Knowing Blue: Early Buddhist Accounts of Non-Conceptual Sense

Knowing Blue: Early Buddhist Accounts of Non-Conceptual Sense <p>Abstract:</p><p>In post-Dignāga Buddhist epistemology, non-conceptual cognition (<i>nirvikalpajñāna</i>) comes to be construed as a sort of pre-reflective and self-intimating feature of <i>all</i> states of cognition. In earlier Buddhist Ābhidharmika exegesis, however, the closest candidate for non-conceptual cognition is the notion that the five sense consciousnesses apprehend their object-supports directly, as opposed to the sixth consciousness—mind consciousness (<i>manovij ñāna</i>)—which alone has the capacity for conceptual discrimination. In an oft -repeated example, visual consciousness is said to know "blue" but not "this is blue"; it is mind consciousness that knows "this is blue." This article explores the diffi culties that early Buddhist exegetes encountered as they tried to make sense of immediate, non-conceptual cognition.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Knowing Blue: Early Buddhist Accounts of Non-Conceptual Sense

Philosophy East and West, Volume 68 (3) – Aug 8, 2018

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>In post-Dignāga Buddhist epistemology, non-conceptual cognition (<i>nirvikalpajñāna</i>) comes to be construed as a sort of pre-reflective and self-intimating feature of <i>all</i> states of cognition. In earlier Buddhist Ābhidharmika exegesis, however, the closest candidate for non-conceptual cognition is the notion that the five sense consciousnesses apprehend their object-supports directly, as opposed to the sixth consciousness—mind consciousness (<i>manovij ñāna</i>)—which alone has the capacity for conceptual discrimination. In an oft -repeated example, visual consciousness is said to know "blue" but not "this is blue"; it is mind consciousness that knows "this is blue." This article explores the diffi culties that early Buddhist exegetes encountered as they tried to make sense of immediate, non-conceptual cognition.</p>

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 8, 2018

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