Is consciousness reflexively self‐aware? A Buddhist analysis

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Authors
Bronwyn Finnigan
Australian National University
Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1111/rati.12200
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References found in this work BETA

Mental Time Travel and Attention.Jonardon Ganeri - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (4):353-373.
Buddhist Idealism.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2017 - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth Pearce (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 178-199.

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