Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (1)

Recently Evan Thompson released a book with the provocative title Why I Am Not A Buddhist. The book is an interesting constructive exploration that draws heavily on Thompson’s long background in the mind sciences as well as a deep engagement Continue reading Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (1)

Fixed duties require less care in their performance than optional ones (Maṇḍana’s view)

Maṇḍana reforms Mīmāṃsā philosophy of action and deontic by saying that one undertakes actions only because one believes them to be the means to a desired output. A problem Maṇḍana needs to face is the following: If the performance of Continue reading Fixed duties require less care in their performance than optional ones (Maṇḍana’s view)

Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

In the Nyāyasiddhāñjana and the Nyāyapariśuddhi, Veṅkaṭanātha discusses some fundamental ontological topics in order to distinguish his positions from the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika position. The Nyāyasūtra proposes a fundamental division of realities into dravya ‘substances’, guṇa ‘qualities’, and karman ‘actions’,1 with the Continue reading Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

Learning from Gārgī’s Silence

“Thereupon, Gārgī Vācaknavī fell silent.” (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 3.6) I’m currently teaching a class called “Ancient Women Philosophers: India and Greece,” which is interesting for many reasons. I’ll get to some of those reasons in another post. In this post I want Continue reading Learning from Gārgī’s Silence

Is mindfulness meditation a problem for Christians?

As mindfulness meditation practices become ever more popular and widespread, their claim to be a “non-sectarian technique” takes on progressively greater importance, just as it does with yoga. By claiming their practices to be secular techniques, teachers not only can Continue reading Is mindfulness meditation a problem for Christians?

Prize Competition: Diversifying Analytic Theology

Here is a new prize competition that may be of interest to some blog readers, especially those working on topics such as theism in Nyāya or Vedānta, atheism in Buddhism or Mīmāṃsā, Cārvāka, Jainism, Kashmir Śaivism, South Asian Islam, Sikhism, Continue reading Prize Competition: Diversifying Analytic Theology

Conventional teaching wrongly taken as an equal

I demonstrated last time why Buddhaghosa believes the ultimate (paramattha) to be higher and truer than the conventional (vohāra or sammuti). But this is not to say that he finds the conventional unnecessary. Charles Hallisey rightly points out its value Continue reading Conventional teaching wrongly taken as an equal