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Description - The Buddhist Theory of Self-Cognition by Zhihua Yao

This highly original work explores the concept of self-awareness or self-consciousness in Buddhist thought. Within the Buddhist doctrinal system, the Sanskrit word svasamvedana or svasamvitti (self-cognition, self-awareness or self-consciousness) signifies a form of reflexive awareness. It is one of the key concepts in the Buddhist epistemological system developed by Dignaga (ca. 480-540 CE) and his followers. The discussion on whether the mind knows itself also had a long history in the Buddhist schools of Mahasamghika, Sarvastivada, Sautrantika and early Yogacara. The same issue was debated later among followers of the Madhyamaka and Yogacara schools. This work is the first systematically to study the Buddhist theory of self-cognition with an emphasis on its pre-Dignaga development. Its central thesis is that the Buddhist theory of self-cognition originated in a soteriological discussion of omniscience among the Mahasamghikas, and then evolved into a topic of epistemological inquiry among the Yogacarins. To illustrate this central theme, this book explores a large body of primary sources in Chinese, Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan, most of which are being presented to an English readership for the first time. This work makes available important resources for the study of the Buddhist philosophy of mind.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415344319
ISBN-10: 041534431X
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: RoutledgeCurzon
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 24-Oct-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Zhihua Yao

Zhihua Yao received his PhD from Boston University. He is Research Assistant Professor at the Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong. He specializes in Buddhist Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion.

Books By Zhihua Yao

Buddhist Theory of Self-Cognition by Zhihua Yao
Paperback, April 2009
$62.99