Evan Thompson has made his last statement in our correspondence. Before I make mine, a personal note: our series of responses to date has become increasingly confrontational in tone, in a way I imagine our readers have noticed. Thompson and Continue reading When does karma stop being karma?
Paul Fuller’s The Notion of Diṭṭhi in Theravāda Buddhism, as its title might suggest, is a dry, abstract, technical monograph. It may also be one of the more spiritually beneficial books I have ever read. I suppose maybe both of Continue reading Right view vs. true statements
Last time I explained why I think a constructive modern Buddhist philosophy should indeed focus on Buddhist philosophical texts as its sources for karma, and I stand by that. Yet ironically, even if we were to turn away from philosophy Continue reading Karma in society
Ron Purser’s critique of modern mindfulness is thoroughgoing, and extends beyond chastising its skepticism of political engagement. Purser also criticizes modern mindfulness on other grounds, grounds that I think are considerably closer to the views of classical (early) Buddhist texts. Continue reading Classical and nondual mindfulness
Continuing my reply to Evan Thompson, I will focus next on karma, because the reinterpretation of karma is central to my own eudaimonist Buddhism, and therefore it forms a focal point in Thompson’s critique. Karma is Thompson’s example of how Continue reading Is karma about why bad things happen to good people?
I think I’ve shown that the kammatic-nibbanic distinction should matter to the historian, textual scholar, or anthropologist trying to figure out what Buddhism has meant in other times and places. Contra Damien Keown, it is a helpful ideal type to Continue reading Naturalized kammatic Buddhism
How helpful is Melford Spiro’s kammatic/nibbanic distinction in describing Buddhism? It can be tempting to line it up too closely with other dichotomies – to say that kammatic Buddhism is practised by householders and nibbanic Buddhism by monks, for example. Damien Continue reading Does the kammatic/nibbanic distinction fit the facts?
Last winter my wife and I made a wonderful trip to Sri Lanka. Before I say anything about the trip’s philosophical implications, I just want to note that you should go there if you have the money and time to Continue reading Kammatic and nibbanic Buddhism
Weterners who have studied Buddhist philosophy and ethics, even when we have done so at length, are often thrown for a loop when we read the Mahāvaṃsa. This text – one of the most historically oriented texts in premodern South Continue reading A Buddhism very different than the one we think we know
Damien Keown’s The Nature of Buddhist Ethics closes by arguing for parallels between Buddhist and Aristotelian ethics. He claims that “there are many formal parallels between the ideal of human perfection conceived by the Buddha and that envisaged by Aristotle” Continue reading Aristotelian vs. Buddhist eudaimonia