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[Xmca-l] Buddhist ideas of self



Dear all,

As a response to Lplarry’s question, here are a few short classical passages from various Buddhist sources that introduce the idea of no-self philosophically, and make it plain that it is, at its basis, a fully rational idea:

Milindapanha, II 25.1 I only have an old edition at hand, “Milinda’s Questions” vol. I, transl. by I.B.Horner, Luzac & Co, London 1969, pp.34-38

Vimalakirtinirdesasutra ch.7 (beginning). The best English translation is “The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti” by Robert Thurman, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park 1976 (I have the 11th printing, 1997), pp.56-58. The comments are essential.

Nagarjuna, Mulamadhyamakakarika, ch.18 (but I would recommend reading chapters 5-6 first), a very well commented translation is by Jay Garfield, Oxford University Press, NY and Oxford, 1995, pp. 149-58 and 245-53.

Dogen, Genjokoan (ch.1 of the Shobogenzo). There are many translations and comments, some of them unfortunately quite misleading. I would recommend the one by Tom Kasulis, in Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, Hawaii University Press, Honolulu 2011, pp.144-47.

As you can see, only 30 pages in total :) 

With best wishes,

Rein


> On 29 Jul 2016, at 08:01, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Rein,
> Your offer to recommend Buddhist approaches to the self through texts is something others may want to explore.
> In particular juxtaposed with Mead or Peirce. 
> Your book presenting a dialogue with Zygmunt is a format that I find thought provoking. His notion of *liquid* modernity is disturbing and I hope your dialogue engages this topic.
> Also a reasonable price as a kindle book.
>  
>  
>  
>  
> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
>  
> From: Rein Raud <mailto:rein.raud@tlu.ee>
> Sent: July 28, 2016 8:40 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Identity through "experiential texts"
>  
> Hello,
>  
> Several suggestions: one is a classic Japanese anime by Oshii Mamoru entitled “Ghost in the Shell” <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113568/ <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113568/>>  with a story no longer merely science fiction, as there are teams of serious scientists around, trying to create a way how the brain could be uploaded to the internet so that the mind of an individual could continue to function independently as a piece of software.
>  
> The second suggestion is the book “The Semiotic Self” <https://books.google.ee/books?id=uQdSudyH5HoC&redir_esc=y <https://books.google.ee/books?id=uQdSudyH5HoC&redir_esc=y>> (Polity 1994) by Norbert Wiley - I saw a reference to Colapietro’s treatment of Peirce’s views of selfhood, in this one they are perhaps more accessibly treated in comparison to those of Herbert Mead.
>  
> The third is a book by Zygmunt Bauman and myself entitled "Practices of Selfhood" <https://books.google.ee/books/about/Practices_of_Selfhood.html?id=T2O_oQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y <https://books.google.ee/books/about/Practices_of_Selfhood.html?id=T2O_oQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y>> (Polity 2015), a dialogue covering aspects such as selfhood and language, selfhood as performance, selfhood and technology (see above), technologies of self-production etc. 
>  
> Then I’d consider something by Daniel Dennett, whose popular and accessible version of neurophilosophy provides a useful link to the current state of science.
>  
> As to the idea of Buddhist self, I would strongly advise against a “mindfulness” exercise as a way to getting to know it, because even though this form of therapy is parasitic on Buddhist thought, it distorts it considerably. There are many good summaries of Buddhist ideas on the topic, so if you would like to include it in your course, I would be glad to point some out for you. (But it is a topic that merits a full-length course of its own.)
>  
> With best wishes,
>  
> Rein Raud