Review of mark Siderits, buddhism as philosophy [Book Review]

Sophia 47 (1):79-82 (2008)
Siderits’ book is a welcome contribution to the ongoing dialogue between Buddhism and Western analytic philosophy. It covers the three main areas of philosophical enquiry—metaphysics, ethics and epistemology. Although conceptually quite challenging in places, the information is always presented in a pedagogic, evolutionary and highly readable manner. There are occasional problems with Siderits’ approach of isolating Buddhism as philosophy from Buddhism as religion, particularly in his chapter on ethics, which cannot avoid being somewhat unbalanced, and possibly misrepresentational, as it skirts around the major role that the doctrines of karma and rebirth play in Buddhist ethics. Although Siderits’ approach inevitably leaves some gaps, it manages to fill another important gap left by other books on Buddhism aimed either at the lay practitioner or specialist scholar. For those looking for a serious yet concise presentation of Buddhist philosophy, unencumbered with religious baggage, this is a rewarding resource for both personal and classroom study
Keywords Buddhism  Philosophy  Abhidharma  Reductionism  Metaphysics  Ethics  Epistemology  Madhyamaka  Yogācāra  Siderits
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DOI 10.1007/s11841-008-0051-x
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