Dr. Charles Goodman, SUNY Binghamton
About the talk:
Buddhist epistemologists in India were committed to a form of empiricism. Through the unfolding of this key tenet, they would make a series of intellectual discoveries – and also, it could be argued, several important mistakes – that anticipated parallel developments in the British empiricist tradition. Views found in both of these traditions include utilitarianism, idealism, and bundle theory.
Perhaps the single most striking of these parallels is the appearance in Indian Buddhism of a regularity theory of causation. This view may have been first proposed by Vasubandhu, and is explained in detail and with great sophistication in the Tattvasaṃgraha of Śāntarakṣita. Śāntarakṣita’s presentation of regularity theory suggests a surprising hypothesis about his attitude toward Nāgārjuna. The regularity theory of causation also plays a key and hitherto unappreciated role in Śāntideva’s argument for the cognitive inappropriateness of all anger.
About the speaker:
Charles Goodman is a Professor in the Philosophy Department and the Department of Asian and Asian-American Studies at Binghamton University. He has published articles on Buddhist philosophy and on applied ethics, as well as translations from Sanskrit. He is the author of Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics (2009), a co-author of Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness (2016), and the translator of The Training Anthology of Śāntideva (2016), all from Oxford University Press.
Co-sponsored by Global Studies and Center for South Asian Studies at Penn