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

By Stephen J. Laumakis

During this truly written undergraduate textbook, Stephen Laumakis explains the foundation and improvement of Buddhist rules and ideas, concentrating on the philosophical principles and arguments provided and defended by way of chosen thinkers and sutras from a number of traditions. He starts off with a comic strip of the Buddha and the Dharma, and highlights the origins of Buddhism in India. He then considers particular information of the Dharma with designated consciousness to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and examines the advance of Buddhism in China, Japan, and Tibet, concluding with the guidelines of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. In each one bankruptcy he comprises causes of keyword phrases and teachings, excerpts from fundamental resource fabrics, and displays of the arguments for every place. His publication should be a useful consultant for all who're drawn to this wealthy and colourful philosophy.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

Example text

The benefits of this reading According to this reading of his biographical facts, at least one of the things that the Buddhist tradition wanted to convey about Siddhattha Gotama was that his very life and the social and cultural conditions and environment in which he lived it could be seen as an object lesson in the teaching of the Dhamma. Taken together, they not only provide an important lesson about the kind of person the historical Buddha was, but they also convey what I shall attempt to defend (in Chapter 2) as ‘‘the Buddha’s most basic philosophical insight’’ as well as his important complementary teaching on interdependent arising – paticca-samuppada.

In these and many other cases like them, it is obvious, at least at the level of direct observation, that what we ordinarily think of as causes and effects are joined in ways that are more intimate than simple constant conjunctions or mere temporal succession. Moreover, since we also fail to have any direct empirical evidence of any immaterial kinds of beings (whether they be souls or other kinds of metaphysical ‘‘powers’’ or ‘‘forces’’) – either in ourselves or outside of ourselves – it seems perfectly reasonable to conclude that material objects interact according to causally determined and necessitated patterns.

Siddhattha’s cultural context Siddhattha, like many great thinkers, was born into a rich, complex, and dynamic social and historical setting. On the one hand, he inherited an Indian culture rich in philosophical and religious beliefs and practices. Not only were his contemporaries interested in securing the material goods necessary for subsistence, such as food, clothing, and shelter, but they were also profoundly interested in trying to understand the purpose and meaning of life and the fundamental nature of reality.

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