Thursday, October 23, 2008
This highly original work explores the concept of self-awareness or self-consciousness in Buddhist thought. Within the Buddhist doctrinal system, the Sanskrit word svasamvedana or svasamvitti (self-cognition, self-awareness or self-consciousness) signifies a form of reflexive awareness. It is one of the key concepts in the Buddhist epistemological system developed by Dignaga (ca. 480-540 CE) and his followers. The discussion on whether the mind knows itself also had a long history in the Buddhist schools of Mahasamghika, Sarvastivada, Sautrantika and early Yogacara. The same issue was debated later among followers of the Madhyamaka and Yogacara schools. This work is the first systematically to study the Buddhist theory of self-cognition with an emphasis on its pre-Dignaga development. Its central thesis is that the Buddhist theory of self-cognition originated in a soteriological discussion of omniscience among the Mahasamghikas, and then evolved into a topic of epistemological inquiry among the Yogacarins. Toillustrate this central theme, this book explores a large body of primary sources in Chinese, Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan, most of which are being presented to an English readership for the first time. This work makes available important resources for the study of the Buddhist philosophy of mind.
Routledge | ISBN 041534431X | 2005-12-22 | PDF | 224 pages | 7.8 MB
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