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Sonam Thakchoe [16]S. Thakchöe [1]
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Sonam Thakchoe
University of Tasmania
  1. Madhyamaka Philosophy of No-Mind: Taktsang Lotsāwa’s On Prāsaṅgika, Pramāṇa, Buddhahood and a Defense of No-Mind Thesis.Sonam Thakchoe & Julien Tempone Wiltshire - 2019 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 47 (3):453-487.
    It is well known in contemporary Madhyamaka studies that the seventh century Indian philosopher Candrakīrti rejects the foundationalist Abhidharma epistemology. The question that is still open to debate is: Does Candrakīrti offer any alternative Madhyamaka epistemology? One possible way of addressing this question is to find out what Candrakīrti says about the nature of buddha’s epistemic processes. We know that Candrakīrti has made some puzzling remarks on that score. On the one hand, he claims buddha is the pramāṇabhūta-puruṣa (person of (...)
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  2.  41
    The Two Truths Debate: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way.Sonam Thakchoe - 2007 - Wisdom Publications.
    All lineages of Tibetan Buddhism today claim allegiance to the philosophy of the Middle Way, the exposition of emptiness propounded by the second-century Indian master Nagarjuna. But not everyone interprets it the same way. A major faultline runs through Tibetan Buddhism around the interpretation of what are called the two truths-the deceptive truth of conventional appearances and the ultimate truth of emptiness. An understanding of this faultline illuminates the beliefs that separate the Gelug descendents of Tsongkhapa from contemporary Dzogchen and (...)
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  3. Prāsaṅgika’s Semantic Nominalism: Reality is Linguistic Concept.Sonam Thakchoe - 2012 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 40 (4):427-452.
    Buddhist semantic realists assert that reality is always non-linguistic, beyond the domain of conceptual thought. Anything that is conceptual and linguistic, they maintain, cannot be reality and therefore cannot function as reality.The Pra¯san˙gika however rejects the realist theory and argues that all realities are purely linguistic—just names and concepts—and that only linguistic reality can have any causal function. This paper seeks to understand the Pra¯san˙gika’s radical semantic nominalism and its philosophical justifications by comparing and contrasting it with the realistic semantic (...)
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  4.  55
    Candrakīrti on Deflated Episodic Memory: Response to Endel Tulving's Challenge.Sonam Thakchoe - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (4):432-438.
    ABSTRACTIn my response to Ganeri's [2018] paper, I take Buddhagosha's deflationary account of episodic memory one step further through the analysis of the Madhyamaka philosopher Candrakīrti who, like Buddhagosha, explicitly defends episodic memory as a recollection of the objects experienced in the past, rather than subjective experience. However, unlike Buddhagosha, Candrakīrti deflates episodic memory by showing the incoherence of the Sautrāntika-Yogācāra's thesis that episodic memory requires the admission of reflexive awareness. Also unlike Buddhagosha, Candrakīrti shows the incoherence of the Mimāṁsāka-Naiyāyika's (...)
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  5. Candrakīrti’s Theory of Perception: A Case for Non-Foundationalist Epistemology in Madhyamaka.Sonam Thakchoe - 2012 - Acta Orientalia Vilnensia 11 (1):93-125.
    Some argue that Candrakīrti is committed to rejecting all theories of perception in virtue of the rejection of the foundationalisms of the Nyāya and the Pramāṇika. Others argue that Candrakīrti endorses the Nyāya theory of perception. In this paper, I will propose an alternative non-foundationalist theory of perception for Candrakīriti. I will show that Candrakrti’s works provide us sufficient evidence to defend a typical Prāsagika’s account of perception that, I argue, complements his core non-foundationalist ontology.
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  6.  69
    Moonshadows. Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy.Georges Dreyfus, Bronwyn Finnigan, Jay Garfield, Guy Newland, Graham Priest, Mark Siderits, Koji Tanaka, Sonam Thakchoe, Tom Tillemans & Jan Westerhoff - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
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  7.  11
    Buddhist Philosophy of Mind: Nāgārjuna's Critique of Mind-Body Dualism From His Rebirth Arguments.Sonam Thakchoe - 2019 - Philosophy East and West:807-827.
    Richard Hayes and Dan Arnold have made the claim that Dharmakīrti is a mind-body dualist by virtue of his doctrine of rebirth. Dharmakīrti, "elaborating the Buddhist tradition's most complete defenses of rebirth, advanced some of this tradition's most explicitly formulated arguments for mind-body dualism". Arnold identifies Dharmakīrti as an exemplary Buddhist philosopher who defends Buddhist reductionism and mind-body dualism. In Dharmakīrti's view, argues Arnold, the dynamic and relational character of subjectivity is not in conflict with the view that among the (...)
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  8.  30
    The Theory of Two Truths in India.Sonam Thakchoe - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  9.  25
    Symposium: Does the Concept of »Truth« Have Value in the Pursuit of Cross-Cultural Philosophy? Rosemont Jr, James Maffie, John Maraldo & Sonam Thakchoe - 2014 - IsFrontMatter: put either 1 or 0: 1 if this is not an article but a "front matter" type of entry, e.g. a list of books received, 0 otherwise 1:150-217.
    The symposium »Does the Concept of ›Truth‹ Have Value in the Pursuit of Cross-Cultural Philosophy?« hones on a methodological question which has deep implications on doing philosophy cross-culturally. Drawing on early Confucian writers, the anchor, Henry Rosemont, Jr., attempts to explain why he is skeptical of pat, affirmative answers to this question. His co-symposiasts James Maffie, John Maraldo, and Sonam Thakchoe follow his trail in working out multi-faceted views on truth from Mexican, Japanese Confucian, and Tibetan Buddhist perspectives respectively. As (...)
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  10. 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.
    Some argue that a prāsaṅgika mādhyamika is committed to rejecting all epistemic instruments (pramāṇas) in virtue of the rejection of intrinsic nature (svabhāva) and intrinsic characteristic (svalakṣaṇa). This chapter takes a different perspective, arguing that Candrakīrti accepts both conventional and rational epistemic instruments, and develops a cogent account of their respective roles in our cognitive lives. To be sure, any mādhyamika rejects intrinsic nature, but Candrakīrti shows that epistemic instruments give us access to epistemic objects precisely because they lack such (...)
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  11.  26
    ‘The Relationship Between the Two Truths’: A Comparative Analysis of Two Tibetan Accounts.Sonam Thakchoe - 2003 - Contemporary Buddhism 4 (2):111-127.
    Introduction Na?ga?rjuna, the most well-known Buddhist thinker after the Buddha himself, points out in his famous Mu?lamadhyamakaka?rika? that ?The Buddha's teachings of the Dharma is based on the two truths: a truth of worldly conventions and an ultimate truth? (XXIV:8). This doctrine of the two truths does indeed lie at the very heart of Buddhism. More particularly, the phenomenological and soteriological discourses in the Ma?dhyamika tradition revolve around ideas concerning the two truths. Central to the doctrine is the concept that (...)
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  12.  48
    Prāsaṅgika Epistemology: A Reply to Stag Tsang’s Charge Against Tsongkhapa’s Uses of Pramāṇa in Candrakīrti’s Philosophy.Sonam Thakchoe - 2013 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 41 (5):535-561.
    Stag tsang, amongst others, has argued that any use of mundane pramāṇa—authoritative cognition—is incompatible with the Prāsaṅgika system. His criticism of Tsongkhapa’s interpretation of Candrakīrti’s Madhyamaka which insists on the uses of pramāṇa (tha snyad pa’i tshad ma)—authoritative cognition—within the Prāsaṅgika philosophical context is that it is contradictory and untenable. This paper is my defence of Tsongkhapa’s approach to pramāṇa in the Prāsaṅgika philosophy. By showing that Tsongkhapa consistently adopts a non-foundationalist approach in his interpretation of the Prāsaṅgika’s epistemology, and (...)
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  13.  30
    ‘Transcendental Knowledge’ in Tibetan Mādhyamika Epistemology.Sonam Thakchoe - 2005 - Contemporary Buddhism 6 (2):131-152.
    At least in as much as it is accessible to ?transcendental wisdom?, Tsong khapa and Go rampa both maintain that ultimate truth is an object of knowledge. So granting that ultimate truth is an object of knowledge and that transcendental wisdom its knowing subject, this paper attempts to address one key epistemological problem: how does transcendental wisdom know or realise ultimate truth? The responses from the Tibetan Mådhyamikas entail that transcendental wisdom knows ultimate truth in at least two different ways: (...)
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  14.  30
    Gorampa on the Objects of Negation: Arguments for Negating Conventional Truths.Sonam Thakchoe - 2008 - Contemporary Buddhism 9 (2):265-280.
    In this paper I explore Gorampa’s conception of the objects of negation. My primary aim is to show that, in Gorampa’s conception of the objects of negation, negating the extreme existent (bha ̄va/yod pa)—the first of the tetralemma (catuskoti/mtha’ bzhi)— __ entails negating the conventional realities qua truths themselves. The paper first identifies Gorampa’s notions of the objects of negation soteriogically and epistemically, and second it considers Gorampa’s arguments defending his treatment of truths (bden pa) as the objects of negation. (...)
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  15.  25
    How Many Truths? Are There Two Truths or One in the Tibetan Prāsa[Ndot]Gika Madhyamaka?Sonam Thakchoe - 2004 - Contemporary Buddhism 5 (2):121-141.
    The paper demonstrates that the Tibetan Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka offers both pluralistic and monistic paradigms for interpreting the Mādhyamika's doctrine of the two truths. Tsong khapa’s interpretation, the paper argues, represents pluralistic a model while Go rampa’s interpretation a monistic model. The arguments are considered through two separate moves. The first move forms the basis for the second. In the first move the papers explores the arguments relating to the ‘basis of the division of the truths’. While the second move integrates (...)
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  16.  18
    Status of Conventional Truth in Tsong Khapa's Mādhyamika Philosophy.Sonam Thakchoe - 2007 - Contemporary Buddhism 8 (1):31-47.
    This paper examines how and why conventional truth is, in Tsong khapa’s view, false and deceptive yet indeed truth that stands shoulder to shoulder with ultimate truth. The first part of the paper establishes the complementary nature of the two truths by responding to the question ‘Why is conventional truth “truth” at all?’ The discussion in the second part examines the uses of conventional discourse within the Maādhyamika philosophical framework—partly by discussing Tsong khapa’s response to the question ‘Why is conventional (...)
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  17.  1
    Dignaga's Investigation of the Percept: A Philosophical Legacy in India and Tibet.Douglas Duckworth, Malcolm David Eckel, Jay L. Garfield, John Powers, Yeshes Thabkhas & Sonam Thakchoe (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Investigation of the Percept is a short work that focuses on issues of perception and epistemology. Its author, Dignaga, was one of the most influential figures in the Indian Buddhist epistemological tradition, and his ideas had a profound and wide-ranging impact in India, Tibet, and China. The work inspired more than twenty commentaries throughout East Asia and three in Tibet, the most recent in 2014.This book is the first of its kind in Buddhist studies: a comprehensive history of a text (...)
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