Engaging Buddhism

Engaging Buddhism : Why It Matters to Philosophy

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This is a book for scholars of Western philosophy who wish to engage with Buddhist philosophy, or who simply want to extend their philosophical horizons. It is also a book for scholars of Buddhist studies who want to see how Buddhist theory articulates with contemporary philosophy. Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy articulates the basic metaphysical framework common to Buddhist traditions. It then explores questions in metaphysics, the
philosophy of mind, phenomenology, epistemology, the philosophy of language and ethics as they are raised and addressed in a variety of Asian Buddhist traditions. In each case the focus is on philosophical problems; in each case the connections between Buddhist and contemporary Western debates are addressed, as are
the distinctive contributions that the Buddhist tradition can make to Western discussions. Engaging Buddhism is not an introduction to Buddhist philosophy, but an engagement with it, and an argument for the importance of that engagement. It does not pretend to comprehensiveness, but it does address a wide range of Buddhist traditions, emphasizing the heterogeneity and the richness of those traditions. The book concludes with methodological reflections on how to prosecute dialogue
between Buddhist and Western traditions.

"Garfield has a unique talent for rendering abstruse philosophical concepts in ways that make them easy to grasp. This is an important book, one that can profitably be read by scholars of Western and non-Western philosophy, including specialists in Buddhist philosophy. This is in my estimation the most important work on Buddhist philosophy in recent memory. It covers a wide range of topics and provides perhaps the clearest analysis of some core Buddhist ideas to date. This is landmark work. I
think it's the best cross-cultural analysis of the relevance of Buddhist thought for contemporary philosophy in the present literature. "-C. John Powers, Professor, School of Culture, History & Language, Australian National University
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 157 x 235 x 27mm | 526g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 10
  • 0190204346
  • 9780190204341
  • 284,162

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; Preface ; 1. What is Buddhist Philosophy? ; 2. The Metaphysical Perspective I: Interdependence and Impermanence ; 3. The Metaphysical Perspective II: Emptiness ; 4. The Self ; 5. Consciousness ; 6. Phenomenology ; 7. Epistemology ; 8. Logic and the Philosophy of Language ; 9. Ethics ; 10. Methodological Postscript ; References ; Index
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Review quote

Garfield's book is a thought provoking and illuminating engagement with (mainly Mahayana) Buddhist thought. The chapters on metaphysics, the self, epistemology and ethics are the most interesting ones ... Another asset of the book is that it moves beyond a mere scholarly discussion of (the history of) Buddhist ideas. Chances are high we will see more books engaging with non-Western thought in the future. Garfield's book is a good example of successfully doing this. This book has been much needed, even if many have not realized the need. Writing from a position of deep engagement with Buddhism and philosophy, Garfield (philosophy, Yale, Smith, and elsewhere) does an excellent job explicating central Buddhist concepts and relating them to Western contemporary and historical philosophical concepts and problems ... Clearly, the book is rich in terms of breadth ... Garfield does an excellent job of balancing rigor, breadth, and depth while bringing together two very different traditions. And he is careful to engage a variety of Buddhist perspectives ... Highly recommended. Choice Engaging Buddhism is the most impressive, insightful, informative, and accessible book I've ever read on Buddhist philosophy ... [It]is one of the most signi?cant contributions to the Western reception of and engagement with Buddhist philosophy. This book is a must read for Western philosophers, but also for Buddhist philosophers who attempt to engage Western philosophy, as this blueprint is bi-directional. Rick Repetti, Science, Religion & Culture His valuable new book admirably serves its purpose of helping analytic philosophers understand some of what Buddhists have written about the very questions they study. In fact, Engaging Buddhism goes further, giving strong reasons to believe that contemporary physicalist philosophers of mind could strengthen their positions in important ways by drawing on Buddhist thought and that analytic philosophers more generally can find valuable insights in the Buddhist tradition. This book has many strengths. The writing is crisp, technically precise, yet elegant and engagingaGarfield has done a wonderful service in producing this impressive and intriguing book, which is always interesting and often enjoyable to read and which can open up new philosophical prospects equally well for both long-standing and newly minted students of Buddhist thought. Charles Goodman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online Garfield engages with a wide range of thinkers such as Hume, Kant, and Heidegger, in order to show the relevance of Buddhist thought to the history of philosophy itself. By engaging complex Buddhist thoughts in terms of dialogues relevant to contemporary western philosophy, Garfield takes the initial steps necessary to broaden philosophys global understanding in order to make cross-cultural philosophical study a reality. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal The arguments in Engaging Buddhism are primarily directed toward professional scholars of Western philosophy, but the implications of Garfield's work are far-reaching. His concise presentations of Buddhist views on topics such as interdependence, emptiness, and the mind are useful for any student or practitioner of Buddhism who wishes to understand such topics more deeply and in a broader context. Garfield's discussion of emptiness in the third chapter is particularly useful for the student of Buddhism. Constance Kassor, Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly
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About Jay L. Garfield

Jay L. Garfield is Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Professor of Humanities and Head of Studies in Philosophy at Yale-NUS College, Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore, Recurrent Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Smith College, Professor of Philosophy at Melbourne University and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the Central University of
Tibetan Studies. Professor Garfield teaches and pursues research in the philosophy of mind, foundations of cognitive science, logic, philosophy of language, Buddhist philosophy, cross-cultural hermeneutics, ethics and epistemology.
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Rating details

66 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 38% (25)
4 39% (26)
3 15% (10)
2 5% (3)
1 3% (2)
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