Stephen J. Laumakis's An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy (Cambridge PDF

By Stephen J. Laumakis

ISBN-10: 0511385897

ISBN-13: 9780511385896

During this essentially written undergraduate textbook, Stephen Laumakis explains the starting place and improvement of Buddhist principles and ideas, targeting the philosophical rules and arguments offered and defended by means of chosen thinkers and sutras from a number of traditions. He starts off with a caricature of the Buddha and the Dharma, and highlights the origins of Buddhism in India. He then considers particular info of the Dharma with distinctive recognition to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and examines the improvement of Buddhism in China, Japan, and Tibet, concluding with the tips of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. In each one bankruptcy he comprises factors of keyword phrases and teachings, excerpts from fundamental resource fabrics, and displays of the arguments for every place. His e-book should be a useful advisor for all who're attracted to this wealthy and colourful philosophy.

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Additional info for An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

Example text

This development, from the Vedas themselves to the later Upanishads, can be captured schematically, following Koller,7 as follows: Vedic ‘‘vision’’ Upanishadic ‘‘vision’’ Texts: Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas Texts: Upanishads Many gods Brahman This-worldly focus Other/Spiritual-world focus Primary value: earthly success Primary value: liberation/moksa Key to perfection: ritual Key to perfection: knowledge Emphasis on community Emphasis on the individual seeker Importance of prayer Importance of meditation/yoga Cycle of nature and perhaps rebirth Samsara as fundamental problem Kamma recognized but not important Kamma as all-important Emphasis on plurality of existence Emphasis on unity of existence ‘‘Self’’ is body and mind ‘‘Self’’ is Atman that is Brahman Existence as conflict/struggle Non-violence Sharing in divine power Being divine Rta Kamma and Dhamma Supported by Mimamsa philosophy Supported by Vedanta philosophy 7 Koller (2006), p.

Like the idea of rebirth, the idea of kamma provides a plausible and rational explanation for things and events that are happening around us. Moreover, for the ancient Indians, these ideas seem to have been among the most basic insights of their ‘‘vision’’ and understanding of reality. Whether and how these two basic insights are related to one another we shall consider in more detail in Chapter 5. For the time being, I am introducing them as important elements of an ancient Indian vision of the world, and I am suggesting that early on in the Indian philosophical attempts to understand the meaning and purpose of life as well as the nature of reality it was not thought irrational or illogical to appeal to the ideas of rebirth and kamma as a first and perhaps best and only explanation of the data of experience.

The ultimate justification for this approach is the simple fact that it is some of the most basic and important metaphysical and epistemological features of his teaching that are captured for the first time and in a preliminary way in the facts of his biography. In other words, what I am suggesting is The life of Siddhattha Gotama that the life of Siddhattha Gotama can be usefully read as embodying the very same philosophical ideas that he tried to teach his followers. In short, he lived the principles and ideas he tried to teach and he taught the principles and ideas he lived.

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An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy) by Stephen J. Laumakis


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