Foundationalism and the Phenomenology of Perception

Christian Coseru

in Perceiving Reality

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199843381
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979851 | DOI:
Foundationalism and the Phenomenology of Perception

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This chapter, which draws on a set of interrelated issues in the phenomenology of perception, calls into question the assumption that Buddhist philosophers of the Dignāga-Dharmakīrti tradition pursue a kind of epistemic foundationalism. It argues that the embodied and enactive cognition paradigm, which informs recent efforts within the Western philosophical tradition to overcome the Cartesian epistemological legacy of understanding knowledge primarily in terms of justifying belief, can be also found- albeit in a modified form-in the Buddhist epistemological tradition. In seeking to ground epistemic inquiries in a version of phenomenological naturalism, the Buddhist epistemologist, it is claimed, adopt a middle ground position between empiricism and rationalism (or nominalism). It also argues for the essential role of first-person accounts of experience in ascertaining knowledge claims. Finally, it claims that the Buddhists share with Quine and other proponents of naturalism the view that causality, not justification, is the determining factor in deciding which cognitive events count as knowledge.

Keywords: foundationalism; empiricism; phenomenology of perception; Sellars; Merleau-Ponty; Quine; cognitive science of vision; analysis of particulars; representation; enactive perception

Chapter.  19159 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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