Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy: Empty Persons (Ashgate World Philosophies Series)

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9780754634737: Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy: Empty Persons (Ashgate World Philosophies Series)
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What does it mean to be a person? The philosophical problem of personal identity has been the subject of much debate in both Western philosophy and Buddhist philosophy. This book initiates a conversation between the two traditions showing how concepts and tools drawn from one philosophical tradition can help solve problems arising in another, particularly as regards the philosophical investigation of persons. The recent controversy over personal identity has concerned reductionism, the view that persons are mere useful fictions. Mark Siderits explores the most important objections that have been raised to reductionism, and shows how some key arguments and semantic tools from early Buddhism can be used to answer those objections. Buddhist resources are used to examine the important ethical consequences of this view of persons. The second half of the book explores a new objection to reductionism about persons that originates in Mahayana Buddhist philosophy.

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About the Author:

Mark Siderits, Illinois State University, USA

Review:

'Analytic philosophers should be awakened from their East-shunning dogmatic slumber by this seductive synthesis of vintage Buddhism, philosophical ingenuity and analytical rigour. In this path-breaking study in Buddhism-inspired analytic philosophy , Mark Siderits has critically reconstructed the intricate chain of arguments behind Buddhist reductionism and anti-realism about persons. Besides making original--not merely comparative--contributions to straight epistemology and metaphysics, Siderits establishes himself as one of those handful of contemporary philosophers of language who can handle Indian and Western materials with equal dexterity.' Arindam Chakrabarti, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA 'This is a philosophically subtle and provocative book. Siderits offers original and powerful arguments. His reading of Buddhist ideas of personhood, his critique of the realist nature of reductionism, and the sustainability of an anti-realist ethics of personhood are all bound to provoke and challenge. The bringing together of analytic Western philosophy and Buddhist thought will be useful for students of comparative philosophy and those doing Buddhological/Indic/Asian courses in philosophy and religion' Dr C. Ram-Prasad, Lancaster University, UK 'This is a rewarding contribution to discussion, avoiding the superficiality and confusions that [...] often accompany 'fusion philosophy'... It deserves to be read by anyone with the concerns that it addresses.' Journal of Buddhist Ethics '... Siderits's book is to be highly recommended as a subtle and enjoyable philosophical exploration of Buddhist views about personal identity.' H-Net Review 'Siderits has managed to present the often complicated and self-referential ideas of Buddhist philosophy in a way that should be easily palatable to those with no previous exposure to them... It is certainly a thought-provoking work on many levels and will hopefully make a substantial contribution to both the field of Buddhist studies and philosophy.' Sophia

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Siderits, Mark, Siderits, Mark
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Mark Siderits
Published by Routledge (2003)
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