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The Heart of Buddhist Philosophy


Nolan Pliny Jacobson

Publication Year: 2010

Jacobson convincingly demonstrates that Buddhism and the Western philosophies of Heraclitus and of modern thinkers such as Dewey, Whitehead, and Hartshorne have developed a reason truer to authentic experience than the reason so prevalent in traditionally dominant Western philosophy.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

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pp. ix-xii

When it comes to understanding the philosophies of a people across the barriers of radically different linguistic and cultural systems, a bit of common street knowledge is the best advice: "It takes one to know one." Throughout its long history, Buddhism has been one of the world's systematic formulations of reality as a social process, with everyone and everything being related to everyone ...

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pp. xiii-xiv

The philosophers upon whose labors the present writing has rested are those who have lived on both sides of the Pacific Basin and who have sought to contribute to a deeper understanding of our life in the world. During the last century and a half, this philosophic labor has been intensified by turbulent changes ...

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1. Buddhist Philosophy on a New Human Frontier

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pp. 1-8

Americans already have in their widest angles of awareness many of the insights of John Dewey and Alfred North Whitehead that enable them to understand some of the essential forms of thought in which Buddhism is presently finding itself at home. Writing from Burma twenty-five years ago, for example, I was so ...

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2. Process Philosophies East and West

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pp. 9-34

Three times during the past twenty-five centuries, process philosophies have challenged the established intellectual and cultural membrane that interprets the meaning of human experience and value. Three times these philosophies have failed to rise to dominance, submerged by the prevailing ideas of the time and ...

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3. The Two Faces of Reason

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pp. 35-60

A creature that thinks as freely as we do cannot live by mere impulsive drives or social coercion. Born without the required competence for survival in the encompassing web of life, we form our life-styles by taking thought, by maintaining a dialogue with others, by inheriting reflections across many centuries and gen- ...

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pp. 61-80

It is the almost unanimous decision of major Buddhist scholars working with the legacy in all of its forms that Nagarjuna is the greatest authority for showing why the teachings of the historical Buddha have never become imprisoned in words, sacred scripture, ecclesiastical ritual, and conceptual system. Nagarjuna's ...

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5. Buddhism and Western Theology

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pp. 81-112

The idolatry of the eternal which has poisoned European theology since Greek times commits two fatal paws: first, the fallacy that whatever is everlasting must also be eternal; and, second, the decision that the eternal is to be sought in the area of linguistic and cultural form, rather than in the natural continuity of momentary nows which are the ground floor ...

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6. The Religion of Analysis and the Spirit of Modern Science

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pp. 113-124

The movement of modern science from the fringes of life to the vital center constitutes one of the great transition points in human history, comparable to the transition from precivilization to civilization in the upper reaches of the Fertile Crescent ten ...

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7. The Civilization of Experience

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pp. 125-138

The supreme aesthetic achievement of the twentieth century and the act with the greatest political fallout may well prove to be the launching of citizens of the earth into outer space. Freed from the gravitational field of the planet, these space travelers have seen the history of their species floating like a beautiful agate in a ...


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pp. 139-162


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pp. 163-178

Name Index

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pp. 179-182

Subject Index

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pp. 183-189

Author Bio

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Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780809386086
E-ISBN-10: 0809386089
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809329847
Print-ISBN-10: 0809329840

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2010