his magical powers, overcame, first this N ganad then another, both of whom vomited fire and smoke. Kassapabeing pleased with this exhibition of iddhi-power, undertook to provide the Buddha with his daily food. The Buddha spent the whole rainy season there, performing, in all, three thousand five hundred miracles of various kinds, reading the thoughts of kassapa, splitting firewood for the ascetic sacrifices, heating stoves for them to use after bathing in the cold weather, etc. Still Kassapa persisted in the thought, "The great ascetic is of great magic power, but he is not anarahant like me." Finally the Buddha decided to startle him by declaring that he was not an arahant, neither did the way he followed lead to arahantship. Thereon kassapa owned defeat and reverently asked for ordination. The Buddha asked him to consult with his pupils, and they cut off their hair and threw it with their sacrificial utensils into the river and were all ordained. Nadi Kassapa and Gaya Kassapa were ordained with their pupils. At Gay sisa the Buddha preached to them the Fire Sermon, and they all attained arahantship for the early Buddhist Community. The episode of Uruvela Kassaps in the Mahavagga text ultimately idealizes the power of psychic and the start of the community. It is probable, even at the time when the episode were written, that as a matter of fact every one, in ordinary daily life, spoke imply the vernaculars in a much more simple and natural state of society. It is the Mahavagga authors, when addressing a cultured public at a date when the vernaculars had become the paramount literary language. Another point is that though brahmins take part in the religious and philosophical conversations of those early tims, and in the accounts of them are always referred to with respect, and threaten with the same courtesythat they always themselves extended also to others, yet they hold no predominant position. The majority of the ascetic, and the most influential individuals among them, are not brahmins. That is only a matter of course will be the obvious subjection. The Mahavagga texts I quotes, if not the work of bitter opponents, were at least composed under India bramins influence, and are prejudiced against the brahmins. (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)
The Buddha's teachings give us more than just ethical guidelines for a virtuous life. His teachings offer a grand insight into the nature of reality. Given the twofold meaning of the term Dhamma , it follows that an economics inspired by the Dhamma would be both attuned to the grand sphere of causes and conditions and, at the same time, guided by the specific ethical teachings based on natural reality. In other words, Buddhist economists would not only consider the (...) ethical values of economic activity, but also strive to understand reality and direct economic activity to be in harmony with "the way things are.". (shrink)
There are many links between Kuki Shūzō and the French philosophy of the 1920s that treated the phenomenon of contingency. Examined are (1) the problem of time as it presented itself to French philosophers at the beginning of the twentieth century and its reception by Kuki as an Oriental philosopher and a Buddhist; (2) the problem of liberty and of existence in these French philosophers and in Buddhism; and (3) the phenomenon of the dream as a psychic and (...) aesthetic phenomenon for Kuki and for the French philosophers in question. (shrink)
If, after a century of analysis there is a turn to synthesis, Hua-Yan and Whitehead will become important resources. Especially given the radical difference of their historical contexts, their similarity is striking, but they differ on time. Whitehead is clear that relations to the future always differ in kind from those to the past, and Theravada Buddhist agree. But Hua-yan is open to a greater symmetry in enlightened experience.
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)
This paper is an attempt to actualize central ontological fundamental principles of Buddhism, in particular, the concept of universal inter-relationship. It is this idea of the all-round universal inter-dependence of everything living that may be re-comprehended in the context of aggravating global contradictions of the modern world. The archaic and at the same time fundamental Buddhist idea of universal inter-relationship can be re-comprehended with regard to establishing a global axiological program of co-existence of various socio-cultural and natural worlds (...) and be a basis for working out a global ethics, new behavior rules for man amid the aggravating ecological situation. The axiology of universal inter-relationship generates global synergetic consciousness and a program for man’scooperation with the world. (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 Buddhist philosophy 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. Buddhist Philosophy 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 Buddhist philosophy, 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)
According to Popper, democracy, and the one of the western type at that, is the best form of the state system which makes open society possible. At the same time, democratic traditions and institutions have been historically developing not only in the West but also in the East. A number of crucial principles of Buddhistcivilization forming throughout the millennium appear to be quite corresponding to the model of open society. The principles of universal humanism and compassion as the staple (...) of the world; the principle of universal responsibility for forming social institutes and organizations aimed to solve problems common to all people; the principle of tolerance and common ethical direction of all world religions can be attributed to such principles. The humanistic ideal of Buddhism is an individual satisfied with life in society and living in harmony with nature. Buddhism encourages self-restriction and social solidarity, justice and equality, pure thoughts and deeds. Buddhist civilization lies “in between” since in most cases it acts a close-to-perfect mediator among other cultures and civilizations, various ethnic groups and peoples. (shrink)
In this article, I compare and contrast the phenomenological ethics of Emmanuel Levinas with that of twentieth-century Japanese philosopher, Kuki Shūzō. In the resulting counterpoint, I put special emphasis on the conception of time espoused by each author. I argue that both go astray by mistakenly basing their ethics on the complete otherness of the other (diachrony) rather than recognizing that both the other (diachrony) and I (synchrony) are originally inseparable in experience before the conceptual separation of “me” and (...) “you.” The fetishization of otherness, which is associated with the feminine in the ethics of both philosophers, leads them to overlook how the details of our everyday concrete experience can provide a guide for action. This paper also explores the two East Asian ethical ideals that Kuki proposes–the Buddhist ideal and the ideal of bushidō, the code of the samurai warrior. In his ethics, Kuki prefers the ethics of bushidō to that of Buddhism. I explain how Kuki’s misunderstanding of Buddhism leads him to this choice, and I explore what he overlooked in Buddhist ethics. (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)
Bergson argues for free will by showing that the arguments against it come from a confusion of different conceptions of time. As opposed to physicists' idea of measurable time, in human experience life is perceived as a continuous and unmeasurable flow rather than as a succession of marked-off states of consciousness--something that can be measured not quantitatively, but only qualitatively. His conclusion is that free will is an observable fact.
Presentism is the view that only present entities exist. Recently, several authors have asked the question whether presentism is able to account for cross-time relations, i.e., roughly, relations between entities existing at different times. In this paper I claim that this question is to be answered in the affirmative. To make this claim plausible, I consider four types of cross-time relation and show how each can be accommodated without difficulty within the metaphysical framework of presentism.
I take up Kant's remarks about a "transcendental deduction" of the "concepts of space and time" (A87/B119-120). I argue for the need to make a clearer assessment of the philosophical resources of the Aesthetic in order to account for this transcendental deduction. Special attention needs to be given to the fact that the central task of the Aesthetic is simply the "exposition" of these concepts. The Metaphysical Exposition reflects upon facts about our usage to reveal our commitment to the (...) idea that these concepts refer to pure intuitions. But the legitimacy of these concepts still hangs in the balance: these concepts may turn out to refer to nothing real at all. The subsequent Transcendental Exposition addresses this issue. The objective validity of the concepts of space and time, and hence their transcendental deduction, hinges on careful treatment of this last point. (shrink)
Extending on an earlier paper [Found. Phys. Ltt., 16(4) 343–355, (2003)], it is argued that instants of time and the instantaneous (including instantaneous relative position) do not actually exist. This conclusion, one which is also argued to represent the correct solution to Zeno’s motion paradoxes, has several implications for modern physics and for our philosophical view of time, including that time and space cannot be quantized; that contrary to common interpretation, motion and change are compatible with the (...) “block” universe and relativity; and that time, space, and space-time too, cannot exist. Instead, motion and change become the major players. (shrink)
In the present paper, I offer a new argument to show that presentism about time is incompatible with time travel. Time travel requires leaving the present, which, under presentism, contains all of reality. Therefore to leave the present moment is to leave reality entirely; i.e. to go out of existence. Presentist “time travel” is therefore best seen as a form of suicide, not as a mode of transportation. Eternalists about time do not face the same (...) difficulty, and time travel is compossible with eternalism. (shrink)
Presenting the history of space-time physics, from Newton to Einstein, as a philosophical development DiSalle reflects our increasing understanding of the connections between ideas of space and time and our physical knowledge. He suggests that philosophy's greatest impact on physics has come about, less by the influence of philosophical hypotheses, than by the philosophical analysis of concepts of space, time, and motion and the roles they play in our assumptions about physical objects and physical measurements. This way (...) of thinking leads to new interpretations of the work of Newton and Einstein and the connections between them. It also offers new ways of looking at old questions about a priori knowledge, the physical interpretation of mathematics, and the nature of conceptual change. Understanding Space-Time will interest readers in philosophy, history and philosophy of science, and physics, as well as readers interested in the relations between physics and philosophy. (shrink)
The issue of time-awareness presents a critical challenge for empiricism: if temporal properties are not directly perceived, how do we become aware of them? A unique empiricist account of time-awareness suggested by Hume's comments on time in the Treatise avoids the problems characteristic of other empiricist accounts. Hume's theory, however, has some counter-intuitive consequences. The failure of empiricists to come up with a defensible theory of time-awareness lends prima facie support to a non-empiricist theory of ideas.
The question of the existence and the properties of time has been subject to debate for thousands of years. This considered and complete study offers a contrastive analysis of phenomenologies of time from the perspective of the problematics of the visibility of time. Is time perceptible only through the veil of change? Or is there a naked presence of "time itself"? Or has time always effaced itself? McClure's new work also stages confrontations between phenomenology (...) of time and analytical philosophy of time. By doing so he explores ancient issues from a fresh perspective, such as whether time passes, whether experimental time is "real time," and whether the very concept of time is contradictory. (shrink)
Argues that standard interpretations of Merleau-Ponty's criticisms of Sartrean freedom fail and presents an alternative interpretation that argues that the fundamental issue concerns their different theories of time.
Time is the only book that offers a comprehensive history of the philosophy of time in western philosophy from the Greeks through the 20th century. Philip Turetzky explores theories in ancient and modern philosophy chronologically, from Aristotle to Nietzsche. He then describes the philosophy of time in three 20th century philosophical traditions: analytic philosophy, phenomenology and the distaff tradition. The book compares and contrasts the way these traditions treat time in regard to appearances, empiricism, existence, privileged (...) ontological relations, and pragmatic concerns. Time will be an intriguing and enlightening read for anyone who has wondered about the nature of time. (shrink)
How do ordinary objects persist through time and across possible worlds ? How do they manage to have their temporal and modal properties ? These are the questions adressed in this book which is a "guided tour of theories of persistence". The book is divided in two parts. In the first, the two traditional accounts of persistence through time (endurantism and perdurantism) are combined with presentism and eternalism to yield four different views, and their variants. The resulting views (...) are then examined in turn, in order to see which combinations are appealing and which are not. It is argued that the 'worm view' variant of eternalist perdurantism is superior to the other alternatives. In the second part of the book, the same strategy is applied to the combinations of views about persistence across possible worlds (trans-world identity, counterpart theory, modal perdurants) and views about the nature of worlds, mainly modal realism and abstractionism. Not only all the traditional and well-known views, but also some more original ones, are examined and their pros and cons are carefully weighted. Here again, it is argued that perdurance seems to be the best strategy available. (shrink)
Abstract The article is a reading, in conjunction with one-another, of Time and Being and What is metaphysics. Its scope is that of raising questions on certain Heideggerian topics that are here formulated as thesis. Namely, first that the turn in Heidegger’s thinking is not a change in his process of thinking, but rather an essential trait of what Heidegger calls the matter at hand (Sachverhalt). Secondly, that this turn of the matter at hand is in itself memory in (...) a twofold way: as metaphysics in its relation to being and time, and as questioning of this metaphysical relation. And finally, that this turn is a technical one, in the sense of technique as this latter is, in Heidegger’s thinking, the original determination of Being as Anwesenheit. (shrink)
Heidegger claims in Being and Time that Bergson fails to overcome traditional ontology because his concept of time is fundamentally Aristotelian. On the basis of this hasty dismissal, it is tempting to conclude that Heidegger was not terribly interested in Bergson or that he only wanted to prevent readers from confusing his view of time with Bergson’s. To the contrary, a survey of Heidegger’s early lectures and writings on the issue of time reveals a strong interest (...) in Bergson and an acknowledgement of his importance as a pivotal thinker concerning time. In fact, Heidegger appropriates key aspects of Bergsonism, such as Bergson’s way of contrasting the measurement of time and its experiential origins, revealing that his ambivalence toward Bergson initially arises from concerns about his method and his concept of life rather than his understanding of time. (shrink)
Michael Tooley presents a major new philosophical theory of the nature of time, offering a powerful alternative to the traditional "tensed" and recent "tenseless" accounts of time. He argues for a dynamic conception of the universe, in which past, present, and future are not merely subjective features of experience. He claims that the past and the present are real, while the future is not. Tooley's approach accounts for time in terms of causation. He therefore claims that the (...) key to understanding the dynamic nature of the universe is to understand the nature of causation. Time, Tense, and Causation is a landmark treatment of one of the oldest and most perplexing intellectual problems, and will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in the character of time. (shrink)
This thesis is about the conceptualization of persistence of physical, middle-sized objects within the theoretical framework of the revisionary ‘B-theory’ of time. According to the B-theory, time does not flow, but is an extended and inherently directed fourth dimension along which the history of the universe is ‘laid out’ once and for all. It is a widespread view among philosophers that if we accept the B-theory, the commonsensical ‘endurance theory’ of persistence will have to be rejected. The endurance (...) theory says that objects persist through time by being wholly present at distinct times as numerically the same entity. Instead of endurantism, it has been argued, we have to adopt either ‘perdurantism’ or the ‘stage theory’. Perdurantism is the theory that objects are four-dimensional ‘space-time worms’ persisting through time by having distinct temporal parts at distinct times. The stage theory says that objects are instantaneous temporal parts (stages) of space-time worms, persisting by having distinct temporal counterparts at distinct times. In the thesis, it is argued that no good arguments have been provided for the conclusion that we are obliged to drop the endurance theory by acceptance of the B-theory. This conclusion stands even if the endurance theory incorporates the claim that objects endure through intrinsic change. It is also shown that perdurantism and the stage theory come with unwelcome consequences. -/- Paper I demonstrates that the main arguments for the view that objects cannot endure in B-time intrinsically unchanged fail. Papers II and III do the same with respect to the traditional arguments against endurance through intrinsic change in B-time. Paper III also contains a detailed account of the semantics of the tenseless copula, which occurs frequently in the debate. The contention of Paper IV is that four-dimensional space-time worms, as traditionally understood, are not suited to take dispositional predicates. In Paper V, it is shown that the stage theory needs to introduce an overabundance of persistence-concepts, many of which will have to be simultaneously applicable to a single object (qua falling under a single sortal), in order for the theory to be consistent. The final article, Paper VI, investigates the sense in which persistence can, as is sometimes suggested, be a ‘conventional matter’. It also asks whether alleged cases of ‘conventional persistence’ create trouble for the endurance theory. It is argued that conventions can only enter at a trivial semantic level, and that the endurance theory is no more threatened by such conventions than are its rivals. (shrink)
In Being and Time Heidegger gives an account of the distinctive features of human existence, in an attempt to answer the question of the meaning of being. He finds that underlying all of these features is what he calls 'original time'. In this clear and straightforward introduction to the text, Paul Gorner takes the reader through the work, examining its detail and explaining the sometimes difficult language which Heidegger uses. The topics which he covers include being-in-the-world, being-with, thrownness (...) and projection, truth, authenticity, time and being, and historicity. His book makes Being and Time accessible to students in a way that conveys the essence of Heidegger's project and remains true to what is distinctive about his thinking. (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)
The theorist who denies the objective reality of non-relational temporal properties, or ‘A-series’ determinations, must explain our experience of the passage of time. D.H. Mellor, a prominent denier of the objective reality of temporal passage, draws, in part, on Kant in offering a theory according to which the experience of temporal passage is the result of the projection of change in belief. But Mellor has missed some important points Kant has to make about time-awareness. It turns out that (...) Kant's theory of time-awareness also involves projection – but for him, the projection of temporal passage is necessary to any coherent experience at all, and for this reason events in the world cannot be represented except as exhibiting real tensed change. Consequently we cannot intelligibly suppose the world we know to be without the passage of time. This fact would permit a modest transcendental argument the conclusion of which is that we are entitled to describe the world in terms of temporal passage. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: For the most part, this paper is not a philosophical paper in any strict sense. Rather, it focuses on the numerous exegetical puzzles in Sextus Empiricus’ two main passages on time (M X.l69-247 and PH III.l36-50), which, once sorted, help to explain how Sextus works and what the views are which he examines. Thus the paper provides an improved base from which to put more specifically philosophical questions to the text. The paper has two main sections, which can, (...) by and large, be read independently. Each is about a topic which, to my knowledge, has so far not been treated in detail. The first section is concemed with the argument structures of the two main passages on time in Sextus, pointing out various irregularities in the overall argument in both passages, as well as parallels and differences, and asks the question what kinds of scepticism and sceptical methods We find in the various parts of each passage. The second section focuses on the doxographical accounts of time in the two passages: what they are, how they compare with surviving parallels, to what philosophers we can attribute those accounts for which Sextus himself provides either no, or more than one, possible ascriptions, and how Sextus treats the doxographical material. This discussion is inspired by the contributions Michael Frede offered on this topic the day before his untimely death. (shrink)
Mind, it has recently been argued1, is a thoroughly temporal phenomenon: so temporal, indeed, as to defy description and analysis using the traditional computational tools of cognitive scientific understanding. The proper explanatory tools, so the suggestion goes, are instead the geometric constructs and differential equations of Dynamical Systems Theory. I consider various aspects of the putative temporal challenge to computational understanding, and show that the root problem turns on the presence of a certain kind of causal web: a web that (...) involves multiple components (both inner and outer) linked by chains of continuous and reciprocal causal influence. There is, however, no compelling route from such facts about causal and temporal complexity to the radical anti- computationalist conclusion. This is because, interactive complexities notwithstanding, the computational approach provides a kind of explanatory understanding that cannot (I suggest) be recreated using the alternative resources of pure Dynamical Systems Theory. In particular, it provides a means of mapping information flow onto causal structure -- a mapping that is crucial to understanding the distinctive kinds of flexibility and control characteristic of truly mindful engagements with the world. Where we confront especially complex interactive causal webs, however, it does indeed become harder to isolate the syntactic vehicles required by the computational approach. Dynamical Systems Theory, I conclude, may play a vital role in recovering such vehicles from the burgeoning mass of real-time interactive complexity. (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.
Introduction -- Fatalism, free will, and foreknowledge -- Mind, the metric, and conventionality -- Time travel and backward causation -- Time's origin, and relationism vs. substantivalism -- McTaggart, tensed facts, and time's flow -- Presentism, the block universe, and perduring objects -- The arrow of time -- Zeno's paradoxes and supertasks.
Francois Recanati has recently argued that each perceptual state has two distinct kinds of content, complete and explicit content. According to Recanati, the former is a function of the latter and the psychological mode of perception. Furthermore, he has argued that explicit content is temporally neutral and that time-consciousness is a feature of psychological mode. In this paper it is argued, pace Recanati, that explicit content is not temporally neutral. Recanati’s position is initially presented. Three desiderata for a theory (...) of time-consciousness are subsequently introduced. It is then argued that a theory locating time-consciousness as a feature of psychological mode will fail to satisfy these desiderata. In the last section the intentionality of memories is discussed. Using the notion of shiftable indexical, it is argued that memories have the same explicit content as perceptions, but that they nevertheless can have different conditions of satisfaction since they are entertained in different modes. (shrink)
The final work of a distinguished physicist, this remarkable volume examines the emotive significance of time, the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and microstatistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum physics. Coherent discussions include accounts of analytic methods of scientific philosophy in the investigation of probability, quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and causality. "[Reichenbach’s] best by a good deal."—Physics Today. 1971 ed.
: We seem to directly perceive external things. But can we? According to the time-lag argument, we cannot. What we directly perceive happens now. There is a time-lag between our perceptions and the external things we seem to directly perceive; these external things happen in the past; thus, what we directly perceive must be something else, for example, sense-data, and we can only at best indirectly perceive other things. This paper examines the time-lag argument given contemporary metaphysics. (...) I argue that this argument is not as compelling as it may initially seem. First, it denies that what we directly perceive can ever be what it seems to be; second, it conflicts with the current physical conception of time, relativity theory. This latter point leads to a more general one: the argument's force depends on a particular metaphysical conception on time, presentism, which is controversial in contemporary metaphysics of time. Given the alternative conception, eternalism, the argument is much less compelling. The overall argument of this paper, then, is that, if one wishes to hold that we directly perceive external things, we should subscribe to the latter view of time, i.e., eternalism. (shrink)
In Book IV, Chapter 11 of the Physics, Aristotle claims that ‘the before and after’ exists in time because it also exists in change, and it exists in change because it also exists in magnitude, and, further, that ‘time follows change’ and ‘change follows magnitude’.1 This is usually taken to mean that moments of time correspond to momentary stages of changes, and that momentary stages of changes correspond to points in magnitudes, so that time derives its (...) ‘before and after’ from that of change, and change from that of magnitude.2 But this is widely thought to land Aristotle in the following difﬁ culty: If Socrates walks between points A and C, for instance, he can either proceed from point A to point.. (shrink)
Space and time are the most fundamental features of our experience of the world, and yet they are also the most perplexing. Does time really flow, or is that simply an illusion? Did time have a beginning? What does it mean to say that time has a direction? Does space have boundaries, or is it infinite? Is change really possible? Could space and time exist in the absence of any objects or events? What, in the (...) end, are space and time? Do they really exist, or are they simply the constructions of our minds? Robin Le Poidevin provides a clear, witty, and stimulating introduction to these deep questions and many other mind-boggling puzzles and paradoxes. He gives a vivid sense of the difficulties raised by our ordinary ideas about space and time, but he also gives us the basis to think about these problems independently, avoiding large amounts of jargon and technicality. His book is an invitation to think philosophically rather than a sustained argument for particular conclusions, but Le Poidevin does advance and defend a number of controversial views. He argues, for example, that time does not actually flow, that it is possible for space and time to be both finite and yet be without boundaries, and that causation is the key to an understanding of one of the deepest mysteries of time: its direction. Drawing on a variety of vivid examples from science, history, and literature, Travels in Four Dimensions brings to life some of the most profound questions imaginable. (shrink)
In what follows, I suggest that, against most theories of time, there really is an actual present, a now, but that such an eternal moment cannot be found before or after time. It may even be semantically incoherent to say that such an eternal present exists since “it” is changeless and formless (presumably a dynamic chaos without location or duration) yet with creative potential. Such a field of near-infinite potential energy could have had no beginning and will have (...) no end, yet within it stirs the desire to experience that brings forth singularities, like the one that exploded into the Big Bang (experiencing itself through relative and relational spacetime). From the perspective of the eternal now of near-infinite possibilities (if such a sentence can be semantically parsed at all), there is only the timeless creative present, so the Big Bang did not happen some 13 billion years ago. Inasmuch as there is neither time past nor time future nor any time at all at the null point of forever, we must understand the Big Bang (and all other events) as taking place right here and now. In terms of the eternal now, the beginning is happening now and we just appeared (and are always just appearing) to witness it. The rest is all conscious construction; time and experience are so entangled, they need each other to exist. (shrink)
By examining Dainton's account of the temporality of consciousness in the context of long-running debates about the specious present and time consciousness in both the Jamesian and the phenomenological traditions, I raise critical objections to his overlap model. Dainton's interpretations of Broad and Husserl are both insightful and problematic. In addition, there are unresolved problems in Dainton's own analysis of conscious experience. These problems involve ongoing content, lingering content, and a lack of phenomenological clarity concerning the central concept of (...) overlapping experiences. (shrink)
This paper aims to investigate the temporal content of perceptual experience. It argues that we must recognize the existence of temporal perceptions, i.e., perceptions the content of which cannot be spelled out simply by looking at what is the case at an isolated instant. Acts of apprehension can cover a succession of events. However, a subject who has such perceptions can fall short of having a concept of time. Similar arguments have been put forward to show that a subject (...) who has spatial perceptions can fall short of having a concept of space. In both cases, it is the fact that perception is from a point of view which stands in the way of it constituting an exercise of a concept of how things are objectively. However, the paper also shows that the way in which perception is perspectival takes a different form in each of the two cases. (shrink)
The literature on time perception is discussed. This is done with reference both to the ''cognitive-timer'' model for time estimation and to the subjective experience of apparent duration. Three assumptions underlying the model are scrutinized. I stress the strong interplay among attention, arousal, and time perception, which is at the base of the cognitive-timer model. It is suggested that a multiplicative function of two key components (the number of subjective time units and their size) should predict (...) apparent duration. Implications for other cognitive domains are drawn, and in particular an analogy is suggested between apparent duration and apparent movement. (shrink)
Time, Change and Freedom is the first introduction to metaphysics that uses the idea of time as a unifying principle. Time is used to relate the many issues involved in the complex study of metaphysics. Sections of the book are written in dialogue form which allows the reader to question the theories while they read and have those queries answered in the text. In addition, the authors provide glossaries of key terms as well as recommendations for further (...) reading at the conclusion of each chapter. Quentin Smith and L. Nathan Oaklander examine the tensions between determinism and freedom, temporality and historical change as well as an array of other issues fundamental to introductory metaphysics. (shrink)
This is a study of the nature of time. In it, redeploying an argument first presented by McTaggart, the author argues that although time itself is real, tense is not. He accounts for the appearance of the reality of tense - our sense of the passage of time, and the fact that our experience occurs in the present - by showing how time is indispensable as a condition of action. Time itself is further analysed, and (...) Dr Mellor gives answers to most of the metaphysical questions it provokes, concerning the relation of time to space, the dissection of time, and its relation to change and causation. (shrink)
Evidence that led to the hypothesis of a backwards referral of conscious sensory experiences in time, and the experimental tests of its predictions, is summarized. Criticisms of the data and the conclusion by Churchland that this hypothesis is untenable are analysed and found to be based upon misconceptions and faulty evaluations of facts and theory. Subjective referral in time violates no neurophysiological principles or data and is compatible with the theory of "mental" and "physical" correspondence.
This paper examines Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy of time in light of his critique and reconceptualization of Edmund Husserl’s early time-analyses. Drawing on The Visible and the Invisible and lecture courses, I elaborate Merleau-Ponty’s re-reading of Husserl’s time-analyses through the lens of Rudolf Bernet’s “Einleitung” to this work. My question is twofold: what becomes of the central Husserlian concepts of present and retention in Merleau-Ponty’s later work, and how do Husserl’s elisions, especially of the problem of forgetting, (...) become generative moments for Merleau-Ponty’s thought on time? The answer passes through the logic of institution as the “retrograde movement of the true” (Henri Bergson) and through unconsciousness as disarticulation of the perceptual field, as Merleau-Ponty attempts to detach Husserlian concepts from the philosophy of consciousness and rehabilitate them within an ontology of time. (shrink)
Informed by the philosophy of the virtual, Keith Ansell Pearson offers up one of the most lucid and original works on the central philosophical questions. He asks that if our basic concepts on what it means to be human are wrong then, what is this to mean for our ideas of time, being, consciousness? A critical examination ensues, one informed by a multitude of responses to a large number of philosophers. Under discussion is the mathematical limits as found in (...) Russell, questions on Relativity, Kant's notion of judgement, Popper, Dennett, Dawkins and Proust. He brings into the rapport the concepts of Bergson and their explosive insights into the idea of time. (shrink)
These nine essays address fundamental questions about time in philosophy, physics, linguistics, and psychology. Are there facts about the future? Could we affect the past? In physics, general relativity and quantum theory give contradictory treatments of time. So in the current search for a theory of quantum gravity, which should give way: general relativity or quantum theory? In linguistics and psychology, how does our language represent time, and how do our minds keep track of it?
Real Time II extends and evolves D.H. Mellor's classic exploration of the philosophy of time, Real Time . This wholly new book answers such basic metaphysical questions about time as: how do past, present and future differ, how are time and space related, what is change, is time travel possible? His Real Time dominated the philosophy of time for fifteen years. This book will do the same for the next twenty years.
The Principle of Alternative Possibilities is the intuitive idea that someone is morally responsible for an action only if she could have done otherwise. Harry Frankfurt has famously presented putative counterexamples to this intuitive principle. In this paper, I formulate a simple version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities that invokes a course-grained notion of actions. After warming up with a Frankfurt-Style Counterexample to this principle, I introduce a new kind of counterexample based on the possibility of time travel. (...) At the end of the paper, I formulate a more sophisticated version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities that invokes a certain fine grained notion of actions. I then explain how this new kind of counterexample can be augmented to show that even the more sophisticated principle is false. (shrink)