Buddhism as Philosophy: An Introduction (book review) Mark Siderits

160513: this is a book i have had for years, i read now, in chapter reads a day each, but not studying. this could be an excellent text for undergraduate courses, with your prof working through this particular logic, because it draws on an entire unfamiliar tradition for most who know only western philosophy. i enjoyed this a lot...


i do not know why this text intimidated me, because it is actually very readable, very organized, very concise- though it does examine many schools or orientations that have discussed, decided, argued, Buddhist ideas, and this history and its groups, can be intricate, complex, and do rely on common (eastern) cultural beliefs such as karma, samsara, moksha, though through the principle of 'lightness' (like occam's razor) there are few truly difficult concepts...


perhaps the only reason i found the text so amenable, so perceptive, is in the fact so much previous Buddhism and philosophy i have read, familiarity with philosophical argument, dialectic, assertion, and Buddhist insistence on only accepting what you can think, not dogma, not sources, no other faith than in human power of thought... there is here in buddhism, at least as philosophy, no excessive jargon, no necessary acceptance of the supernatural, of god or prophet or messiah, no necessary belief in some kind of order, some author, some metaphysics of being and the world- it is possible to be an atheistic Buddhist (though apparently to be christian you have to believe in christ, to be muslim believe in mohammed) - and so all ideas are open to all dispute, are open to objections, are open even to revision...


truly, this is a favourite philosophy text...

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if you like this review, i now have website: www.michaelkamakana.com 220611: this is probably the most academically accurate of the translations I have read of this book, but still prefer commentary o