Saturday, July 29, 2006

Buddhism, physicalism, and substance dualism redux

From a very old undergrad text I own, The Buddhist Religion: A Historical Introduction, we get the following:

In Gautama's view the materialists, who say that there is no afterlife and that there is no fruition of past deeds, are as wrong as the dualists, who hold that there is a soul separate from the body. What determines one's rebirth, though, is not sacrifice or mere knowledge, but the quality of one's entire life.

This passage seems partially to confirm my suspicion that a Buddhist probably wouldn't consider the whole mind/body debate all that relevant. When your focus is on the here and now, the living of life is more important than abstruse philosophical speculations about what it is to live.

(But that's not going to stop me from blundering drunkenly into the thickets of philosophy and leaving some piss and vomit there, now and again.)


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