The Middle Way to Reality: on Why I Am Not a Buddhist and Other Philosophical Curiosities

Sophia 60 (3):1-24 (2021)
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This paper examines four central issues prompted by a recent critique by Evan Thompson of the Buddhist modernism phenomenon: (i) the suitability of evolutionary psychology as a framework of analysis for Buddhist moral psychological ideas; (ii) the issue of what counts as the core and main trajectory of the Buddhist intellectual tradition; (iii) the scope of naturalism in the relation between science and metaphysics, and (iv) whether a Madhyamaka-inspired anti-foundationalism stance can serve as an effective platform for debating the issue of progress in science. The main argument of this paper is that while the mind sciences may corroborate some aspects of the Buddhist model of mind, they also call into question some core Buddhist ideas. Hence, if Buddhism is to enter into a fruitful dialogue with the mind sciences, it must be shown to complement the empirical claims to knowledge for which scientific naturalism so far provides the most viable basis.
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Archival date: 2021-07-18
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