a propos epistemic terms

Jonathan Silk silk at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU
Thu Oct 12 00:00:50 UTC 2006

I take the liberty of forwarding a recent post 
from H-Buddhism which may provide a quick 
bibliography of some interest to the poster who 
asked about epistemic terms.

>From: Dan Arnold <d-arnold at uchicago.edu>
>Subject: QUERY>Buddhist Epistemology for 
>philosophy graduate students (Whitaker)
>Date: October 2, 2006
>Justin Whitaker wrote:
>"My searches thus far have turned up excellent 
>works on Buddhist Epistemology, mostly centered 
>on Dignaaga and Dharmakiirti, but these papers 
>and books are placed within either the context 
>of the history of Buddhism or of Indian 
>philosophy.  Those that addressed Western 
>philosophical notions mentioned thinkers ranging 
>from Plato to Merleau-Ponty, but I have found 
>nothing addressing the works and ideas of 
>contemporary epistemology (Analytic thinkers 
>such as Jaegwon Kim, Earnest Sosa, Edmund 
>Gettier, John Greco,  et al.)."
>In fact, there's a great deal of contemporary 
>scholarship concerning Buddhist philosophy that 
>is very much informed by work in contemporary 
>logic and epistemology. The scholar whose work 
>is perhaps most squarely pitched at the audience 
>of analytic philosophers is Mark Siderits, just 
>about any of whose works might fit the bill for 
>what you have in mind. His recent book _Personal 
>Identity and Buddhist Philosophy: Empty Persons_ 
>(Ashgate, 2003), while not chiefly concerned 
>with epistemology (it considers various Buddhist 
>contributions to the project of reductionism, 
>all of them framed vis-à-vis realist and 
>anti-realist conceptions of truth), is a tour de 
>force with regard to the project of 
>reconstructing Buddhist thought in the idiom of 
>analytic philosophy. As such, that would surely 
>be a good place to start.
>Among the many articles by Siderits that might 
>be more precisely addressed to the particular 
>issues raised in Justin Whitaker's query, 
>consider the following:
>"The Madhyamaka Critique of Epistemology," parts 
>I and II, Journal of Indian Philosophy 8 (1980): 
>307-335 and 9 (1981): 121-160.
>"Perceiving Particulars: A Buddhist Defense," 
>Philosophy East & West 54/3 (2004): 367-382.
>"Inductive, Deductive, Both or Neither?" Journal 
>of Indian Philosophy 31 (2003): 303-321.
>In addition, his earlier book (_Indian 
>Philosophy of Language: Studies in Selected 
>Issues_ [Kluwer, 1991]) may hold some interest.
>In addition to Siderits, significant work in 
>Buddhist studies that's informed by contemporary 
>philosophy surely includes that of Jay Garfield, 
>whose primary training is in analytic 
>philosophy. Especially useful might be his 
>"Epoche and Sunyata: Scepticism East and West," 
>Philosophy East & West 40/3 (1990): 285-308. But 
>consider also his translation and interpretation 
>of Nagarjuna's major work (_The Fundamental 
>Wisdom of the Middle Way_, Oxford, 1995), and 
>also his _Empty Words: Buddhist Philosophy and 
>Cross-Cultural Interpretation_ (Oxford, 2002), 
>which collects many of his articles.
>Studies in the epistemological tradition of 
>Dharmakirti include significant contributions 
>from Georges Dreyfus and Tom Tillemans, both of 
>whom make illuminating reference to, inter alia, 
>Wilfrid Sellars in elaborating the Buddhist 
>positions. Surely there would be much useful 
>stuff for your purposes in Dreyfus's 
>_Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy 
>and its Tibetan Interpretations_ (SUNY, 1997), 
>which is very much more informed by work in 
>Anglo-American philosophy than by, e.g., Plato 
>or Merelau-Ponty. And Tom Tillemans's 
>_Scripture, Logic, Language: Essays on 
>Dharmakirti and His Tibetan Successors_ (Wisdom, 
>1999) may have some articles that serve your 
>Finally, it would be remiss not to refer to the 
>work of one of the thinkers whose work most 
>significantly opened the way for conversation 
>between the classical Indian and contemporary 
>Anglo-American traditions of philosophy: B. K. 
>Matilal, any of whose works could profitably be 
>consulted for this (and by whom was started the 
>Journal of Indian Philosophy, the constitutive 
>mission of which was to advance precisely the 
>dialogue that Whitaker has in mind). See 
>especially his _Perception: An Essay on 
>Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge_ 
>(Oxford/Clarendon, 1986). Matilal's main 
>successor is probably Jonardon Ganeri, whose 
>work carries on something much like Matilal's 
>project in conversation with more recent 
>thinkers; see, e.g., his _Philosophy in 
>Classical India: The Proper Work of Reason_ 
>(Routledge, 2001), which, like Siderits's work, 
>is pitched squarely at the audience of analytic 
>I hope something of the above makes for a useful 
>starting point in the conversations you have in 
>Dan Arnold
>Dan Arnold
>Assistant Professor in the Divinity School
>University of Chicago
>1025 E. 58th Street
>Chicago, IL 60637
>Phone:  773-702-8276
>Fax:  773-702-8223
>"It's not things, it's philosophers that are simple."  --J. L. Austin

Jonathan Silk
Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Center for Buddhist Studies
290 Royce Hall
Box 951540
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
phone: (310) 206-8235
fax:  (310) 825-8808
silk (at) humnet.ucla.edu

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