From the Five Aggregates to Phenomenal Consciousness: Toward a Cross-Cultural Cognitive Science

In Steven M. Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley (2013)
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Buddhism originated and developed in an Indian cultural context that featured many first-person practices for producing and exploring states of consciousness through the systematic training of attention. In contrast, the dominant methods of investigating the mind in Western cognitive science have emphasized third-person observation of the brain and behavior. In this chapter, we explore how these two different projects might prove mutually beneficial. We lay the groundwork for a cross-cultural cognitive science by using one traditional Buddhist model of the mind – that of the five aggregates – as a lens for examining contemporary cognitive science conceptions of consciousness.
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