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Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy


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Methodological issues: problems of interpretation in Tsongkhapa studies; questions of "development" and "originality" in Tsongkhapa's thought; textual sources. Contexts of Tsongkhapa's thought: historical contexts of Tsongkhapa's "middle view"; qualms about early Tibetan interpretations of the "middle view"; Tsongkhapa's key religious and philosophical concerns; central elements of Tsongkhapa's philosophical method. Delineating reason's scope for negation: Tsongkhapa's reading of Madhyamaka's tetralemma logic; discerning the domains of "conventional" and "ultimate" discourses; identifying the object of negation in Madhyamaka dialectics; logical analysis of the forms of negation; the primacy of the "reductio" and "absurdam" method. Tsongkhapa's deconstruction of the "self": levels of self-hood according to Tsongkhapa; inadequacies of the Buddhist reductionist theory of "no-self"; the concept of intrinsic being; negation of intrinsic being as "no-self". Personal identity, continuity and "I"-consciousness: personal identity and dependent origination; the nature of "I"-consciousness; individuality and continuity; the chariot analogy. "No-self", truth and the "middle way": "to exist is to exist on the conventional level"; everyday reality as fiction-like; beyond absolutism, nihilism and relativism; "no-self", reason and soeriology.

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