A Buddhist Theory of State

Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche argues that, “the Buddha has in clear terms outlined the theory of state –its principles and organizations for maintenance of social welfare (Rinpoche, 44).” He cites from the Mahayana text ‘Chakrakshitigarbhanama Mahayana Sutra’ which contains ten wheels or chakras concerning the Buddha’s turning of the wheel of law during the troubled periods of Kali … More A Buddhist Theory of State

Nāgārjuna: A Very Short Introduction

Nāgārjuna (c. 150-250 CE) is undoubtedly one of the most influential Indian philosophers. He is referred to as the “Second Buddha” in the Mahayana Buddhist world and is the founder of the Madhyamika (Middle Way) school of Buddhist philosophy.[1] He is indisputably the most important Buddhist thinker after the Buddha himself. It would not be hugely … More Nāgārjuna: A Very Short Introduction

A Critique of Descartes’ Interactionist Dualism

As Jaegwon Kim notes, what distinguishes Descartes’ philosophy of mind from his contemporaries like Leibniz and Spinoza is his “imminently commonsensical belief” that minds and bodies causally interact with each other (Kim, 34). Despite its intuitive simplicity, this is where the main problem in the Cartesian dualism arises. This paper explains and examines the problem … More A Critique of Descartes’ Interactionist Dualism

Emptiness & Compassion

A panel discussion at the European Buddhist Union Congress on 27th September 1992 with Sogyal Rinpoche, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Rewata Dhamma and Sangharakshita. At this unique event four Buddhist teachers from four different traditions discuss such fascinating topics as: the relationship between the monks and the laity, the importance of the Abhidhamma, Buddhist social … More Emptiness & Compassion

Is it possible to be both a naturalist and a Buddhist?

Review/Reflection: The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized  by Owen Flanagan*  Is naturalism compatible with Buddhism? The answer is yes or possibly yes according to the philosopher, Owen Flanagan, and the whole book can be considered as an answer to this very question. Well, if you are a Buddhist or someone who has an interest in Buddhism or Buddhist … More Is it possible to be both a naturalist and a Buddhist?

Nirvana, Compassion & Meaning From an Existentialist View in Buddhism

The question of meaning in Buddhism is something that is hardly discussed like its ignorance of free will as opposed to western philosophical traditions. One can argue that like the Buddhist quietism about free will, the question of meaning in Buddhism is not just absent or quiet but something needless given its ontological and epistemological … More Nirvana, Compassion & Meaning From an Existentialist View in Buddhism

Free Will in Buddhism: An Issue of Linguistic Confusion?

Just came across an interesting article by the philosopher Mark Siderits, “Paleo-compatibilism and Buddhist Reductionism”, in which he argues that the problem or confusion of free will in Buddhism stems from a fundamental misconception of a “semantic dualism” between its ontological doctrine of the Ultimate Truth and the Conventional Truth: a linguistic intermixing of conceiving … More Free Will in Buddhism: An Issue of Linguistic Confusion?

Free Will in Buddhism: Freedom As Mastery of Meta-volitions

In his advocacy for free will/determinism compatibilism, Frankfurt conceives F1 – “freedom of action” as involving actions that accord with volitions, F2 – “freedom of will” which accords with meta-volitions, and Repetti asserts Buddha’s notion of free will to be modeled as F3 for “Mental freedom” or absence of ego-based volition, i.e. mental bondage (pp.1). Repetti … More Free Will in Buddhism: Freedom As Mastery of Meta-volitions

Was Shantideva an act-Consequentialist?

Goodman argues how and why he thinks Shantideva was an act-consequentialist or how his teachings and commentaries evolved Mahayana Ethics (ME) into so from somewhat a rule-consequentialist view of morality. While there is almost a consensus among scholars that Buddhism doesn’t offer a systematic ethical system as one would find in Western ethical traditions of … More Was Shantideva an act-Consequentialist?