Against a Hindu God: Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India

Kobo ebook | May 1, 2009

byParimal G. Patil

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Philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God have been crucial to Euro-American and South Asian philosophers for over a millennium. Critical to the history of philosophy in India, were the centuries-long arguments between Buddhist and Hindu philosophers about the existence of a God-like being called Isvara and the religious epistemology used to support them. By focusing on the work of Ratnakirti, one of the last great Buddhist philosophers of India, and his arguments against his Hindu opponents, Parimal G. Patil illuminates South Asian intellectual practices and the nature of philosophy during the final phase of Buddhism in India.

Based at the famous university of Vikramasila, Ratnakirti brought the full range of Buddhist philosophical resources to bear on his critique of his Hindu opponents' cosmological/design argument. At stake in his critique was nothing less than the nature of inferential reasoning, the metaphysics of epistemology, and the relevance of philosophy to the practice of religion. In developing a proper comparative approach to the philosophy of religion, Patil transcends the disciplinary boundaries of religious studies, philosophy, and South Asian studies and applies the remarkable work of philosophers like Ratnakirti to contemporary issues in philosophy and religion.

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Philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God have been crucial to Euro-American and South Asian philosophers for over a millennium. Critical to the history of philosophy in India, were the centuries-long arguments between Buddhist and Hindu philosophers about the existence of a God-like being called Isvara and the relig...

Parimal G. Patil is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University.

other books by Parimal G. Patil

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:May 1, 2009Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231513070

ISBN - 13:9780231513074

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Table of Contents

Contents
Abbreviations
Introduction
Chapter 1. Comparative Philosophy of Religions
1. Disciplinary Challenges
2. A Grammar for Comparison
3. Comparative Philosophy of Religions
4. Content, Structure, and Arguments
Part 1. Epistemology
Chapter 2. Religious Epistemology in Classical India: In Defense of a Hindu God
1. Interpreting Nyya Epistemology
2. The Nyaya Argument for the Existence of Isvara
3. Defending the Nyaya Argument
4. Conclusion: Shifting the Burden of Proof
Chapter 3. Against vara: Ratnakirti's Buddhist Critique
1. The Section on Pervasion: The Trouble with Natural Relations
2. Two Arguments
3. The Section on the Reason Property
4. The Section on the Target Property
5. Conclusion: Is Isvara the Maker of the World?
Part 2. Language, Mind, and Ontology
Chapter 4. The Theory of Exclusion, Conceptual Content, and Buddhist Epistemology
1. The Theory of Exclusion
2. What Exclusion Is Not
3. Semantic Value
4. Ratnakirti's Inferential Argument
5. Conclusion: Jnanasrimitra's Three Questions
Chapter 5. Ratnakirti's World: Toward a Buddhist Philosophy of Everything
1. An Inventory of Mental Objects/Images
2. The Contents of Perception
3. The Contents of Inferential/Verbal Awareness
4. Nonexistence, Existence, and Ultimate Existence
5. The Isvara-Inference, Revisited
6. Conclusion: Who Created the World?
Conclusion
Chapter 6. The Values of Buddhist Epistemology
1. Foundational Figures and Foundational Texts
2. The Soteriological Significance of Epistemology
3. Jnanasrimitra on Epistemology as Pedagogy
4. Ratnakirti's Framework of Value
5. Conclusion: Religious Reasoning as Religious Practice
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

Patil sets a high standard for comparative philosophy. In addition, the work provides a compelling, new interpretation of the place of philosophy on the Buddhist path to liberation.