Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings

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As a consequence, the Buddha taught that his liberating insight into the nature of reality is the antidote to the confusion, and hence to the attraction and aversion it causes, and therefore, in the end, to suffering itself. This is the core content of the four noble truths expounded in his first discourse at Sarnath, the Dhammacakkappavattana-sutta Discourse that Sets in Motion the Wheel of Doctrine and is the foundation of all Buddhist philosophy.

The Buddhist world, however, is vast, and generated numerous schools of thought and philosophical systems elaborating these fundamental insights, with a substantial and internally diverse philosophical canon comparable to that of Western philosophy. Though there are important core views that characterize a philosophical approach as Buddhist, there is considerable variety in detail.


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While Buddhist philosophy as a whole is aimed at soteriological concerns, involving the goal of attaining release from suffering, or the insight. An unknown error has occurred.

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Jay L. Garfield Editor. The Buddhist philosophical tradition is vast, internally diverse, and comprises texts written in a variety of canonical languages. It is hence often difficult for those with training in Western philosophy who wish to approach this tradition for the first time to know where to start, and difficult for those who wish to introduce and teach courses in Buddhist philosophy to f The Buddhist philosophical tradition is vast, internally diverse, and comprises texts written in a variety of canonical languages.

It is hence often difficult for those with training in Western philosophy who wish to approach this tradition for the first time to know where to start, and difficult for those who wish to introduce and teach courses in Buddhist philosophy to find suitable textbooks that adequately represent the diversity of the tradition, expose students to important primary texts in reliable translations, that contextualize those texts, and that foreground specifically philosophical issues. Buddhist Philosophy fills that lacuna. It collects important philosophical texts from each major Buddhist tradition.

Each text is translated and introduced by a recognized authority in Buddhist studies. Each introduction sets the text in context and introduces the philosophical issues it addresses and arguments it presents, providing a useful and authoritative guide to reading and to teaching the text. The volume is organized into topical sections that reflect the way that Western philosophers think about the structure of the discipline, and each section is introduced by an essay explaining Buddhist approaches to that subject matter, and the place of the texts collected in that section in the enterprise.

This volume is an ideal single text for an intermediate or advanced course in Buddhist philosophy, and makes this tradition immediately accessible to the philosopher or student versed in Western philosophy coming to Buddhism for the first time.

Catalog Record: Buddhist philosophy : essential readings | HathiTrust Digital Library

It is also ideal for the scholar or student of Buddhist studies who is interested specifically in the philosophical dimensions of the Buddhist tradition. The volume is organized into topical sections that reflect the way that Western philosophers think about the structure of the discipline, and each section is introduced by an essay explaining Buddhist approaches to that subject matter, and the place of the texts collected in that section in the enterprise. This volume is an ideal single text for an intermediate or advanced course in Buddhist philosophy, and makes this tradition immediately accessible to the philosopher or student versed in Western philosophy coming to Buddhism for the first time.

It is also ideal for the scholar or student of Buddhist studies who is interested specifically in the philosophical dimensions of the Buddhist tradition.

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