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The Bodhisattva's Brain

Buddhism Naturalized

Owen Flanagan

Publication Year: 2011

Can there be a Buddhism without karma, nirvana, and reincarnation that is compatible with the rest of knowledge?

Published by: The MIT Press


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pp. 1-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-xiv

This book is the unintended consequence of an accident. In the summer of 1999, while on a working vacation in Costa Rica finishing Dreaming Souls (2000b), I received an email inviting me to participate in a weeklong discussion the following March in Dharamsala, India, with the 14th Dalai ...


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p. xv-xv

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pp. 1-6

Suppose we permitted ourselves this luxury: invite Confucius, Siddhārtha Gautama, Mohammed, Joan of Arc, Catherine the Great, Karl Marx, Thomas Jefferson, Sojourner Truth, or any other interesting or wise dead person with a view, or who is a representative of a tradition, intoā ...

I An Essay in Comparative Neurophilosophy

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1 The Bodhisattva’s Brain

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pp. 9-35

This is my favorite extravagant headline from among numerous hyperbolic ones that appeared in the third week of May 2003. To my chagrin the source was an article I published that week in The New Scientist magazine that reported on two preliminary studies on one meditating...

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2 The Color of Happiness

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pp. 37-58

“The Colour of Happiness” was the title of the article I published in the British magazine New Scientist in May 2003 that caused the media stir about happy Buddhists with happy brains. At the beginning of the previous ...

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3 Buddhist Epistemology and Science

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pp. 59-90

Members of my tribe are fans of science.1 The scientific method has shown, and keeps showing, its mettle when it comes to revealing the truth in a way no other method matches.2 If there is room for religion, spirituality, and philosophy, in the ordinary sense, ...

II Buddhism as a Natural Philosophy

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4 Selfless Persons

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pp. 93-114

A philosophical psychology is to scientific psychology as theoretical physics is to experimental physics. Its job is to keep the eye on the whole, on how all the experimental data fit together into a comprehensive view of what a person, a human ...

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5 Being No-Self and Being Nice

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pp. 115-163

How is Buddhist metaphysics, Buddhist wisdom (prajna; Pali, panna), Buddhist views about ultimate matters, the nature of things as they really are, connected to the ethic of compassion and lovingkindness that Buddhism endorses? Does the metaphysics ...

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6 Virtue and Happiness

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pp. 165-202

I have offered an analysis of eudaimoniaBuddha. Eudaimonia—flourishing, or happy flourishing, or happiness and flourishing, or more likely flourishing that often or usually leads to some sort of happiness of a serene sort...

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pp. 203-207

QED. That is what I would like to say. That which was to be demonstrated has been demonstrated. Philosophy is not like that. Demonstration is for mathematics, where if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be ...


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pp. 209-236


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pp. 237-247


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pp. 249-264

E-ISBN-13: 9780262298179
E-ISBN-10: 0262298171
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262016049
Print-ISBN-10: 0262016044

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 1 line drawing
Publication Year: 2011