Abhidharma Philosophy

Jan Westerhoff

in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780195328998
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Abhidharma Philosophy

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This article provides an introduction to Abhidharma philosophy. The Abhidharma is a collection of texts intended to deal with what the Buddha taught. It is one of the three collections that make up the Buddhist canonical scriptures (the other two are the sūtras, the Buddha' discourses, and the vinaya, the rules of monastic discipline). All three are usually referred to as the “three baskets,” indicating the way in which the original palm-leaf manuscripts were stored. The discussion found in the Abhidharma texts comprises two main elements: categorizing lists and explicatory discussion of points of doctrine. This article focuses on three topics that are of particular philosophical interest and relate to questions in ontology, the philosophy of time, and metaphysics.

Keywords: Buddhist philosophy; Buddha; ontology; philosophy of time; metaphysics

Article.  6183 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy

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