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SMU Faculty Presentation_Asian Philosophy

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SMU Faculty Presentation_Asian Philosophy

  1. 1. SMU Friday Faculty Lunch Presentation Approaching the Richness of Asian Philosophy • Overview of the philosophy of Asia, particularly the nondual schools of India and Tibet • (12:35) Mindfulness Meditation Interlude • Note the ways Asian and Western thought are changing each other • Note where Asian philosophy is slow to be recognized • Identify reasons Asian thought remains difficult for westerners to approach • Q&A Asian Philosophy? I didn’t know there was philosophy in Asia.
  2. 2. OrientOccident
  3. 3. “Religion” East and West Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shintoism • Religion • Philosophy • Psychology • Religion • The Church • Judeo-Christian • Faith • Theology • Philosophy • The Academy • Greek • Reason • Science Western Wisdom Traditions Asian Wisdom Traditions • Arts • Literature • Sciences: Mathematics, Astronomy, Physical Sciences, Health Sciences, Deconstructing the “Religion Only” Myth of the Asian Wisdom Traditions Overcoming the Modernist Aversion to Religion, Spirituality, & Faith
  4. 4. 2b-Philosophical Landscape of India Six Hindu Philosophical Schools 1. Nyaya, School of Logic » Vaiseshika, Atomist School 2. Samkhya, Enumeration School » Yoga, School of Patanjali 3. Vedanta, Vedic Ritual School » Mimamsa, Vedic School • Advaita Vedanta • Kashmir Shaivism Buddhist Philosophical Schools • 1-Hinayana, Abhidharma, Nikaya • 18 Schools • Sarvastivada • Theravada • Mahasanghika • Mahayana • 2-Madhyamaka • 3-Yogachara • Chinese Buddhist Schools • Chan-Zen • Japanese-Korean Schools • Kyoto School • Vajrayana • Tibetan Schools • Mongolian Buddhism Non-Orthodox Schools • Jainism: nonviolence, self- control • Cārvākas: skepticism, aetheism, materialism < < < < < The Vedas and the Upanishads > > > > >
  5. 5. Causality Time Becoming and Destruction Conditions Soul Motion The Senses Mental Categories Elements Conditioned Agent and Action Initial and Final Limits Suffering Compounded Phenomena Errors Dependent Origination Views Logic Ethics Metaphysics Syllogism Argument and Debate Topics of Indian Philosophy
  6. 6. 2c-Indian Philosophy: Nondual Schools Nondual = A-dva = A-dual = A-dvaita-vada = “Nondual Path” • The Middle Way—escape from the prison of duality… from • Philosophical-conceptual extremes: reification/nihilism, affirmation/negation, idealism/realism, absolute/relative, • Mental grasping, indications or definitions, language games • Three-in-One: Religion, Philosophy, Psychology • Academy & Church Buddhist Nondual Schools • Madhyamika • Yogachara Hindu Nondual Schools • Advaita Vedanta • Kashmir Shaivism
  7. 7. 2c-Philosophers of Nonduality Nagarjuna Time: 2nd Century Founded: Madhyamaka (Mahayana Buddhism), Madhyamika dialectic Major Work: Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way Shankara, Adi Shankara, Shankaracharya Time: 8-9th Century Founded: Advaita Vedanta, Hinduism Major Works: numerous commentaries (bhasyas) and treatises (prakaranas)
  8. 8. Central Concerns • Critique of the mind • Cessation of separateness • Ultimate truth, freedom, realization, awakening, enlightenment, • Moksha, Samadhi, Kensho 2c-Central Features of Advaita Philosophy Essential Features of Advaita Systems • Both transcendent and immanent… • As transcendent… • As immanent… • Reality-paramartha and Appearance-samvirti • Avidya, transcendental illusion or ignorance Central Features of Buddhist Nondualism • Emptiness • Dependent Arising • Two Truths Doctrine • Conventional Truth-Reality • Ultimate Truth-Reality Central Debate: Self –v No-self To be or not to be is not the question in Advaita
  9. 9. Buddhist Wheel of Life • Wheel of Dependent Arising • Wheel of Becoming • Wheel of Cyclic Existence • Wheel of Rebirth • Wheel of Samsara • Bhavachakra
  10. 10. 3
  11. 11. Quantum Physics & Consciousness Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Mind/Brain Psychology & Psychotherapy 4-Asian Thought Changing Western Thought
  12. 12. “Study Shows Compassion Meditation Changes the Brain”
  13. 13. • Western Scholarship: focus on philological and historical completeness • Western Science: grounding experience in neuroscience, biology, culture, language • Feminism, in the ordination of Buddhist nuns, female teachers • Green/Ecology movement, in eco-Buddhism, ordination of trees in Thailand to protect from cutting • Social Service, in socially-engaged, service-oriented Buddhism of Thich Nhat Hanh • Humanism, Dalai Lama and human rights in Tibet/China • Intersubjective Critique: Culture, Language, History 4-Western Thought Changing Asian Thought
  14. 14. 5-Where Asian Thought is Slow to Be Recognized Asian Studies, Religious Studies Departments Examples: • Oxford University Press brochure • Pointing at the Moon introduction on the narrowness of the APA and the growing globalization of academic philosophy
  15. 15. 6-Barriers to Approaching Asian Thought • Richness of the West: being occupied with our own debates, narratives, and learning • Enlightenment Pride: western superiority & ethnocentrism – Science Orthodoxy: based in the success of materialist-reductionist empirical science – Aversion to Metaphysics: modernist suspicion of non-rational forms of thought and experience • Erroneous Charges: circulation of misunderstandings, beliefs about, and dismissals of Asian thought • Inaccessibility: distance due to (the historical) lack of translations and the complexity of Asian traditions • Otherness Anxiety: various forms of apprehension, uneasiness, and discomfort when encountering cultural otherness
  16. 16. Q&A
  17. 17. Three Root Afflictions/Poisons • Ignorance (confusion, delusion) • Attachment (desire, greed, lust) • Aversion (hatred, aggression, anger) Mara/Yama: God of Impermanence, Lord of Death "Mara" comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *mer meaning to die; • Hindi “maranē kē li'ē”, • Latin “mori”, Spanish “morir”, • English “morbid”, “ mortal” …ignorance is equivalent to the identification of a self as being separate from everything else
  18. 18. Nataraja: The Cosmic Dance of Shiva

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  • GeorgeAnderson93

    Jun. 28, 2020


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