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The paper contrasts Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and Buddhist explanations of attention. Section 1 lays out the ontological postulates that Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas and Buddhists deemed necessary for the explanation of attention. Section 2 looks at three arguments that the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣikas gave for their principal postulate, the manas, and three corresponding Buddhist responses to those arguments. Sections 3 and 4 look at contrasting Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and Buddhist explanations of, respectively, ‘shifts of attention’ and ‘competition for attention’. Section 5 considers whether the Buddhist model can adequately account for voluntary or endogenous attention, and whether the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika model can adequately account for involuntary or exogenous attention. The final section identifies three things that are commonly attributed to attention and that may seem impossible in both the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika and the Buddhist models; it shows how the two Indian models can account for them.


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