Monima Chadha on Selflessness and Experience in the Abhidharma

Monima Chadha (Monash University)

“Selfless Minds: An Abhidharma Buddhist Analysis of Experience”

Wednesday, Oct 7th, 4:30 pm

Swift Hall, 106


The Abhidharma view of mind and consciousness emerges as a consequence of the Buddhist doctrines of no-self and impermanence. These two doctrines taken together are not only fundamentally at odds with contemporary science and most Western philosophy but also with our ordinary everyday experiences. This revisionary Buddhist-Abhidharma metaphysics is profoundly counterintuitive. And the Buddhists are acutely aware of this fact. This underlies the Buddhist-Abhidharma drive to develop an accurate descriptive metaphysics of mind. In my paper I provide a rational reconstruction of a Buddhist-Abhidharma account of mind and conscious experience in the absence of mind or any persisting entities. And then I explore whether the sparse Abhidharma ontology can account for the phenomenological and cognitive features of our experience.

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