Read e-book online Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of PDF

By Dan Arnold

ISBN-10: 0231518218

ISBN-13: 9780231518215

Premodern Buddhists are often characterised as veritable “mind scientists" whose insights expect sleek examine at the mind and brain. Aiming to complicate this tale, Dan Arnold confronts an important challenge to well known makes an attempt at harmonizing classical Buddhist and glossy medical idea: for the reason that so much Indian Buddhists held that the psychological continuum is uninterrupted via dying (its continuity is what Buddhists suggest via “rebirth"), they might don't have any truck with the concept every thing concerning the psychological might be defined when it comes to mind occasions. however, a most important circulation of Indian Buddhist concept, linked to the seventh-century philosopher Dharmakirti, seems to be at risk of arguments glossy philosophers have leveled opposed to physicalism. via characterizing the philosophical difficulties as a rule confronted through Dharmakirti and modern philosophers corresponding to Jerry Fodor and Daniel Dennett, Arnold seeks to develop an knowing of either first-millennium Indian arguments and modern debates at the philosophy of brain. the problems middle on what sleek philosophers have referred to as intentionality—the undeniable fact that the brain might be approximately (or signify or suggest) different issues. Tracing an account of intentionality via Kant, Wilfrid Sellars, and John McDowell, Arnold argues that intentionality can't, in precept, be defined in causal phrases. Elaborating a few of Dharmakirti's imperative commitments (chiefly his apoha conception of which means and his account of self-awareness), Arnold exhibits that regardless of his crisis to refute physicalism, Dharmakirti's causal reasons of the psychological suggest that sleek arguments from intentionality lower as a lot opposed to his venture as they do opposed to physicalist philosophies of brain. this is often glaring within the arguments of a few of Dharmakirti's contemporaneous Indian critics (proponents of the orthodox Brahmanical Mimasa institution in addition to fellow Buddhists from the Madhyamaka institution of thought), whose evaluations exemplify an analogous common sense as sleek arguments from intentionality. Elaborating those a number of strands of concept, Arnold exhibits that possible arcane arguments between first-millennium Indian thinkers can remove darkness from issues nonetheless greatly on the center of of up to date philosophy.

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Extra resources for Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind

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The interpretive, Indological task can be advanced whether or not the arguments here developed against physicalism are finally judged cogent; the exercise is valuable as a way to understand the classical Indian arguments as long as the characterization of the various philosophical interlocutors here invoked helps us to clarify issues of central concern to Dharmakīrti and his Buddhist and Brahmanical interlocutors. It 18 3 introduction is my hope, though, that the enlistment of some Indian interlocutors can help in the mounting of a cogent case for a philosophical account of contemporary relevance; perhaps, that is, some first-millennium Indian philosophers can help us understand the nature and limits of some eminently twenty-first-century developments in philosophy of mind.

15 Dharmakīrti’s generally empiricist intuition about the kinds of platonic entities that populate the discursive realm is that their utility must finally be explicable in terms of the kinds of things encountered in perception, and this for the simple reason that only things capable of entering into causal relations, only things with identity criteria, are finally real. Causation and Subjectivity: Dharmakīrti’s Representationalism A note of caution should be sounded here, since the seemingly empiricist perspective reflected in a great many of his arguments may, in the end, be only provisionally entertained by Dharmakīrti; on the idealist Yogācāra position Dharmakīrti finally holds, his account of the causal constraints on perceptual awareness will surely look quite different.

Introduction 3 15 tion. I will characterize his argument as basically empiricist in character, in a sense to be elaborated. In chapter 2, we will begin a two-chapter excursus on some contemporary philosophical discussions of intentionality, developed with an eye toward giving us some conceptual tools for the interpretation of Dharmakīrti. This chapter will consider the “computational” models of cognitive-scientific physicalism developed by Daniel Dennett and (especially) Jerry Fodor, particularly insofar as these philosophers aim to account for intentionality.

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Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind by Dan Arnold


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