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Buddhist Philosophy

A Historical Analysis

David J. Kalupahana

Publication Year: 1984

This introduction to Buddhism examines its basic philosophical teachings and historical development, setting forth complex and significant ideas in a straightforward and simple style that is easily accessible to the student. The author's orientation is philosophical, rather than religious or sociological. This approach is both the uniqueness and the strength of the work.Part I outlines the historical background out of which Buddhism arose and emphasizes the teachings of early Buddhism. Part II examines developments in the history of Buddhist thought and the emergence of the various schools of Buddhism.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

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Foreword

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pp. ix-x

II have much pleasure in writing a foreword to the present publication by Dr. D. J. Kalupahana, my friend and erstwhile student. Here we have a volume that fulfills admirably the purpose for which it was intended-to outline the development of Buddhist philosophy from the days of its origin down to the time...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

The present work owes its origin to a course in Buddhist Philosophy I taught in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii during the spring semester of 1971 as a visiting faculty member. Since its completion...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

The present work owes its origin to a course in Buddhist Philosophy I taught in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii during the spring semester of 1971 as a visiting faculty member. Since its completion, during the fall of the same year, many of my friends, both in Sri Lanka and in Hawaii, have read the manuscript ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xxii

Early Buddhism

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Chapter One. Historical Background

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pp. 3-15

For a long time the consensus among Indologists was that Indian culture and civilization originated with the arrival of the Aryans from central Asia (circa 1750 B.C.)...

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Chapter Two. Epistemology

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pp. 16-25

In his search for the truth about human existence motivated by a desire for release from the suffering inherent in it, Siddhattha Gotama is said to have visited teacher after teacher learning whatever he could from each...

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Chapter Three. Causality

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pp. 26-35

The Buddha claimed that his search for the nature of things led him to the discovery of the uniformity of the causal process (dhammat( hitatii, dhammaniyiimatii, or simply dhammatii)....

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Chapter Four. The Three Characteristics of Existence

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pp. 36-43

In chapter 3 it was pointed out that the Buddha's discourse pertained to two aspects of reality, namely, causality and the causally conditioned phenomena. According to his teaching, there is nothing in this world that does not come within...

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Chapter Five. Karma and Rebirth

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pp. 44-55

Karma and rebirth are two aspects of life personally verified by the Buddha through extrasensory perception. Of one who has developed such powers, it is said: "With his clear paranormal clairvoyant vision he sees beings dying and being reborn...

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Chapter Six. Morality and Ethics

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pp. 56-68

Buddhism, like any other Indian religion, does not divorce knowledge from conduct, theory from practice. Philosophy is meaningful only as it provides an understanding of reality on which to regulate one's life...

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Chapter Seven. Nirvana

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pp. 69-90

Weare now in a position to examine the goal or summum bonum of early Buddhism. Innumerable treatises have been written by scholars on the subject; one feels that the last word has been said. The latest addition to this vast storehouse of interpretative literature is Rune E. A. Johansson's Psychology of Nirvana. 1...

Later Buddhism

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Chapter Eight. Beginnings of Scholasticism and Mahayana

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pp. 93-96

The "Discourse on the Great Decease" (Mahiiparinibbiina-suttanta) , 1 which relates the incidents connected with the last days of the Buddha, recounts two episodes which are of great significance for an understanding of the major developments that took place in the history of Buddhist thought during the two subsequent centuries...

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Chapter Nine. Scholasticism-Theravada, Sarvastivada,and Sautrantika

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pp. 97-111

The doctrines elaborated in the Abhidharma literature belonging to both Theravada1 and Sarvastivada are too numerous to be treated in a short chapter. Hence, I shall attempt to pick out the most important philosophical trends in the Abhidharma...

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Chapter Ten. Development of Mahayana

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pp. 112-128

While on the one hand, scholasticism gradually grew up and matured, giving rise to the three major philosophical schools mentioned above, on the other hand, certain aspects of popular religion developed and found expression in the basic teachinngs...

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Chapter Eleven. Madhyamika Transcendentalism

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pp. 129-141

Madhyamika is one of the most widely studied schools of Buddhism. Studies by Western, Indian, and Far Eastern scholars are too numerous to mention. One of the most authoritative and widely acclaimed analyses of Madhyamika thought...

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Chapter Twelve. Yogacara Idealism

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pp. 142-152

Just as the "critical philosophy" of Immanuel Kant paved the way for Hegelian Idealism, even so the critical philosophy of Nagarjuna may be said to have contributed to the systematized form of absolute Idealism of Vasubandhu, although Idealism as such was not unknown earlier. Idealism developed gradually from the second century A.D., ...

Appendix I. Metaphysics and the Buddha

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pp. 153-162

Appendix 2. Reflections on the Relation between Early Buddhism and Zen

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pp. 163-178

Index

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pp. 179-189


E-ISBN-13: 9780824861711
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824803926

Publication Year: 1984