Hindu and Buddhist Ideas in Dialogue: Self and No-self by Irina Kuznetsova, Jonardon Ganeri, Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

By Irina Kuznetsova, Jonardon Ganeri, Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

The debates among numerous Buddhist and Hindu philosophical structures in regards to the lifestyles, definition and nature of self, occupy a relevant position within the background of Indian philosophy and faith. those debates situation a variety of concerns: what 'self' capability, no matter if the self might be acknowledged to exist in any respect, arguments which could substantiate any place in this query, how the normal fact of person individuals might be defined, and the implications of every place. At a time while similar concerns are on the vanguard of up to date Western philosophy, in either analytic and continental traditions (as good as of their interaction), those classical and medieval Indian debates widen and globalise such discussions. This ebook brings to a much broader viewers the delicate diversity of positions held through a number of structures of concept in classical India.

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Extra resources for Hindu and Buddhist Ideas in Dialogue: Self and No-self

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21 Bimal K. Matilal’s comment on the Indian intellectual tradition applies here perfectly: The tradition was self-conscious. It has been interpreting and re-interpreting itself over the ages. It is hardly a new phenomenon. The myth is tied up with the Indologist’s romantic search for classical, pure form of Hinduism (or Buddhism as the case may be), and is little better than a dream. (Ganeri 2002: 40) And the Sāṃkhyan ‘spirit’ or the ‘philosophical content of this school’ requires one to assert the ultimate dualism of subject and object, and to maintain that the fundamental error consists in their 42 confusion or wrong identification.

None the less, it is still common to present Buddhist notions of not-self as a response to or rejection of brahmanical ideas of the self. While this may partially be true, the Buddhist sources suggest that the situation was far more complicated. As we have seen, the Nikāyas do indicate that some of their views about selfhood are in response to brahmanical ideas. Moreover, the shared modes of expression and rhetorical strategies used to convey teachings of self indicate that Buddhist composers may have had some degree of familiarity with brahmanical literature, such as the Upaniṣads.

Such views, then, are not completely false or ineffective in achieving certain results. In other words, the Buddha does not reject these views on the grounds that they are not efficacious, but rather because the results they achieve are not desirable and that they are incapable of bringing about the goals set forth by the Buddha. Even more revealing is the fact that the Buddhist sources seem more concerned with other, non-brahmanical potential opponents when articulating their idea of not-self.

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