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Wonhyo’s Philosophy of Mind

A. Charles Muller

Publication Year: 2012

Leading East Asian Buddhist thinkers of the seventh century compared, analyzed, and finalized seminal epistemological and soteriological issues that had been under discussion in India and East Asia for centuries. Among the many doctrinal issues that came to the fore was the relationship between the Tathagatagarbha (or “Buddha-nature”) understanding of the human psyche and the view of basic karmic indeterminacy articulated by the new stream of Indian Yogacara introduced through the translations and writings of Xuanzang and his disciples. The great Silla scholiast Wonhyo (617–686), although geographically located on the periphery in the Korean peninsula, was very much at the center of the intense discussion and debate that occurred on these topics. Through the force of his writings, he became one of the most influential figures in resolving doctrinal discrepancies for East Asian Buddhism. Although many of Wonhyo’s writings are lost, through his extant work we are able to get a solid glimpse of his profound and learned insights on the nature and function of the human mind. We can also clearly see his hermeneutical approaches and methods of argumentation, which are derived from apophatic Madhyamika analysis, the newly introduced Buddhist logic, as well as various indigenous East Asian approaches. This volume includes four of Wonhyo’s works that are especially revelatory of his treatment of the complex flow of ideas in his generation: System of the Two Hindrances (Yijang ui), Treatise on the Ten Ways of Resolving Controversies (Simmun hwajaeng non), Commentary on the Discrimination between the Middle and the Extremes (Chungbyon punbyollon so), and the Critical Discussion on Inference (P’an piryang non). The International Association of Wonhyo Studies’ Collected Works of Wonhyo, Volume 2

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

It is probably not that unusual for a multiauthor-translator volume in a translation series to go through a number of twists and turns and starts and stops before finally coming out into print. This one certainly did. First commissioned in 1997, this volume went through a continuous series of changes in contributors and editors...

Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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General Introduction

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pp. 1-44

Modern scholars have come to distinguish two major streams of early East Asian Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. Both of these were based on Indian antecedents, and both conducted thorough examinations of the constitution and transformative potential of human consciousness, particularly the potential for sentient beingsto be liberated from the suffering of cyclic existence...

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I. The System of the Two Hindrances (Yijang Ui)

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pp. 45-160

My earliest exposure to the notion of the two hindrances was in a readings course with Paul Groner at the University of Virginia, where we encountered the notion in Gyonen's summary...

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II. Treatise on the Ten Ways of Resolving Controversies (Simmun hwajaeng non)

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pp. 161-176

As was discussed at some length in the general introduction to this volume, if there is one term that is used more than any other to describe Wonhyo's distinctive approach to scholarly commentarial work...

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III. Commentary on the Discrimination between the Middle and the Extremes :Fascicle Three

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pp. 177-262

The Chungbyon punbyollon so is another text of Wonhyo's that is available only fragmentarily; all that remains is the commentary on the fourth chapter of the...

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IV. Critical Discussion on Inference (P'an piryang non)

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pp. 263-298

Critical Discussion on Inference (K. P'an piryang non, Ch. Pan biliang lun; hereafter Critical Inference) is one of the most unusual texts written by Wonhyo (617-686). While his other extant writings consist primarily of commentaries and doctrinal apologetics...

Notes

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pp. 299-378

Glossary

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pp. 379-386

Bibliography

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pp. 387-394

Index

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pp. 395-403


E-ISBN-13: 9780824860363
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824835736

Publication Year: 2012