External-World Skepticism in Classical India: The Case of Vasubandhu

External-World Skepticism in Classical India: The Case of Vasubandhu The Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (c. 400 ce ) has seldom been considered in conjunction with the problem of external-world skepticism despite the fact that his text, Twenty Verses , presents arguments from ignorance based on dreams. In this article, an epistemological phenomenalist interpretation of Vasubandhu is supported in opposition to a metaphysical idealist interpretation. On either interpretation, Vasubandhu gives an invitation to the problem of external-world skepticism, although his final conclusion is closer to skepticism on the epistemological phenomenalist interpretation. The article ends with reflections on what light Vasubandhu might shed on the issue of whether skepticism is a natural problem in epistemology as well as why, despite Vasubandhu, the skeptical problem was not a central issue in the later Indian tradition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal for the Study of Skepticism Brill

External-World Skepticism in Classical India: The Case of Vasubandhu

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2017 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
2210-5697
eISSN
2210-5700
DOI
10.1163/22105700-00001228
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (c. 400 ce ) has seldom been considered in conjunction with the problem of external-world skepticism despite the fact that his text, Twenty Verses , presents arguments from ignorance based on dreams. In this article, an epistemological phenomenalist interpretation of Vasubandhu is supported in opposition to a metaphysical idealist interpretation. On either interpretation, Vasubandhu gives an invitation to the problem of external-world skepticism, although his final conclusion is closer to skepticism on the epistemological phenomenalist interpretation. The article ends with reflections on what light Vasubandhu might shed on the issue of whether skepticism is a natural problem in epistemology as well as why, despite Vasubandhu, the skeptical problem was not a central issue in the later Indian tradition.

Journal

International Journal for the Study of SkepticismBrill

Published: Dec 26, 2017

Keywords: Skepticism; external world; Indian philosophy; Buddhist philosophy; Vasubandhu

References

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