Cherry Picking the Bodhi Tree: A Response to Lele (Guest Post by Evan Thompson)

Why I Am Not a Buddhist is mainly a philosophical critique of Buddhist modernism. I criticize certain widespread misconceptions about Buddhism, and about religion and science, that Buddhist modernists promote. My aim is to spark better conversations about these topics Continue reading Cherry Picking the Bodhi Tree: A Response to Lele (Guest Post by Evan Thompson)

How to define valid cognition if you are Śālikanātha (analysis of various criteria)?

Śālikanātha discusses the definition of a source of knowledge (pramāṇa) at the beginning of his Pramāṇapārāyaṇa and analyses various criteria. First of all, he discusses the criterion of avisaṃvāditva ‘non deviation’ (used by Dharmakīrti and his school) and shows how Continue reading How to define valid cognition if you are Śālikanātha (analysis of various criteria)?

How to define valid cognition (against Buddhists) if you are Śālikanātha?

The beginning of Śālikanātha’s Pramāṇapārāyaṇa is dedicated to a discussion of how to define pramāṇa ‘instrument of valid cognition’. As it was custom since Dignāga’s innovation in the philosophical style, Śālikanātha quotes and refutes several positions. The first ones are Continue reading How to define valid cognition (against Buddhists) if you are Śālikanātha?

First thoughts on omniscience in Indian thought

“Omniscience” (sārvajñya) assumes many different meanings in the various Indian philosophies. The understanding possibly most common in European and Anglo-American thought, which sees omniscience as including the knowledge of any possible thing in the past, present and future, is neither Continue reading First thoughts on omniscience in Indian thought

What is a commentary? And how the Nyāyamañjarī and the Seśvaramīmāṃsā do (not) fit the definition UPDATED

What makes a text a “commentary”? The question is naif enough to allow for a complicated answer. First of all, let me note the obvious: There is not a single word for “commentary” in Sanskrit, where one needs to distinguish Continue reading What is a commentary? And how the Nyāyamañjarī and the Seśvaramīmāṃsā do (not) fit the definition UPDATED

Untangling the Golden Age

The seventh and eighth centuries were, as Jean-Marie Verpoorten said, a “Golden Age” for Mīmāṃsā, when the two most important exponents of the system, Kumārila and Prabhākara, lived. But it was also a “Golden Age” for other systems. It was Continue reading Untangling the Golden Age

(Third day at the IABS:) Franco on the datation of Dharmakīrti and some further thoughts on Dharmakīrti, Dignāga, Kumārila

The datation of Dharmakīrti is a topic I am not competent enough to speak about, but I will nonetheless try to summarise other people’s arguments. The departing point is the traditionally accepted date of Dharmakīrti, namely 600–660, settled by Erich Continue reading (Third day at the IABS:) Franco on the datation of Dharmakīrti and some further thoughts on Dharmakīrti, Dignāga, Kumārila