Cartesian intuitions, Humean puzzles, and the buddhist conception of the self

Philosophy East and West 60 (4):443-457 (2010)
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The utilization of Western canonical thinkers to inform and understand thinkers from India and China is nothing new. More specifically, it is very tempting for a Western-trained philosopher to explain the Buddhist conception of the self by reference to David Hume; both seem to be bundle theories. Moreover, in making such a comparison we seem to get a solution to the puzzle that Hume leaves at the end of A Treatise of Human Nature concerning personal identity. Briefly, Hume holds that we are simply bundles of perceptions. He then admits that he has nothing to hold the perceptions together. The Buddhist conception of the self is as a bundle of five aggregates (skandhas) that are continually changing. In the Buddhist ..



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