Ratio 31 (4):389-401 (2018)

Bronwyn Finnigan
Australian National University
This article examines contemporary Buddhist defences of the idea that consciousness is reflexively aware or self-aware. Call this the Self-Awareness Thesis. A version of this thesis was historically defended by Dignāga but rejected by Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika Buddhists. Prāsaṅgikas historically advanced four main arguments against this thesis. In this paper I consider whether some contemporary defence of the Self-Awareness Thesis can withstand these Prāsaṅgika objections. A problem is that contemporary defenders of the Self-Awareness Thesis have subtly different accounts with different assessment criteria. I start by providing a fourfold taxonomy of these different views and then progressively show how each can withstand Prāsaṅgika objections. And I conclude by giving reasons to think that even some Prāsaṅgikas can accept some version of the Self-Awareness Thesis.
Keywords Consciousness  Reflexivity  Self-Awareness  Buddhism  Dignaga  Madhyamaka
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/rati.12200
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Buddhism as Philosophy.Mark Siderits - 2021 - Hackett Publishing Company.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Minimal Phenomenal Experience.Thomas Metzinger - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-44.
Karma, Moral Responsibility and Buddhist Ethics.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2022 - In Manuel Vargas & John Doris (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 7-23.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consciousness and Self-Awareness.Chien-Hsing Ho - 2007 - Asian Philosophy 17 (3):213–230.
Madhyamaka Ethics.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2018 - In Daniel Cozort & James Mark Shields (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 162-183.
Prāsaṅgika Epistemology in Context.S. Thakchöe - 2011 - In Sonam Thakchoe, Bronwyn Finnigan, Jay Garfield, Guy Newland, Graham Priest, Mark Siderits, Koji Tanaka, Georges Dreyfus, Tom Tillemans & Jan Westerhoff (eds.), Moonshadows. Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 39--55.
Mipam’s Middle Way Through Yogācāra and Prāsaṅgika.D. S. Duckworth - 2010 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 38 (4):431-439.
Authority in Early Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka.Kevin Vose - 2010 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 38 (6):553-582.


Added to PP index

Total views
749 ( #9,806 of 2,506,173 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
70 ( #11,477 of 2,506,173 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes