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Buddhist Philosophy

Revue Internationale de Philosophie N° 253 (3-2010)

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Is “Buddhist Philosophy” philosophy, and in what sense is it Buddhist? It would be absurd to deny thah Buddhism is a religion. The Buddha repeatedly insisted that what he taught was a path by which all living beings could escape from the suffering entailed by normal existence; that his goal was severely pratical, and whatever he might understand about theoritical matters (and he implied that that was a lot), the only truly worthwhile concern was to work out one’s own salvation.
He thus had much in commin with the maintream of Graeco-Roman philosophy. Socrates too held that the point of philosophy was not just to talk it but to live by it. Like the Buddha, he saw a strong link between virtue and intellectual understanding; and he held that while one would seek out the best teachers, in the end one could only realise the truth and follow it from oneself. Buddhists believed that the goal was to lead such a life – to attain such virtue and understanding – that it would culminate in escape from a otherwise endless cycle of rebirth. The only classical Greek philosophical schools to believe in rebirth were the Pythagoreans and the Platonists; most schools had varied ideas, or were agnostic, about life after death. However, for the history of ideas, this contrast between religious settings of Buddhist and western classical philosophy is far less interesting and important than their approaches to philosophy and life.

Texts by : V. Eltschinger, R. Gombrich, A. Madhyamaka, N. Ronkin

Revue Internationale de Philosophie - Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 253 (3-2010)
146 pages - 16 × 24 cm
ISBN 978-2-930560-04-5 - octobre 2010

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