By Georges B. J. Dreyfus
Dreyfus examines the vital principles of Dharmakirti, the most vital Indian Buddhist philosophers, and their reception between Tibetan thinkers. through the golden age of historic Indian civilization, Dharmakirti articulated and defended Buddhist philosophical ideas. He did so extra systematically than an individual earlier than his time (the 7th century CE) and used to be by means of a wealthy culture of profound thinkers in India and Tibet. This paintings offers a close photograph of this Buddhist culture and its relevance to the heritage of human principles. Its standpoint is usually philosophical, however it additionally makes use of historic issues as they relate to the evolution of principles.
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Dreyfus examines the valuable principles of Dharmakirti, essentially the most very important Indian Buddhist philosophers, and their reception between Tibetan thinkers. throughout the golden age of old Indian civilization, Dharmakirti articulated and defended Buddhist philosophical ideas. He did so extra systematically than someone ahead of his time (the 7th century CE) and was once via a wealthy culture of profound thinkers in India and Tibet.
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Extra resources for Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations
This closeness, however, can be an obstacle to a more mature understanding of Tibetan tradition. There is a danger of becoming dazzled by the quality of the scholarly expression and the personalities we encounter, which may in fact obscure the limitations of the positions asserted. Living Tibetan traditions are institutions that make their own claims to authority. I find it necessary to be critical of these claims. I have attempted to do this in several ways, two of which seem particularly relevant here: placing their interpretations within the development of the overall Tibetan tradition, and keeping sight of the historical and political character of Tibetan schools.
The situation was quite different in Tibet, where many thinkers have considered Candraldrti central to their understanding ofNagarjuna's philosophy. ) translation of Candraldrti's works. Even then, however, Dharmakirti's influence remained considerable. For, although many Tibetan thinkers have adopted Candrakirti's Madhyamaka, they have been reluctant to follow him in his rejection ofDignaga's epistemology. This use ofDignaga's and Dharmakirti's system within a philosophy whose overall orientation is opposed to the latter's philosophy is one of the paradoxes of Tibetan tradition that we will have to examine, particularly in our conclusion.
The procedure I follow is straightforward: for most of the topics I examine I open with an introductory chapter discussing my tenninology as well as the Indian context of Dharmakirti's ideas. The next chapter discusses Dharmakirti's philosophy, and the following ones compare his views with those of Tibetan scholars. This order is largely expository, however. It does not reflect the reality of the interpretive process underlying my thinking in this work. My understanding of Dharmakirti's ideas is not independent of that of traditional Tibetan scholars, as it is based mostly on a philosophical reading of the Tibetan versions of his texts and their Tibetan commentaries.