Brains, Buddhas, and Believing

Brains, Buddhas, and Believing

Premodern Buddhists are sometimes characterized as veritable Òmind scientistsÓ 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 (its continuity is what Buddhists mean by ÒrebirthÓ), 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 intentionalityÑthe fact that the mind can be about (or represent or mean) 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 DharmakirtiÕs central commitments (chiefly his apoha theory of meaning and his account of self-awareness), Arnold shows that despite his concern to refute physicalism, DharmakirtiÕs 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 DharmakirtiÕs contemporaneous Indian critics (proponents of the orthodox Brahmanical Mimasa school as well as fellow Buddhists from the Madhyamaka school of thought), 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.

Publisher Columbia University Press
Release Date
ISBN 0231145470
Pages 328 pages
Rating 4/5 (73 users)

More Books:

Brains, Buddhas, and Believing
Language: en
Pages: 328
Authors: Dan Arnold
Categories: Religion
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-04-08 - Publisher: Columbia University Press

Premodern Buddhists are sometimes characterized as veritable Òmind scientistsÓ whose insights anticipate modern research on the brain and mind. Aiming to comp
Becoming a
Language: en
Pages: 224
Authors: Marilee Sprenger
Categories: Education
Type: BOOK - Published: 2006-12-06 - Publisher: Corwin Press

With Wizard of Oz metaphors and new graphic organizers, illustrations, and sidebars, this revision helps teachers translate current research on learning, memory
Neuroplasticity: Your Brain's Superpower
Language: en
Pages: 116
Authors: Philippe Douyon MD
Categories: Medical
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-04-23 - Publisher: Izzard Ink

We live in a time in which more than 100 million Americans suffer from a neurological illness. Not only is that number expected to rise and the annual cost to c
Climate Change Baffles Brains
Language: en
Pages: 318
Authors: L. Rowand Archer
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-09-04 - Publisher: Archway Publishing

We have now sunk to a depth where the restatement of the obvious is the duty of intelligent men. George Orwell’s words are worth repeating as climate-warming
Getting your head around the brain
Language: en
Pages: 256
Authors: Amanda Ellison
Categories: Psychology
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-09-05 - Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education

Have you ever wondered how it's possible to walk down a street, with your thoughts on what you're going to have for lunch? What's telling your legs to move whil
The Power Brain
Language: en
Pages: 328
Authors: Ilchi Lee
Categories: Brain
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-04-15 - Publisher: BEST Life Media

Our brains are a thousand times more incredible than anything else we will ever encounter. Every great accomplishment human beings have achieved was the work of
On the Construction of Artificial Brains
Language: en
Pages: 359
Authors: Ulrich Ramacher
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-04-03 - Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

This book presents a first generation of artificial brains, using vision as sample application. An object recognition system is built, using neurons and synapse
The Altruistic Brain
Language: en
Pages: 224
Authors: Donald W Pfaff
Categories: Medical
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-11-13 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Since the beginning of recorded history, law and religion have provided "rules" that define good behavior. When we obey such rules, we assign to some external a
The Brain's Behind It
Language: en
Pages: 216
Authors: Alistair Smith
Categories: Education
Type: BOOK - Published: 2004-03-01 - Publisher: A&C Black

AT LAST! Alistair Smith's latest book is the product of three years research. If you want to know more about the brain and learning, this is the book you need.
The Compassionate Brain
Language: en
Pages: 160
Authors: Gerald Hüther
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2006-06-13 - Publisher: Shambhala Publications

Here is the ultimate explanation of the brain for everyone who thinks: a guide to how the brain works, how our brains came to operate the way they do, and, most