Empty or Emergent Persons? A Critique of Buddhist Personalism

Comparative Philosophy 12 (1):76-97 (2021)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
In contrast to Buddhist Reductionists who deny the ultimate existence of the persons, Buddhist Personalists claim that persons are ultimately real in some important sense. Recently, some philosophers have offered philosophical reconstructions of Buddhist Personalism. In this paper, I critically evaluate one philosophical reconstruction of Buddhist Personalism according to which persons are irreducible to the parts that constitute them. Instead, persons are emergent entities and have novel properties that are distinct from the properties of their constituents. While this emergentist interpretation is an interesting and well-motivated reconstruction of the Personalist position, I ultimately reject it on substantive grounds. I distinguish between different kinds of emergentism in the contemporary philosophical literature and show that they fail to support Buddhist Personalism. I thus conclude that Buddhist Personalism is untenable if it’s committed to emergentism about persons. This paper also indirectly defends Buddhist Reductionism by showing that it has crucial advantages over Buddhist Personalism.
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-01-13
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
183 ( #34,248 of 2,462,875 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
35 ( #24,044 of 2,462,875 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.