This book provides a philosophical account of the major doctrinal shift in the history of early Theravada tradition in India: the transition from the earliest stratum of Buddhist thought to the systematic and allegedly scholastic philosophy of the Pali Abhidhamma movement. Conceptual investigation into the development of Buddhist ideas is pursued, thus rendering the Buddha's philosophical position more explicit and showing how and why his successors changed it. Entwining comparative philosophy and Buddhology, the author probes the Abhidhamma's metaphysical transition in terms of the Aristotelian tradition and vis-? This book demonstrates that not only does a philosophically oriented inquiry into the conceptual foundations of early Buddhism give rise to a better understanding of what philosophy and religion are qua thought and religion, but that it also helps introduce innovative ideas and fresh perspectives into the traditional Buddhological arena. Early Buddhist Metaphysics fills a significant gap in Buddhist scholarship and does so in an innovative way by equally combining philosophically rigorous investigation and Buddhological research criteria. Her research interests include a range of issues associated with Indian Theravada Buddhist philosophy and psychology, the Abhidhamma tradition and comparative Indian philosophy.
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Early Buddhist Metaphysics provides a philosophical account of the major doctrinal shift in the history of early Theravada tradition in India: the transition from the earliest stratum of Buddhist thought to the systematic and allegedly scholastic philosophy of the Pali Abhidhamma movement. Entwining comparative philosophy and Buddhology, the author probes the Abhidhamma's metaphysical transition in terms of the Aristotelian tradition and vis-a-vis modern philosophy, exploits Western philosophical literature from Plato to contemporary texts in the fields of philosophy of mind and cultural criticism.
Read more Read less. Review 'The author often uses methods of comparative philosophy of religion and draws on later Buddhist systems of philosophy, non-Buddhist Indian sources and also on achievements of western philosophical inquiries and Buddhological scholarship.
Her research interests include a range of issues associated with Indian Theravada Buddhist philosophy and psychology, the Abhidhamma tradition and comparative Indian philosophy. No customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases.
Review this product Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. My fingers tremble over the keyboard at the prospect of reviewing this amazingly sophisticated book, but there come times when somebody has to say something! My five star rating is intended only for those who are so seriously disturbed as to pay the high price for this book, and then undertake reading the densely written essays concerning the minute and numerous points of evolving Buddhist thought.
The subject matter is necessarily elusive and difficult, and despite Ronkin's fine essay skills, I could handle only about ten pages per day. At issue here are the great inconsistencies of principles that developed from the Early Buddhism of the Suttas into the highly scholasticized Abhidhamma literature.
If this obscure topic interests you, I suggest you use Amazon's book search facility to explore the last chapter, "Concluding Reflections", which is a jaw dropper to ye true believers. To come to the point, those who made religion and philosophy out of the Buddha's teachings managed to reinstall revised versions of the Brahmanic essentialism and substantialism that the Buddha spent his life trying to overturn.
That is the bottom line, but Ronkin traces these developments in such well reasoned detail as to provoke in the reader both amazement and agony. Her concluding idea is that principles that are valid in one philosophical category such as epitomology get dragged into other categories such as ontology where they do not belong. It is like realizing that some Biblebanger has gotten hold of The Constitution of the US and written his own stuff in to it.
My analogy, not Ronkin's, as her writing style for this book is very succinct and formal. You have to read carefully, because she won't tell you anything twice. The book is based on Ronkin's Oxford thesis in philosophy, and she did a thorough job of converting the thesis into a reasonably readable book, dropping in helpful hints at exactly the right places for The Great Unwashed, such as myself.
Comparing various Pali writings, Ronkin relys heavily on her ability to analyze the nuances of the writer's Pali grammar and draw out the unspecified implications of his philosophical positions.
Ronkin frequently resorts to Rupert Gethin and Sue Hamilton for technical support and points of reference. Still getting through it, after two years: better to sit than to read. Go to Amazon. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. DPReview Digital Photography.
Early Buddhist Metaphysics : The Making of a Philosophical Tradition
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Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition