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By Noa Ronkin

Early Buddhist Metaphysics provides a philosophical account of the most important doctrinal shift within the heritage of early Theravada culture in India: the transition from the earliest stratum of Buddhist inspiration to the systematic and allegedly scholastic philosophy of the Pali Abhidhamma flow. Entwining comparative philosophy and Buddhology, the writer probes the Abhidhamma's metaphysical transition when it comes to the Aristotelian culture and vis-?-vis smooth philosophy, exploits Western philosophical literature from Plato to modern texts within the fields of philosophy of brain and cultural feedback.

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Additional info for Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition (Routlegecurzon Critical Studies in Buddhism)

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38 Another similar commentarial differentiation is that the suttas explain the fundamental principles of Buddhist thought – namely, the five aggregates, the four noble truths, dependent co-arising, the sense spheres, the elements of cognition, etc. 39 Although the canonical Abhidhamma literature does not explicitly make such a distinction between the teaching in application subject to various circumstances versus the higher, ultimate teaching, it certainly contrasts Suttanta and Abhidhamma methods, as the structures of the Vibhaπga or the Kathavatthu emblematize.

2 Aristotle 1966: 1028b8–26. 16 INTRODUCTION: THERAVADIN DOCTRINAL THOUGHT 3 On the formulation of the definition and the population questions see Witt 1989: 7–8. 4 Hamlyn 1995; Walsh 1997: Ch. 1. 5 Cf. 3: pratyaksanumanopamanafabdah pramajani. The Nyaya fourfold pramaja list became the most authoritative one and, as Georges Dreyfus indicates (1997: 294 and 529, n. 42), even certain pre-Dignaga Buddhist epistemologists used it. On the pramaja tradition see Matilal 1986: Ch. 4; Dreyfus (1997: 285–98) discusses in detail Dharmakirti’s epistemology of valid cognition.

G. Vibh 100–1; Mp I 94–7). On the distinction between neyyattha/nitattha and its commentarial elaboration into two levels of truth see Jayatilleke 1963: 361–8. Dhs-a 2: suttantañ hi patva pañcakkhandha ekadesen’ eva vibhatta, na nippadesena; abhidhammaμ patva pana suttantabhajaniyabhidhammabhajaniyapañhapucchakanayanaμ vasena nippadesato vibhatta. tatha dvadasayatanani, attharasa dhatuyo, cattari saccani, bavisatindriyani, dvadasapadiko paccayakaro. Gethin 1992b: 153–7; Buswell and Jaini 1996: 83–9.

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