Minds and worlds: A philosophical commentary on the "Twenty Verses" of Vasubandhu /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Kachru, Sonam, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (666 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/10773324
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Daniel A. Arnold Committee members: Steven Collins; Matthew T. Kapstein.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-02(E), Section: A.
Summary:This dissertation is an exercise in the history of philosophy and is written as a philosophical commentary to the Twenty Verses (Vimsika ) of the Buddhist philosopher from Peshawar, Vasubandhu. The principal contribution this dissertation makes involves a novel interpretation of what Vasubandhu is claiming in the Twenty Verses, and of what he is doing in making and justifying this claim. This dissertation maintains that Vasubandhu's method involves an exercise in the rational reconstruction of the Buddha's meaning, a particular kind of hermeneutic praxis recognized as 'the removal of objections' in Vasubandhu's Principles of Exegesis. Relatedly, Vasubandhu seeks to put forward a reconstruction of what is meant in crediting the Buddha with the thought that when describing the entire range of possible sentient experience we ought to restrict ourselves to only mental events. This dissertation argues that Vasubandhu's reconstruction of the Buddha's thought is concerned with clarifying the concept of intentionality criterial for the category of mental events. Vasubandhu claims that intentionality is best understood to be a function of our habituation to patterns of activity. To think this is to forego thinking that intentionality is best modeled on the perceptual experience of individuals and involves a renunciation of the belief that intentionality is best thought of as involving a relation between mental events and objects, physical or mental. Eschewing the privileging of perceptual experience, Vasubandhu maintains, instead, that when describing mentality, we must allow thought to move in the same categories that Buddhist philosophers had already developed to speak of forms of life and their characteristic life-worlds afforded by habituation to shared patterns of activity. This interpretation of Vasubandhu's claim and Vasubandhu's method is intended to weaken the grip that empiricism---involving characteristic claims regarding epistemic warrant, mental content and causation---has exerted on the interpretation of Vasubandhu's thought.