How It All Depends: A Contemporary Reconstruction of Huayan Buddhism

In Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Few would deny that something ontologically depends on something else. Given that something depends on something, what depends on what? Huayan Buddhism 華嚴宗, a prominent Chinese Buddhist school, is known for its extensive thesis of interdependence, according to which everything depends on everything else. This intriguing thesis is entangled with seemingly paradoxical claims that everything is not only identified with everything else but also contained within it. Moreover, the radical thesis of interdependence entails that dependence is pervasive and symmetric. In this paper, I first develop a contemporary interpretation of Huayan interdependence by employing the definitional account of essence and the essence-based account of dependence. Through these contemporary resources, I elucidate and unify the theses of interdependence, mutual identity, and mutual containment within Huayan Buddhism. I then propose a unique framework of ontological dependence that suggests varying degrees of ontological dependence, aimed at accommodating and explaining away our intuitions against pervasive and symmetric dependence. By contemporizing Huayan Buddhism, I explore its potential and facilitate engagement between contemporary metaphysics and Huayan Buddhism.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Interpretation of yogācāra philosophy in huayan buddhism.Imre Hamar - 2010 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):181-197.
The Huayan Metaphysics of Totality.Alan Fox - 2013 - In Steven M. Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 180–189.
Interpreting Interdependence in Fazang's Metaphysics.Nicholaos Jones - 2022 - Journal of East Asian Philosophy 2:35-52.
Being and events: Huayan Buddhism's concept of event and whitehead's ontological principle.Vincent Shen - 2015 - In Chenyang Li & Franklin Perkins (eds.), Chinese Metaphysics and its Problems. Cambridge University Press. pp. 152-170.
Mereological heuristics for huayan buddhism.Nicholaos John Jones - 2010 - Philosophy East and West 60 (3):355-368.


Added to PP

142 (#118,780)

6 months
142 (#18,315)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Li Kang
Washington and Lee University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
Making Things Up.Karen Bennett - 2017 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.

View all 40 references / Add more references