Book

Perceiving Reality

Christian Coseru

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199843381
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979851 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199843381.001.0001
Perceiving Reality

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Combining epistemological insights from Dignāga, Dharmakīrti, Śāntarakṣita, and Kamalaśīla, but also drawing on the work of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty and on recent work in analytic philosophy and phenomenology, this book defends the view that perception is intentionally constituted and, under certain circumstances, represents a type of implicit knowing that precludes (or at least minimizes) the possibility of error. The book also explores the classic debate between Buddhists philosophers and their opponents, principally the Naiyāyikas and the Mīmāmsakas, on such issues as establishing reliable means of belief formation, the relation between language and conceptual thought, and the structure of awareness. It also provides new ways of conceptualizing the Buddhist epistemological defence of the reflexivity thesis of consciousness, namely that each cognitive event is to be understood as involving a pre-reflective implicit awareness of its own occurrence. From a methodological point of view, the book advances an innovative approach to Buddhist philosophy of mind under the guise of phenomenological naturalism—which allows for cognitive awareness to be understood in causal terms without reducing the contents of awareness to non-cognitive elements—and moves beyond comparative approaches to philosophy by emphasizing the continuity of concerns between the discourses of Buddhist and Western philosophers.

Keywords: perception; intentionality; consciousness; embodied cognition; reflexivity; naturalism; phenomenology; Buddhist philosophy; Śāntarakṣita; Kamalaśīla

Book.  352 pages. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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Table of Contents

Naturalizing Buddhist Epistemology in Perceiving Reality

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Sensation and the Empirical Consciousness in Perceiving Reality

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Perception, Conception, and Language in Perceiving Reality

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Perception as an Epistemic Modality in Perceiving Reality

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Foundationalism and the Phenomenology of Perception in Perceiving Reality

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Perception, Self-Awareness, and Intentionality in Perceiving Reality

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In Defense of Epistemological Optimism in Perceiving Reality

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