What turns the continuous flow of experience into perceptually distinct objects? Can our verbal descriptions unambiguously capture what it is like to see, hear, or feel? How might we reason about the testimony that perception alone discloses? Christian Coseru proposes a rigorous and highly original way to answer these questions by developing a framework for understanding perception as a mode of apprehension that is intentionally constituted, pragmatically oriented, and causally effective. By engaging with recent discussions in phenomenology and analytic (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of mind, but also by drawing on the work of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, Coseru offers a sustained argument that Buddhist philosophers, in particular those who follow the tradition of inquiry initiated by Dign?ga and Dharmak?rti, have much to offer when it comes to explaining why epistemological disputes about the evidential role of perceptual experience cannot satisfactorily be resolved without taking into account the structure of our cognitive awareness. -/- Perceiving Reality examines the function of perception and its relation to attention, language, and discursive thought, and provides new ways of conceptualizing the Buddhist defense of the reflexivity thesis of consciousness-namely, that each cognitive event is to be understood as involving a pre-reflective implicit awareness of its own occurrence. Coseru advances an innovative approach to Buddhistphilosophy of mind in the form of phenomenological naturalism, and moves beyond comparative approaches to philosophy by emphasizing the continuity of concerns between Buddhist and Western philosophical accounts of the nature of perceptual content and the character of perceptual consciousness. (shrink)
A widespread interpretation of Buddhist thought concerning the self makes a prominent place for the claim that there is no self. The idea is that this piece of Buddhistphilosophy is best understood as being an eliminativist view about the self, sometimes called the "no-self view" or "non-self view". This claim is motivated, in Buddhistphilosophy, by the idea that if there were a self, it would have to be a permanent entity that would be (...) a "bearer" of individual psychological states. But since, according to this line of thought, there is no such permanent bearer, then there is no self.Consider the following statements: There... (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 Buddhistphilosophy 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. BuddhistPhilosophy 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 Buddhistphilosophy, 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)
This, the third Volume in this Encyclopedia to deal with Buddhistphilosophy, takes the reader from the middle of the sixth. Many of the authors and texts treated here are not well known to the casual student of Buddhism.
Presenting a comprehensive portrayal of the reading of Chinese and Buddhistphilosophy in early 20th-century German thought, Chinese and BuddhistPhilosophy in early Twentieth-Century German Thought examines the implications of these readings for contemporary issues in comparative and intercultural philosophy. Through a series of case studies from the late 19th-century and early 20th-century, Eric Nelson focuses on the reception and uses of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism in German philosophy, covering figures as diverse as Buber, (...) Heidegger, and Misch. He argues that the growing intertextuality between traditions cannot be appropriately interpreted through notions of exclusive identities, closed horizons, or unitary traditions. Providing an account of the context, motivations, and hermeneutical strategies of early twentieth-century European thinkers' interpretation of Asian philosophy, Nelson also throws new light on the question of the relation between Heidegger and Asian philosophy. Reflecting the growing interest in the possibility of intercultural and global philosophy, Chinese and BuddhistPhilosophy in early Twentieth-Century German Thought opens up the possibility of a more inclusive intercultural conception of philosophy. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/chinese-and-buddhist-philosophy-in-early-twentieth-century-german-thought-9781350002562/#sthash.1lY6OTYj.dpuf. (shrink)
Nietzsche once proclaimed himself the 'Buddha of Europe', and throughout his life Buddhism held enormous interest for him. While he followed Buddhist thinking in demolishing what he regarded as the two-headed delusion of Being and Self, he saw himself as advocating a response to the ensuing nihilist crisis that was diametrically opposed to that of his Indian counterpart. In this book Antoine Panaïoti explores the deep and complex relations between Nietzsche's views and Buddhistphilosophy. He discusses the (...) psychological models and theories which underlie their supposedly opposing ethics of 'great health' and explodes the apparent dichotomy between Nietzsche's Dionysian life-affirmation and Buddhist life-negation, arguing for a novel, hybrid response to the challenge of formulating a tenable post-nihilist ethics. His book will interest students and scholars of Nietzsche's philosophy, Buddhist thought and the metaphysical, existential and ethical issues that emerge with the demise of theism. (shrink)
The doctrine of the two truths - a conventional truth and an ultimate truth - is central to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology. The two truths (or two realities), the distinction between them, and the relation between them is understood variously in different Buddhist schools; it is of special importance to the Madhyamaka school. One theory is articulated with particular force by Nagarjuna (2nd ct CE) who famously claims that the two truths are identical to one another and yet (...) distinct. One of the most influential interpretations of Nagarjuna's difficult doctrine derives from the commentary of Candrakirti (6th ct CE). In view of its special soteriological role, much attention has been devoted to explaining the nature of the ultimate truth; less, however, has been paid to understanding the nature of conventional truth, which is often described as "deceptive," "illusion," or "truth for fools." But because of the close relation between the two truths in Madhyamaka, conventional truth also demands analysis. Moonshadows, the product of years of collaboration by ten cowherds engaged in Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, provides this analysis. The book asks, "what is true about conventional truth?" and "what are the implications of an understanding of conventional truth for our lives?" Moonshadows begins with a philosophical exploration of classical Indian and Tibetan texts articulating Candrakati's view, and uses this textual exploration as a basis for a more systematic philosophical consideration of the issues raised by his account. (shrink)
In arriving at the heart of Buddhistphilosophy, Nolan Pliny Jacobson attempts to eliminate some of the confusion in the West concerning the Buddhist view of what is concrete and ultimately real in the world. Jacobson presents Nāgārjuna, the Plato of the Buddhist tradition, as the major exemplar of the Buddhist expression of life. In his comparison of Buddhism and Western theology, Jacobson demonstrates that some efforts in Western religious thought approach the Buddhist empirical (...) stance. _ _. (shrink)
In this clearly written undergraduate textbook, Stephen Laumakis explains the origin and development of Buddhist ideas and concepts, focusing on the philosophical ideas and arguments presented and defended by selected thinkers and sutras from various traditions. He starts with a sketch of the Buddha and the Dharma, and highlights the origins of Buddhism in India. He then considers specific details of the Dharma with special attention to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and examines the development of Buddhism in China, (...) Japan, and Tibet, concluding with the ideas of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. In each chapter he includes explanations of key terms and teachings, excerpts from primary source materials, and presentations of the arguments for each position. His book will be an invaluable guide for all who are interested in this rich and vibrant philosophy. (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, 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.
Comparative philosophy of religions -- Disciplinary challenges -- A grammar for comparison -- Comparative philosophy of religions -- Content, structure, and arguments -- Epistemology -- Religious epistemology in classical India: in defense of a Hindu god -- Interpreting Nyāya epistemology -- The Nyāya argument for the existence of Īśvara -- Defending the Nyāya argument -- Shifting the burden of proof -- Against Īśvara: Ratnakīrti's Buddhist critique -- The section on pervasion: the trouble with natural relations -- Two (...) arguments -- The section on the reason property -- The section on the target property -- Is Īśvara the maker of the world? -- Language, mind, and ontology -- The theory of exclusion, conceptual content, and Buddhist -- Epistemology -- The theory of exclusion -- What exclusion is not -- Semantic value -- Ratnakīrti's inferential argument -- Jñānaśrīmitra's three questions -- Ratnakīrti's world: toward a Buddhistphilosophy of everything -- An inventory of mental objects/images -- The contents of perception -- The contents of inferential/verbal awareness -- Nonexistence, existence, and ultimate existence -- The Īśvara-inference, revisited -- Who created the world? -- The values of Buddhist epistemology -- Foundational figures and foundational texts -- The soteriological significance of epistemology -- Jñānaśrīmitra on epistemology as pedagogy -- Ratnakīrti's framework of value -- Religious reasoning as religious practice. (shrink)
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 Buddhistphilosophy, unencumbered with religious baggage, this is a rewarding resource for both personal and classroom study. (shrink)
In this clear, concise account, Siderits makes the Buddhist tradition accessible to a Western audience, offering generous selections from the canonical Buddhist texts and providing an engaging, analytical introduction to the basic tenets of Buddhist thought.
Premodern Buddhists are sometimes characterized as veritable "mind scientists" whose insights anticipate modern research on the brain and mind. Aiming to complicate this story, Dan Arnold confronts a significant obstacle to popular attempts at harmonizing classical Buddhist and modern scientific thought: since most Indian Buddhists held that the mental continuum is uninterrupted by death, they would have no truck with the idea that everything about the mental can be explained in terms of brain events. Nevertheless, a predominant stream of (...) Indian Buddhist thought, associated with the seventh-century thinker Dharmakirti, turns out to be vulnerable to arguments modern philosophers have leveled against physicalism. By characterizing the philosophical problems commonly faced by Dharmakirti and contemporary philosophers such as Jerry Fodor and Daniel Dennett, Arnold seeks to advance an understanding of both first-millennium Indian arguments and contemporary debates on the philosophy of mind. The issues center on what modern philosophers have called _intentionality_--the fact that the mind can be about other things. Tracing an account of intentionality through Kant, Wilfrid Sellars, and John McDowell, Arnold argues that intentionality cannot, in principle, be explained in causal terms. Elaborating some of Dharmakirti's central commitments, Arnold shows that despite his concern to refute physicalism, Dharmakirti's causal explanations of the mental mean that modern arguments from intentionality cut as much against his project as they do against physicalist philosophies of mind. This is evident in the arguments of some of Dharmakirti's contemporaneous Indian critics, whose critiques exemplify the same logic as modern arguments from intentionality. Elaborating these various strands of thought, Arnold shows that seemingly arcane arguments among first-millennium Indian thinkers can illuminate matters still very much at the heart of contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Kant's epistemology and the Buddhistphilosophy are an idealism. But these two different philosophies have in themselves the contradictory element, namely the element of the outer sense of bodies and of the inner mind. Although Kant's transcendental idealism and the school Vijnanavadin (唯識學派) acknowledge only the representations and the consciousnesses., the mind need to be affected by the outer part. In Kant's theoretical philosophy the outer sense of bodies plays an alien role. It stands outside the subject. (...) In spite of this, the subject have to relate itself to the outer element. And in the Buddhism, in order to have consciousnesses, the subject have to be transformed from the fundamental ground, the Alayavijnana (第8 識). But the Alyavijnana need to have a certain moment in order to be transformed. In my paper I have concentrated myself on the problem of relation of the mind to the matter. I have tried to see into the way in which these two philosophies develop this relation. Moreover I am also interested in the problem in relation to the theoretical, practical, and aesthetical fields. (shrink)
I examine the consistency between contemporary environmentalist ideals and Buddhistphilosophy, focusing, first, on the problem of value in nature. I argue that the teachings found in the Pāli canon cannot easily be reconciled with a belief in the intrinsic value of life, whether human or otherwise. This is because all existence is regarded as inherently unsatisfactory, and all beings are seen as impermanent and insubstantial, while the ultimate spiritual goal is often viewed, in early Buddhism, as involving (...) a deep renunciation of the world. Therefore, the discussion focuses mostly on the Mahāyāna vehicle, which, I suggest has better resources for environmentalism because enlightenment and the ordinary world are not conceived as antithetical. Still, many contemporary green ideas do not sit well with classical Mahāyāna doctrines. Mahāyāna philosophers coincide in equating ultimate reality with ‘emptiness,’ and propose knowledge of this reality as a final soteriological purpose. Emptiness is generally said to be ineffable, and to involve the negation of all views. An important question is how to reconcile environmentalism with the relinquishing of views. I consider several prevalent themes in environmentalism, including the philosophy of ‘Oneness,’ and other systems that are often compared with Buddhism, like process thought. Many of these turn out to have more in common with an extreme view that Buddhism seeks to avoid, namely, eternalism. I attempt to outline an environmental position that, like the doctrine of emptiness, traverses a Middle Path between eternalism and nihilism. I conclude by proposing that emptiness could be regarded as the source of value in nature, if it is seen in its more positive aspect, as ‘pliancy.’ This would imply that what Buddhist environmentalists should seek to protect is not any being in its current form, nor any static natural system, but the possibility of adaptation and further evolution. (shrink)
The true man without any rank.--Two dimensions of ego consciousness.--Sense and nonsense in Zen Buddhism.--The philosophical problem of articulation.--Thinking and a-thinking through kōan.--The interior and exterior in Zen.--The elimination of color in Far Eastern art and photography.
In this essay, which draws on a set of interrelated issues in the phenomenology of perception, I call into question the assumption that Buddhist philosophers of the Dignāga-Dharmakīrti tradition pursue a kind of epistemic foundationalism. I argue that the embodied cognition paradigm, which informs recent efforts within the Western philosophical tradition to overcome the Cartesian legacy, can be also found– albeit in a modified form–in the Buddhist epistemological tradition. In seeking to ground epistemology in the phenomenology of cognition, (...) the Buddhist epistemologist, I claim, is operating on principles similar to those found in Husserl’s phenomenological tradition. (shrink)
This work focuses on a narrow Buddhist epistemological tradition that begins with the Abhidharma philosopher Vasubandhu’s analyses of perception and is developed by Dignāga, Dharmakīrti, Kamalaśīla, and Śāntarakṣita. Coseru explains how Buddhist epistemology evolved in dialogue with competing conceptions internal to Buddhism and against orthodox Indian philosophies, particularly Nyāya and Mīmāṃsā. Coseru’s main argument is that although widespread interpretations of Buddhist epistemology are foundationalist, a more useful way to understand it is as a form of phenomenology consistent (...) with enactivism and a naturalism based in descriptive accounts of cognition. Coseru engages his analysis with contemporary Western philosophical concerns in philosophy of mind and language, cognitive science, and enactivism. (shrink)
Japanese Buddhism is sometimes called “funeral Buddhism” contemptuously. Buddhism is often criticized in that it serves only the dead and does not useful for the living. In truth, the main duties of Buddhist monks are to perform funeral services, maintain graves and perform memorial services for the dead in Japan today. Modern Buddhist leaders in Japan tried to argue against such criticism and insisted that Buddhism in origin was not a religion for the dead but for the living. (...) In the post-modern situation, however, the philosophy of the dead is becoming necessary instead of the philosophy of the living that has been prevalent in modern ages. The living human beings cannot live without thinking of the dead. For example, the war victims in Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Nanjing and other places do not forgive us even today. In this situation, it is necessary to evaluate Buddhist tradition in Japan that shows us the way how to go with the dead. In this paper, first, I will introduce the philosophy of Tanabe Hajime (1885-1962) who insisted the existential co-operation with the dead under the influence of Zen Buddhism and next, examine some Mahayana Buddhist sutras from the viewpoint of the relation between the living and the dead. (shrink)
The Buddhism has been developed as a philosophical system along with the Brhamanic tradition to maintain a complete and distinct identity of its own thought after Buddha. This paper attempts to understand the basic philosophical foundation of Buddhism. It believes that the Four Noble Truths (ārya-satya) are the original teachings of the Buddha which contained philosophical insights and thoughts like its doctrine of pratītya-samutpāda. It also presumes that the very existence itself produces the whole human predicaments in the form of (...) anxiety, desire, anger, sorrow and pain which are the effects that relate to certain causes. In Buddhism, two revolutionary views, i.e., universal impermanence (anityatā-vāda) and refutation of permanent soul-substance (anātma-vāda) are formulated. These views are the anticipated philosophical ideas of Buddhism which have a parallel to the sceptic philosophy of Hume in western philosophy. (shrink)
Eviatar Shulman’s Rethinking the Buddha: Early BuddhistPhilosophy as Meditative Perception offers an important reminder to take early Buddhist texts seriously as meaning what they say, with regard to the four noble truths, dependent origination, and selflessness. Shulman’s book ably makes this interpretive point, but is frustratingly unclear in its more general discussion of the relationship between philosophy and meditation. Shulman’s main thesis is that the four noble truths, as they are customarily taught today, are a...