Chapter

Perception, Conception, and Language

Christian Coseru

in Perceiving Reality

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199843381
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979851 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199843381.003.0004
Perception, Conception, and Language

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Debates about the proper way to inquiry about what knowledge is, its sources or grounds, and criteria of reliability, form an integral part of the Indian philosophical tradition. This chapter reviews the important stages in this debate leading up to Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla, and speculates on the course this debate might have taken had Buddhism endured in India after the 12th century. The recognition that there are shared notions about what it is like to perceive, and what sort of testimony perceptual knowledge provides, is examined in relation to three other issues: (i) the relation between perception and conception; (ii) the relation between language and conceptual, with regard to the Buddhist semantic theory of exclusion (apoha); and (iii) the role of debate and positive argumentation for Buddhist philosophy in general and Buddhist epistemology in particular. The chapter also explores new ways of conceiving of the practice of philosophical debate, the role that positive argumentation plays in such debate, and the relevance of cognitive scientific models of cognition to understanding the operations of logical reasoning.

Keywords: apoha; Bhartṛhari; Nāgārjuna; cognitive aspects; particulars; linguistic reference; logic; universals; causation

Chapter.  17802 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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