Abstract

Scholars have proposed several different interpretations of the doctrine of no-self found in the Buddhist Abhidharma literature. It is argued here that two of these, Constitutive Reductionism and Eliminativism, are ruled out by textual evidence. A third, the Eliminative Reductionism of Siderits, is much closer to the intent of the texts.We can refine it further by attending to the role of metaphor in Vaibhāsika accounts of the no-self doctrine. If we update this view by drawing on analytic philosophy, the result is a variety of metaphoricalism that portrays statements about composite, persisting objects as literally false but practically useful and approximately true. This theory could be relevant to contemporary discussions of reductionism in personal identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 377-393
Launched on MUSE
2005-07-07
Open Access
No
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