Monima ChadhaFeb 20, 2023
A Contemporary Perspective on Vasubandhu's Metaphysics
Oxford University Press 2023
Buddhists are famous for their thesis that selves do not exist. But if they are right, what would that thesis mean for our apparent sense of self and for ordinary practices involving selves—or at least persons? In Selfless Minds: A Contemporary Perspective on Vasubandhu’s Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 2022), Monima Chadha answers these questions by considering Vasubandhu’s arguments against the self. She argues that he—and Abhidharma philosophers like him—denies the existence of selves as well as persons and should take a strongly illusionist stance about our apparent senses of agency and ownership. The book also investigates how Vasubandhu ought to explain episodic memory and synchronic unity of conscious experiences without a self. Chadha weaves together philosophers from a range of traditions, drawing on contemporary and premodern interpreters of Buddhism as well as analytic philosophy, phenomenology and continental philosophy, and modern cognitive science.
Malcolm Keating is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit works of philosophy in Indian traditions, in the areas of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras & Stuff.