Chapter

Buddhas as Zombies:A Buddhist Reduction of Subjectivity

Mark Siderits

in Self, No Self?

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199593804
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595691 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593804.003.0012
Buddhas as Zombies:A Buddhist Reduction of Subjectivity

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While some Buddhist philosophers maintain that consciousness is necessarily reflexive in nature, others deny this. Here it is maintained that there are good philosophical reasons to deny that consciousness is reflexive. The consequences of such a denial must then be explored, given the general Buddhist commitment to the position that consciousness is ownerless. Such a view would have to claim that a cognition can only be cognized by a distinct cognition. This other-illumination thesis took several distinct forms in the Indian tradition. The one form that would be both compatible with the Buddhist non-self view and philosophically defensible has the surprising consequence that consciousness is reducible to non-conscious states. Some of the ramifications of the resulting reductionism about the mental are discussed.

Keywords: non-self; Buddhist reductionism; subjectivity; reflexivity; self-illumination; other-illumination; Dignāga; abductive inference; zombies

Chapter.  10493 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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