Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Buddhist hermeneutics

Here's one for my fellow BuddhaPests, Thompson's recent article "Sellarsian Buddhism." A few excerpts:

"Garfield thinks that there is no self, that nothing exists that deserves to be called a self. I think that our body and experiential sense of self deserve to be called a self. Garfield thinks that the experiential sense of self is based on illusion—the illusion that self-identity is real and the illusion that conscious awareness is self-presenting or reflexive. I think that the experiential self is a construction but not an illusion, that the construction depends on the reflexivity of conscious awareness, that reflexive awareness cannot be reduced to metacognition or introspection, and that self-construction, as both process and product, performs important functions, such as autobiographical memory.

From a historical perspective, to privilege the Buddhist view isolates it from the rest of Indian philosophical culture. From a philosophical perspective, to privilege the Buddhist view is to engage in Buddhist apologetics. Multifaceted views of the self draw from a larger and richer body of cross-cultural philosophical materials than do contemporary Buddhist no -self views."

"The idea that conscious awareness is reflexive is central to Yogācāra Buddhism and European phenomenology. Both traditions hold that any episode of conscious awareness consists in its awareness of its intentional object and its awareness of itself as that very awareness. Both traditions also hold that this kind of self-awareness is intrinsic to conscious awareness. In other words, this kind of self-awareness does not require another episode of reflection, introspection, or metacognition that takes the awareness as its intentional object and to which the awareness is extrinsically related. Other formulations of the reflexivity thesis are that all awareness involves awareness of itself, that all consciousness includes prereflective self-consciousness, or simply that all experiencing involves experiencing that very experiencing." 

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