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By Stephen J. Laumakis

During this truly written undergraduate textbook, Stephen Laumakis explains the starting place and improvement of Buddhist rules and ideas, targeting the philosophical rules and arguments provided and defended by means of chosen thinkers and sutras from a number of traditions. He starts off with a comic strip of the Buddha and the Dharma, and highlights the origins of Buddhism in India. He then considers particular information of the Dharma with exact cognizance to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and examines the improvement of Buddhism in China, Japan, and Tibet, concluding with the guidelines of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. In each one bankruptcy he comprises motives of keywords and teachings, excerpts from basic resource fabrics, and displays of the arguments for every place. His e-book may be a useful consultant for all who're attracted to this wealthy and colourful philosophy.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

Example text

For example, experience teaches us that where there is smoke, there is fire. Where there is fruit, there are plants and trees. Where there are actions, there are results or consequences. In these and many other cases like them, it is obvious, at least at the level of direct observation, that what we ordinarily think of as causes and effects are joined in ways that are more intimate than simple constant conjunctions or mere temporal succession. Moreover, since we also fail to have any direct empirical evidence of any immaterial kinds of beings (whether they be souls or other kinds of metaphysical ‘‘powers’’ or ‘‘forces’’) – either in ourselves or outside of ourselves – it seems perfectly reasonable to conclude that material objects interact according to causally determined and necessitated patterns.

Given these restrictions, it might appear that there really is no important connection between the events in the life of Siddhattha Gotama and the teachings of the historical Buddha. However, I want to reiterate my earlier claim that knowing something about the story of a philosopher’s life and its historical context can help to make the philosopher’s thoughts and ideas both real and more readily and easily understandable. It is precisely in this respect, in conjunction with our philosophical approach to the teachings of the Buddha and Buddhism, that I am proposing this ‘‘philosophical reading’’ of his biography.

These elements, which were ‘‘heard’’ and ‘‘remembered’’ by poetseers and sages, include an initial polytheism (later replaced by the monism/ monotheism of the Upanishads), and formalized ritual fire sacrifices performed by priests. Other features of this dassana include a gradual acceptance of vegetarianism, non-violence, asceticism, yoga, kamma, and belief in rebirth and the cyclical nature of reality and existence. The contexts for the emergence of Buddhism Just as there are serious scholarly doubts and uncertainties about the formation of the pre-Vedic ‘‘vision,’’ there are similar problems and questions about exactly how the basic features of the Vedic ‘‘vision’’ were formed.

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