John Powers

in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This article provides an introduction to Yogācāra. Indian Buddhist thinkers considered a wide range of philosophical problems, and each school was concerned with distinctive issues and adopted characteristic approaches. The Middle Way School (Madhyamaka) was mainly concerned with dialectical debate and applied a reductio ad absurdum (prasaṅga) approach to the analysis of various philosophical systems. The Yogic Practice (Yogācāra) tradition, the other major philosophical strand of ancient and medieval Indian Buddhism, produced a number of influential treatises on epistemology and logic, and it dismissed the Madhyamaka focus on argument as a waste of time and as antithetical to the pursuit of liberation from cyclic existence, which for its proponents was founded on introspective meditation.

Keywords: Buddhist philosophy; Indian Buddhism; Yoga; epistemology; logic

Article.  4608 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy

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