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Wonhyo's Philosophy of Mind

Wonhyo's Philosophy of Mind

A. Charles Muller
Cuong T. Nguyen
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  • Book Info
    Wonhyo's Philosophy of Mind
    Book Description:

    Leading East Asian Buddhist thinkers of the seventh century compared, analyzed, and finalized seminal epistemological and soteriological issues that had been under discussion in India and East Asia for centuries. Among the many doctrinal issues that came to the fore was the relationship between the Tathagatagarbha (or “Buddha-nature”) understanding of the human psyche and the view of basic karmic indeterminacy articulated by the new stream of Indian Yogacara introduced through the translations and writings of Xuanzang and his disciples. The great Silla scholiast Wonhyo (617–686), although geographically located on the periphery in the Korean peninsula, was very much at the center of the intense discussion and debate that occurred on these topics. Through the force of his writings, he became one of the most influential figures in resolving doctrinal discrepancies for East Asian Buddhism. Although many of Wonhyo’s writings are lost, through his extant work we are able to get a solid glimpse of his profound and learned insights on the nature and function of the human mind. We can also clearly see his hermeneutical approaches and methods of argumentation, which are derived from apophatic Madhyamika analysis, the newly introduced Buddhist logic, as well as various indigenous East Asian approaches. This volume includes four of Wonhyo’s works that are especially revelatory of his treatment of the complex flow of ideas in his generation: System of the Two Hindrances (Yijang ui), Treatise on the Ten Ways of Resolving Controversies (Simmun hwajaeng non), Commentary on the Discrimination between the Middle and the Extremes (Chungbyon punbyollon so), and the Critical Discussion on Inference (P’an piryang non). The International Association of Wonhyo Studies’ Collected Works of Wonhyo, Volume 2

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6036-3
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    A. Charles Muller and Cuong T. Nguyen
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. General Introduction
    (pp. 1-44)

    Modern scholars have come to distinguish two major streams of early East Asian Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy. Both of these were based on Indian antecedents, and both conducted thorough examinations of the constitution and transformative potential of human consciousness, particularly the potential for sentient beings to be liberated from the suffering of cyclic existence. These are the

    doctrinal streams of Yogācāra and Tathāgatagarbha. Although these two currents of Buddhist thought held differing views on such matters as the basic moral quality of the human mind and the possibility of universal enlightenment, they did share extensively in the content of their doctrines...

  6. I The System of the Two Hindrances (Yijang ŭi)
    (pp. 45-160)

    The two hindrances as articulated in Mahāyāna Buddhist texts are the afflictive hindrances (kleśa-āvaraṇa) and the cognitive hindrances (jñeya-āvaraṇa), which together constitute a characteristic Buddhist way of categorizing the broad range of phenomena that engender suffering, impel continuity of the cycle of rebirth, impede the attainment of liberation, and obstruct the ability to see things as they really are. These hindrances include all psychological functions associated with nescience, delusion, affliction, suffering, anxiety, and so forth. The systematization of the individual factors that constitute the mind and its functions, and along with them, the hindrances, was begun in the Abhidharmic texts...

  7. II Treatise on the Ten Ways of Resolving Controversies (Simmun hwajaeng non)
    (pp. 161-176)
    A. Charles Muller

    As was discussed at some length in the general introduction to this volume, if there is one term that is used more than any other to describe Wŏnhyo’s distinctive approach to scholarly commentarial work, it ishwajaeng, or “resolution of doctrinal disputes.” The implications of this concept in Wŏnhyo are seen in many ways, going from his strict logic-grounded methodology to his profound, faith-oriented form of discourse. In all of his modes of discourse, he shows a pronounced ecumenical attitude toward all schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism, as well as other religious and philosophical traditions.

    As a methodological approach,hwajaengrefers...

  8. III Commentary on the Discrimination between the Middle and the Extremes (Chungbyŏn punbyŏllon so): Fascicle Three
    (pp. 177-262)

    TheChungbyŏn punbyŏllon sois another text of Wŏnhyo’s that is available only fragmentarily; all that remains is the commentary on the fourth chapter of theMadhyāntavibhāga-bhāṣya. This is the “Chapter on the Antidotes, Its Cultivation, the Stages [of the Path], and the Attainment of Fruition” (Pratipakṣa-bhāvanāvasthā-phala-pariccheda), and as such it represents only a small aspect of Wŏnhyo’s scholarly interest. This introduction is therefore confined to a brief description of theMadhyāntavibhāga-bhāṣya, an analysis of the style and structure of Wŏnhyo’s commentary, and my approach to translating his commentary.

    TheMadhyāntavibhāga-bhāṣyais one of the few foundational Yogācāra texts still...

  9. IV Critical Discussion on Inference (P’an piryang non)
    (pp. 263-298)

    Critical Discussion on Inference(K.P’an piryang non, Ch.Pan biliang lun; hereafterCritical Inference) is one of the most unusual texts written by Wŏnhyo (617–686). While his other extant writings consist primarily of commentaries and doctrinal apologetics,Critical Inferenceis not a commentary on any specific text (though it does comment on a variety of texts), nor is it simply a work of apologetics (though Wŏnhyo does manage to include some of his favorite doctrinal controversies in the discussion). InCritical Inferencehe not only discusses and evaluates the new tools of Buddhist logic but also adopts them...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 299-378)
  11. Glossary
    (pp. 379-386)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 387-394)
  13. Index
    (pp. 395-404)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 405-406)