Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 29, 1990 - Philosophy - 323 pages
This book explains the Buddhist doctrine of annattá ("not-self"), which denies the existence of any self, soul, or enduring essence in man. The author relates this doctrine to its cultural and historical context, particularly to its Brahman background. He shows how the Theravada Buddhist tradition has constructed a philosophical and psychological account of personal identity on the apparently impossible basis of the denial of self. Although the emphasis of the book is firmly philosophical, Dr. Collins makes use of a number of academic disciplines, particularly those of anthropology, linguistics, sociology, and comparative religion, in an attempt to discover the "deep structure" of Buddhist culture and imagination, and to make these doctrines comprehensible in terms of the western history of ideas.
 

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Contents

Preface page ix
11
The origins of rebirth
29
The denial of self as right view
87
The individual of conventional truth
147
Conditioning and consciousness
199
Momentariness and the bhavahgamind
225
Conclusion 161
262
Bibliography
310
Glossary and index of Pali and Sanskrit terms
318
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