Chapter

An Encyclopedic and Compassionate Setting for Buddhist Epistemology

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/9780199843381.003.0005
An Encyclopedic and Compassionate Setting for Buddhist Epistemology

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The examination of perception that Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla undertake in the Compendium and its Commentary draws from a centuries long and rich history of philosophical debate. This chapter reviews some of the most important aspects of this debate, while at the same time providing a thorough examination of the overall scope and content of their works. It argues for the need to view the encyclopaedic pursuits of Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla both in doxographical terms, and as an effort aimed at establishing the core Buddhist metaphysical principles on a sound epistemological foundation. Finally, by mapping the ontological and epistemological domains of Buddhist and Indian philosophy, the chapter also invokes the principle of clarity and a version of Okham’s razor to defend the parsimonious epistemology of the Buddhists.

Keywords: doxography; taxonomy; conceptual definition; purpose of a work; dependent arising; compassion; semiotics; metaphysical principle; omniscience

Chapter.  8053 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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