The "Cartesian Meditations" translation is based primarily on the printed text, edited by Professor S. Strasser and published in the first volume of Husserliana: Cartesianische Meditationen und Pariser Vorträge, ISBN 90-247-0214-3. Most of Husserl's emendations, as given in the Appendix to that volume, have been treated as if they were part of the text. The others have been translated in footnotes. Secondary consideration has been given to a typescript (cited as "Typescript C") on which Husserl wrote in 1933: "Cartes. Meditationen (...) / Originaltext 1929 / E. Husserl / für Dorion Cairns". Its use of emphasis and quotation marks conforms more closely to Husserl’s practice, as exemplified in works published during his lifetime. In this respect the translation usually follows Typescript C. Moreover, some of the variant readings n this typescript are preferable and have been used as the basis for the translation. Where that is the case, the published text is given or translated in a foornote. The published text and Typescript C have been compared with the French translation by Gabrielle Pfeiffer and Emmanuel Levinas (Paris, Armand Collin, 1931). The use of emphasis and quotation marks in the French translation corresponds more closely to that in Typescript C than to that in the published text. Often, where the wording of the published text and that of Typescript C differ, the French translation indicates that it was based on a text that corresponded more closely to one or the other – usually to Typescript C. In such cases the French translation has been quoted or cited in a foornote. (shrink)
This study investigated the link between meditation, self-reported mindfulness and cognitive flexibility as well as other attentional functions. It compared a group of meditators experienced in mindfulness meditation with a meditation-naïve control group on measures of Stroop interference and the “d2-concentration and endurance test”. Overall the results suggest that attentional performance and cognitive flexibility are positively related to meditation practice and levels of mindfulness. Meditators performed significantly better than non-meditators on all measures of attention. Furthermore, self-reported (...) mindfulness was higher in meditators than non-meditators and correlations with all attention measures were of moderate to high strength. This pattern of results suggests that mindfulness is intimately linked to improvements of attentional functions and cognitive flexibility. The relevance of these findings for mental balance and well-being are discussed. (shrink)
La science de l'homme, parvenue à un certain accomplissement, se doit de livrer l'idée de l'homme qui est impliquée par sa démarche et par ses résultats, mais qui est laissée, pour l'essentiel, à l'état implicite. Ce dévoilement est nécessaire, à la fois pour mieux faire la science et pour la faire mieux comprendre et accepter. Les mises en question les plus radicales de la pensée laissent en effet impensée une condition cachée ou refoulée de toutes les œuvres de l'esprit : (...) c'est qu'elles sont produites en état de skholè, c'est-à-dire de loisir, de distance au monde et à la pratique. Or cette situation est le principe d'erreurs systématiques, épistémologiques, éthiques ou esthétiques, qu'il faut soumettre à une critique méthodique. Cette critique peut se faire sous le signe de Pascal, parce que sa réflexion anthropologique porte sur des traits de l'existence humaine que le regard scolastique ne peut qu'ignorer : force, coutume, automate, corps, imagination, contingence, probabilité ; et parce qu'il fournit le mot d'ordre d'une sorte de révolution symbolique que la science de l'homme doit opérer pour achever son émancipation : " la vraie philosophie se moque de la philosophie. " La science de l'homme débouche en effet sur une philosophie négative qui met en question les présupposés les plus fondamentaux, notamment celui d'un " sujet " libre et transparent à soi, et qui renouvelle, grâce aussi à des philosophes hérétiques comme Wittgenstein, Austin, Dewey ou Peirce, les interrogations traditionnelles sur la violence, le pouvoir, le temps, l'histoire, l'universel, et même le sens de l'existence. Il sort de tout cela une image de l'homme qui surprendra sans doute, qui choquera peut-être, parce qu'elle est en rupture avec la vision spontanée, que la vision savante ratifie beaucoup plus qu'elle ne le croit. (shrink)
Ces "Méditations phénoménologiques", ainsi intitulées en référence aux "Méditations" de Descartes et de Husserl, s'efforcent d'explorer "la chose même" à penser - le phénomène comme rien que phénomène -, dès lors que, rencontrant sa véritable altérité, la pensée ne se réduit pas à manipuler machinalement ses identités. C'est-à-dire aussi bien la pensée dans son énigmatique vivacité. Culminant au sein d'une phénoménologie du langage - qui est distingué des langues instituées -, l'entreprise débouche sur une sorte très étrange de " mathesis (...) " de l'instabilité universelle, celle de l'indivision originaire du phénomène et du penser, à travers une architectonique dont les termes sont cependant infiniment variables et labiles, comme si la pensée n'existait jamais que de traverser des "paysages" qui changent constamment d'aspect par les déformations cohérentes que la variabilité de leurs repères leur fait subir. Loin du Descartes de la science instituée, mais très près du Descartes du doute hyperbolique. Loin du Husserl de la doctrine exotérique, mais près du Husserl des innombrables apories à l'œuvre dans les "couches profondes" de la "vie transcendantale constituante". Dans l'architectonique, à prendre en son sens kantien, le parcours infini de la "chose même" à penser retrouve certes ses propres traces, non pas cependant comme les éléments positifs d'un "système" doctrinal, mais comme des sortes d'énoncés de problèmes chaque fois infinis. Ces "Méditations" sont méditatives parce qu'elles réfléchissent à nouveaux frais la finitude en tant qu'absence de limite assignable entre le fini et l'infini. Faire de la phénoménologie, c'est entrer indéfiniment dans l'infini. (shrink)
In recent years, the scientific study of meditation and psychedelic drugs has seen remarkable developments. The increased focus on meditation in cognitive neuroscience has led to a cross-cultural classification of standard meditation styles validated by functional and structural neuroanatomical data. Meanwhile, the renaissance of psychedelic research has shed light on the neurophysiology of altered states of consciousness induced by classical psychedelics, such as psilocybin and LSD, whose effects are mainly mediated by agonism of serotonin receptors. Few attempts (...) have been made at bridging these two domains of inquiry, despite intriguing evidence of overlap between the phenomenology and neurophysiology of meditation practice and psychedelic states. In particular, many contemplative traditions explicitly aim at dissolving the sense of self by eliciting altered states of consciousness through meditation, while classical psychedelics are known to produce significant disruptions of self-consciousness, a phenomenon known as drug-induced ego dissolution. In this article, we discuss available evidence regarding convergences and differences between phenomenological and neurophysiological data on meditation practice and psychedelic drug-induced states, with a particular emphasis on alterations of self-experience. While both meditation and psychedelics may disrupt self-consciousness and underlying neural processes, we emphasize that neither meditation nor psychedelic states can be conceived as simple, uniform categories. Moreover, we suggest that there are important phenomenological differences even between conscious states described as experiences of self-loss. As a result, we propose that self-consciousness may be best construed as a multidimensional construct, and that “self-loss,” far from being an unequivocal phenomenon, can take several forms. Indeed, various aspects of self-consciousness, including narrative aspects linked to autobiographical memory, self-related thoughts and mental time travel, and embodied aspects rooted in multisensory processes, may be differently affected by psychedelics and meditation practices. Finally, we consider long-term outcomes of experiences of self-loss induced by meditation and psychedelics on individual traits and prosocial behavior. We call for caution regarding the problematic conflation of temporary states of self-loss with “selflessness” as a behavioral or social trait, although there is preliminary evidence that correlations between short-term experiences of self-loss and long-term trait alterations may exist. (shrink)
Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, (...) and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators. (shrink)
Synthesizing forty years' work by France's leading sociologist, this book exemplifies Bourdieu's unique ability to link sociological theory, historical information, and philosophical thought. It makes explicit the presuppositions of a state of 'scholasticism', a certain leisure liberated from the urgencies of the world. Philosophers have brought these presuppositions into the order of discourse, more to legitimate than analyze them, and this is the primary systematic, epistemological, ethical, and aesthetic error that Bourdieu subjects to methodological critique. Pascalian because he, too, was (...) concerned with symbolic power, he refused the temptation of foundationalist thinking, attended to 'ordinary people', and was determined to seek the reason for seemingly illogical behavior rather than simply condemning it. Bourdieu charts a negative philosophy, whose intellectual debt to such other 'heretical' philosophers as Wittgenstein, Austin, Dewey, and Peirce, renews traditional questioning of concepts of violence, power, time, history, the universal, and the purpose and direction of existence. (shrink)
Originally published 1961. Translation of "Meditaciones del Quijote :Meditacion preliminar. Meditacion primera." (1914). Contents: Reader...; Preliminary Meditation; First Meditation (Brief Treatise on the Novel).
The four short works in Untimely Meditations were published by Nietzsche between 1873 and 1876.They deal with such broad topics as the relationship between popular and genuine culture, strategies for cultural reform, the task of philosophy, the nature of education, and the relationship between art, science and life. They also include Nietzsche's earliest statement of his own understanding of human selfhood as a process of endlessly 'becoming who one is'. As Daniel Breazeale shows in his introduction to this new edition (...) of R. J. Hollingdale's translation of the essays, these four early texts are key documents for understanding the development of Nietzsche's thought and clearly anticipate many of the themes of his later writings. Nietzsche himself always cherished his Untimely Meditations and believed that they provide valuable evidence of his 'becoming and self-overcoming' and constitute a 'public pledge' concerning his own distinctive task as a philosopher. (shrink)
The Meditations, one of the key texts of Western philosophy, is the most widely studied of all Descartes' writings. This authoritative translation by John Cottingham, taken from the much acclaimed three-volume Cambridge edition of the Philosophical Writings of Descartes, is based upon the best available texts and presents Descartes' central metaphysical writings in clear, readable modern English. As well as the complete text of the Meditations, the reader will find a thematic abridgement of the Objections and Replies (which were originally (...) published with the Meditations) containing Descartes' replies to his critics. These extracts, specially selected for the present volume, indicate the main philosophical difficulties which occurred to Descartes' contemporaries and show how Descartes developed and clarified his arguments in response. This edition contains a new comprehensive introduction to Descartes' philosophy by John Cottingham and the classic introductory essay on the Meditations by Bernard Williams. (shrink)
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are treasured today--as they have been over the centuries--as an inexhaustible source of wisdom. And as one of the three most important expressions of Stoicism, this is an essential text for everyone interested in ancient religion and philosophy. Yet the clarity and ease of the work's style are deceptive. Pierre Hadot, eminent historian of ancient thought, uncovers new levels of meaning and expands our understanding of its underlying philosophy. Written by the Roman emperor for his (...) own private guidance and self-admonition, the Meditations set forth principles for living a good and just life. Hadot probes Marcus Aurelius's guidelines and convictions and discerns the hitherto unperceived conceptual system that grounds them. Abundantly quoting the Meditations to illustrate his analysis, the author allows Marcus Aurelius to speak directly to the reader. And Hadot unfolds for us the philosophical context of the Meditations, commenting on the philosophers Marcus Aurelius read and giving special attention to the teachings of Epictetus, whose disciple he was. The soul, the guiding principle within us, is in Marcus Aurelius's Stoic philosophy an inviolable stronghold of freedom, the "inner citadel." This spirited and engaging study of his thought offers a fresh picture of the fascinating philosopher-emperor, a fuller understanding of the tradition and doctrines of Stoicism, and rich insight on the culture of the Roman empire in the second century. Pierre Hadot has been working on Marcus Aurelius for more than twenty years; in this book he distills his analysis and conclusions with extraordinary lucidity for the general reader. (shrink)
While philosophers of mind have devoted abundant time and attention to questions of content and consciousness, philosophical questions about the nature and scope of mental action have been relatively neglected. Galen Strawson’s account of mental action, arguably the most well-known extant account, holds that cognitive mental action consists in triggering the delivery of content to one’s field of consciousness. However, Strawson fails to recognize several distinct types of mental action that might not reduce to triggering content delivery. In this paper, (...) we argue that meditation provides a useful model for understanding a wider range of types of mental action than heretofore recognized. Conclusions yielded by two distinct bodies of current psychological research on meditation and cognition, and meditation and introspection, buttress meditation’s suitability for this role. (shrink)
The author states that by examining his understanding of dying, sex, love, the Holocaust, politics, and other topics, they bring forth ideas, questions, and statements, and that the subjects automatically project into the mind.
Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of (...) ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago. In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented. With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era. (shrink)
In Descartes's Meditations, one of the key texts of Western philosophy, the thinker rejects all his former beliefs in the quest for new certainties. Discovering his own existence as a thinking entity in the very exercise of doubt, he goes on to prove the existence of God, who guarantees his clear and distinct ideas as a means of access to the truth. He develops new conceptions of body and mind, capable of serving as foundations for the new science of nature. (...) Subsequent philosophy has grappled with Descartes's legacy, questioning many of its conclusions and even his basic approach, but his arguments set the agenda for many of the greatest philosophical thinkers, and their fascination endures.This new translation includes the Third and Fourth Objections and Replies in full, and a selection from the rest of Descartes's exchanges with contemporaries that helped to shape and expound his philosophy. (shrink)
This paper seeks to analyse an under-discussed kind of self-control, namely the control of thoughts and sensations. I distinguish first-order control from second-order control and argue that their central forms are intentional concentration and intentional mindfulness respectively. These correspond to two forms of meditation, concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation, which have been regarded as central both in the traditions in which the practices arose and in the scientific literature on meditation. I analyse them in terms of (...) their characteristic intentions, distinguish them from concentration and mindfulness in general, and examine the relations between them. Concentration involves keeping the mind focused on a single object, while mindfulness requires noticing whatever mental states occupy the focus of one’s consciousness. In the course of the investigation I examine the role of phenomenology and volition in the activity of meditating, and how they change as meditative capacities develop. (shrink)
I argue for a possible Buddhist theory of free will that combines Frankfurt's hierarchical analysis of meta-volitional/volitional accord with elements of the Buddhist eightfold path that prescribe that Buddhist aspirants cultivate meta-volitional wills that promote the mental freedom that culminates in enlightenment, as well as a causal/functional analysis of how Buddhist meditative methodology not only plausibly makes that possible, but in ways that may be applied to undermine Galen Strawson's impossibility argument, along with most of the other major arguments for (...) free will skepticism. (shrink)
Throughout the 20th century, an enormous amount of intellectual fuel was spent debating the merits of a class of skeptical arguments which purport to show that knowledge of the external world is not possible. These arguments, whose origins can be traced back to Descartes, played an important role in the work of some of the leading philosophers of the 20th century, including Russell, Moore and Wittgenstein, and they continue to engage the interest of contemporary philosophers. (e.g., Cohen 1999, DeRose 1995, (...) Hill 1996, Klein 1981, Lewis 1996, McGinn 1993, Nozick 1981, Schiffer 1996, Unger 1975, Williams 1996) Typically, these arguments make use of one or more premises which the philosophers proposing them take to be intuitively obvious. Beyond an appeal to intuition, little or no defense is offered, and in many cases it is hard to see what else could be said in support of these premises. A number of authors have suggested that the intuitions undergirding these skeptical arguments are universal – shared by everyone (or almost everyone) who thinks reflectively about knowledge. In this paper we will offer some evidence indicating that they are far from universal. Rather, the evidence suggests that many of the intuitions epistemologists invoke vary with the cultural background, socioeconomic status and educational background of the person offering the intuition. And this, we will argue, is bad news for the skeptical arguments that rely on those intuitions. The evidence may also be bad news for skepticism itself – not because it shows that skepticism is false, but rather because, if we accept one prominent account of the link between epistemic intuitions and epistemic concepts, it indicates that skepticism may be much less interesting and much less worrisome than philosophers have taken it to be. (shrink)
Mindfulness meditation describes a set of different mental techniques to train attention and awareness. Trait mindfulness and extended mindfulness interventions can benefit self-control. The present study investigated the short-term consequences of mindfulness meditation under conditions of limited self-control resources. Specifically, we hypothesized that a brief period of mindfulness meditation would counteract the deleterious effect that the exertion of self-control has on subsequent self-control performance. Participants who had been depleted of self-control resources by an emotion suppression task showed (...) decrements in self-control performance as compared to participants who had not suppressed emotions. However, participants who had meditated after emotion suppression performed equally well on the subsequent self-control task as participants who had not exerted self-control previously. This finding suggests that a brief period of mindfulness meditation may serve as a quick and efficient strategy to foster self-control under conditions of low resources. (shrink)
Prominent figures in the philosophical literature on attention hold that the connection between attention and selection is essential (Mole, 2011), necessary (Wu, 2011; 2014), or conceptual (Smithies, 2011). I argue that selection is neither essentially, necessarily, nor conceptually tied to attention. I first isolate the target conception of selection that I deny is so tightly coupled with attention: graded intramodal selection within consciousness. I analyse two visual cases: analysis of the first case shows that there can be attention without a (...) connection to tasks or action; analysis of the second case shows that there can be attention without a phenomenal foreground/background structure. Finally, I extend the argument into the domain of the body by considering a form of meditative absorption in body sensations to recapitulate the conclusions drawn from the two visual cases. (shrink)
This book is the first to engage Zen Buddhism philosophically on crucial issues from a perspective that is informed by the traditions of western philosophy and religion. It focuses on one renowned Zen master, Huang Po, whose recorded sayings exemplify the spirit of the 'golden age' of Zen in medieval China, and on the transmission of these writings to the West. The author makes a bold attempt to articulate a post-romantic understanding of Zen applicable to contemporary world culture. While deeply (...) sympathetic to the Zen tradition, he raises serious questions about the kinds of claims that can be made on its behalf. (shrink)
Psychedelic ingestion and meditative practice are both ancient methods for altering consciousness that became widely known in Western society in the second half of the 20th century. Do the similarities begin and end there, or do these methods – as many have claimed over the years – share some deeper common elements? In this chapter I take a neurophilosophical approach to this question and argue that there are, indeed, deeper commonalities. Recent empirical studies show that psychedelics and meditation modulate (...) overlapping brain networks involved in the sense of self, salience, and attention; moreover, psychedelics can occasion lasting increases in “mindfulness-related capacities” for taking a non-reactive stance on one’s inner experience (e.g. Sampedro et al. 2017). The self-binding theory of psychedelic ego dissolution (Letheby and Gerrans 2017) offers a plausible explanation of these findings: by disrupting self-related beliefs implemented in high-level cortical networks, both psychedelics and meditation can “unbind” mental contents from one’s self-model, moving these contents along the continuum from phenomenal transparency to opacity (cf. Metzinger 2003). In other words, both psychedelics and meditation can expose and weaken our foundational beliefs about our own identity, allowing us to disidentify with these beliefs and see them as “just thoughts”. There are connections between these ideas and recent arguments suggesting that psychedelic use may have epistemic benefits consistent with philosophical naturalism (Letheby 2015, 2016, 2019). I conclude with a proposal: these connections may help in thinking about the putative epistemic benefits of meditation practice from a naturalistic perspective. (shrink)
German description: Descartes' Meditationen von 1641 haben bis heute die philosophische Reflexion immer wieder herausgefordert. In diesem Werk geht er von einer Haltung radikalen Zweifels aus, macht dann aber geltend, dass selbst ein ausserster Skeptizismus nicht die fundamentale Wahrheit, dass ich existiere, in Frage stellen kann: ego sum, ego existo. Ausgehend von dieser Gewissheit versucht Descartes, die Grundlagen einer neuen Wissenschaft zu legen. Ursprunglich auf Lateinisch verfasst, wurden die Meditationes 1647 ins Franzosische ubersetzt. Diese Ubersetzung wurde von Descartes selbst durchgesehen (...) und bearbeitet und unterscheidet sich in vielen Nuancen vom lateinischen Original. Diese Ausgabe ist die einzige, die neben der neuen Ubersetzung ins Deutsche den lateinischen Text wie auch die franzosische Version bietet. Erganzt wird sie durch einen umfangreichen Kommentar. Sie eignet sich damit besonders als Arbeitsbuch fur Studenten. (shrink)
« La nostalgie d’une philosophie vivante a conduit de nos jours à bien des renaissances. Nous demandons : la seule renaissance vraiment féconde ne consisterait-elle pas à ressusciter les Méditations cartésiennes, non certes pour les adopter de toutes pièces, mais pour dévoiler tout d’abord la signification profonde d’un retour radical à l’ego cogito pur, et faire revivre ensuite les valeurs éternelles qui en jaillissent? C’est du moins le chemin qui a conduit à la phénoménologie transcendantale. »Cette traduction d’Emmanuel Levinas a (...) contribué, la première, à faire connaître Husserl en France à un plus large public que celui qui assistait aux Conférences de Février 1929 à la Sorbonne, et parce que, après avoir été revue par Alexandre Koyré, elle fut soumise au philosophe de Fribourg, mais surtout parce qu’elle témoigne indirectement d’un état du texte original aujourd’hui perdu. (shrink)
Focusing on the concept of freedom, Leslie Paul Thiele makes Heidegger's philosophical works speak directly to politics in a postmodern world. Neither excusing Heidegger for his political sins nor ignoring their lesson, Thiele nonetheless refrains from polemic in order creatively to engage one of the greatest philosophers of our time. The product of this engagement is a vindication of a democratic and ecological politics firmly grounded in philosophic inquiry. Using Heidegger's understanding of freedom as a point of departure, Timely Meditations (...) lays out the philosophic and political nature and potential of freedom in thought, speech, and deed. This disclosive freedom is contrasted to both modern (positive and negative) and postmodern (Nietzschean and Foucaultian) variations. The result is an original and provocative study that challenges our present understanding of liberty while underlining dangerous collusion with the contemporary forces of technology. Timely Meditations marks an increasingly rare achievement today. For unlike many theorists who attempt to steer a course into the world of postmodern politics, Thiele does so without forsaking philosophic foundations and without abandoning practical hopes and tasks for rhetorical diversions. Originally published in 1995. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
No single text could be considered more important in the history of philosophy than Descartes' Meditations. This unique collection of background material to this magisterial philosophical text has been translated from the original French and Latin. The texts gathered here illustrate the kinds of principles, assumptions, and philosophical methods that were commonplace when Descartes was growing up. The selections are from: Francisco Sanches, Christopher Clavius, Pierre de la Ramee, Francisco Suárez, Pierre Charron, Eustachius a Sancto Paulo, Scipion Dupleix, Marin Mersenne, (...) Pierre Gassendi, Jean de Silhon, François de la Mothe le Vayer, Charles Sorel, and Jean-Baptiste Morin. (shrink)
Of all the works of the man claimed by many as the father of modern philosophy, the MEDITATIONS, first published in 1641, must surely be Rene Descartes' masterpiece. This volume consists of not only a new translation of the original Latin text and the expanded objections and replies, but also includes selected correspondence and other metaphysical writings from the period 1641-49.
This paper first reviews key Buddhist concepts of time anicca , khanavada and uji and then describes the way in which a particular form of Bhuddist meditation, vipassana, may be thought to actualize them in human experience. The chief aim of the paper is to present a heuristic model of how vipassana meditation, by eroding dispositional tendencies rooted in the body-unconscious alters psychological time, transforming our felt-experience of time from a binding to a liberating force.
This edition features reliable, accessible translations; useful editorial materials; and a straightforward presentation of the Objections and Replies, including the objections from Caterus, Arnauld, and Hobbes, accompanied by Descartes' replies, in their entirety. The letter serving as a reply to Gassendi--in which several of Descartes' associates present Gassendi's best arguments and Descartes' replies--conveys the highlights and important issues of their notoriously extended exchange. Roger Ariew's illuminating Introduction discusses the Meditations and the intellectual environment surrounding its reception.
The book examines meditation in the context of the Indian tradition of yoga.It is written from the vantage point of Sankara s Vedanta. Sankara is well known as oneof the foremost interpreters of Hindu tradition.It reviews critically the ways in which Sankara has been approached,for,the problems involved with studying his thought.
This paper juxtaposes Asian spiritual narratives on meditation alongside medical and scientific narratives that emphasize meditation's efficacy in mitigating distress and increasing well-being. After proposing a working definition of meditation that enables it usefully to be distinguished from categories of similar practices such as prayer, I examine meditation's role in Mind/Body medicine in the West. Here, I survey a number of scientific studies of meditation, including the work of Dr. Herbert Benson and his colleagues who (...) examine a meditational variant they call the ‘Relaxation Response', to examine the breadth of efficacy claims made on behalf of the complex and multidimensional grouping of diverse practices we have come to as ‘meditation'. Among other positive outcomes, meditation has been credited with reducing blood pressure, anxiety, addiction, and stress, while Relaxation Response has been shown to decrease sympathetic nervous system activity, metabolism, pain, anxiety, depression, hostility, and stress. I conclude the paper by suggesting that findings from cognitive neuroscience on the subject of visual imagery can be used to elucidate genres of meditative practice that focus on internal visualization sequences, and I use practices from the Rnying ma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism to illustrate why certain integral aspects of meditation forever will remain beyond scientific grasp. (shrink)
A critical reply to the anti-mindfulness critics in the collection, who oppose the popular secularized adoption of mindfulness on various grounds (it is not Buddhism, it is Buddhism, it is a tool of neo-capitalist exploitation, etc.), I argue that mindfulness is a quality of consciousness, opposite mindlessness, that may be cultivated through practice, and is almost always beneficial to those who cultivate it.
ABSTRACT The Transcendental Meditation movement bought a bankrupt Presbyterian college in Fairfield, Iowa, in the 1970s and established its own university and settled a community of about two thousand followers there. The movement transformed the town's culture, politics, and social life. Followers, however, have grayed, and the movement's numbers nationwide have dwindled. Transcendental Meditation leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died in 2008. Now, like many other Utopian communities before it, the Fairfield group faces possible extinction. I look at the (...) impact the community has had and ponder its likely future. (shrink)
Using theoretical analysis of self-consciousness concept and experimental evidence on the brain default mode network (DMN) that constitutes the neural signature of self-referential processes, we hypothesized that the anterior and posterior subnets comprising the DMN should show differences in their integrity as a function of meditation training. Functional connectivity within DMN and its subnets (measured by operational synchrony) has been measured in ten novice meditators using an electroencephalogram (EEG) recording in a pre-/post-meditation intervention design. We have found that (...) while the whole DMN was clearly suppressed, different subnets of DMN responded differently after 4 months of meditation training: The strength of EEG operational synchrony in the right and left posterior modules of the DMN decreased in resting post-meditation condition compared to a pre-meditation condition, whereas the frontal DMN module on the contrary exhibited an increase in the strength of EEG operational synchrony. These findings combined with published data on functional–anatomic heterogeneity within the DMN and on trait subjective experiences commonly found following meditation allow us to propose that the first-person perspective and the sense of agency (the witnessing observer) are presented by the frontal DMN module, while the posterior modules of the DMN are generally responsible for the experience of the continuity of ‘I’ as embodied and localized within bodily space. Significance of these findings is discussed. (shrink)
On the basis of many years of personal experience the paper describes Buddhist meditation as a mystical practice. After a short discussion of the role of some central concepts in Buddhism, William James’ concept of religious experience is used to explain the goal of meditators as the achievement of a special kind of an experience of this kind. Systematically, its main point is to explain the difference between a craving for pleasant ‘mental events’ in the sense of short-term moods, (...) and the long-term project of achieving a deep change in one’s attitude to life as a whole, a change that allows the acceptance of suffering and death. The last part argues that there is no reason to call the discussed practice irrational in a negative sense. Changes of attitude of the discussed kind cannot be brought about by argument alone. Therefore, a considered use of age-old practices like meditation should be seen as an addition, not as an undermining of reason. (shrink)
Meditations. A meditation is a voluntary exercise intended to increase awareness, sustained over some time. The main purpose of the present Meditations is to inspire and assist readers to practice meditation of some sort, and in particular ‘sitting meditation’. This includes practices such as: observing the mechanisms of one’s thinking, stopping unnecessary thought, forgetting things about one’s self and one’s life that are irrelevant to the current effort of meditation, dealing with distractions, becoming aware of one’s (...) breath, being here and now. After such practice for some time, one gets to realize the value of meditation, and one’s commitment to it grows. The need for behavioral improvement becomes more and more obvious, and one finds it easy and natural to put more discipline into one’s life. Various recommendations are given in this regard. Prior to such practical guidance, so as to prepare the reader for it, the book reviews the theoretical teachings relating to meditation in the main traditions of mankind. The ultimate goals of meditation, the various methods or techniques used to achieve them, the experiential results of meditation, and the interpretations given to them, are topics treated here. (shrink)
The paper argues that empirical work on Buddhist meditation has an impact on Buddhist epistemology, in particular their account of unity of consciousness. I explain the Buddhist account of unity of consciousness and show how it relates to contemporary philosophical accounts of unity of consciousness. The contemporary accounts of unity of consciousness are closely integrated with the discussion of neural correlates of consciousness. The conclusion of the paper suggests a new direction in the search for neural correlates of state (...) consciousness or creature consciousness. (shrink)