In this book, Vasubandhu's classic work Refutation of the Theory of a Self is translated and provided with an introduction and commentary. The translation, the first into a modern Western language from the Sanskrit text, is intended for use by those who wish to begin a careful philosophical study of Indian Buddhist theories of persons. Special features of the introduction and commentary are their extensive explanations of the arguments for the theories of persons of Vasubandhu and the Pudgalavâdines, the Buddhist philosophers whose theory is the central target of Vasubandhu's refutation of the theory of a self.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Introduction to the Translation 1. Vasubandhu's 'Refutation' and the Central Philosophical Questions About Which Indian Buddhist Theories of Persons are Concerned 2. The Sanskrit Text and Its Translation 3. The Theories of Persons of the Pudgalavâdines and Tirthikas 4. Indian Buddhist Philosophical Schools and the Two Realities 5. The Selflessness of Persons Thesis and Indian Buddhist Theories of Persons 6. The Conception of a Person and Its Causal Basis 7. The Five Aggregates 8. The Middle Way between Extreme Views 9. The Problematic Character of Vasubandhu's Exchange with the Pudgalavâdines 10. Problems and Implications of the Pudgalavâdines' Theory of Persons 11. The Objections to Vasubandhu's Theory of Persons 12. An Initial Reflection on the Theories of Persons Discussed in this Study of Vasubandu's Refutation 13. Endnotes to the Introduction Part 2: Translation of Vasubandhu's Refutation of the Theory of a Self 14. Section 1: Vasubandhu's Theory of Persons 15. Section 2: Vasubandhu's Objections to the Pudgalavâdines' Theory of Persons 16. Section 3: Vasubandhu's Replies to the Objections of the Pudgalavâdines 17. Section 4: Vasubandhu's Replies to the Objections of the Tirthikas 18. Concluding Verses 19. Endnotes to the Translation Part 3: Commentaries 20. Commentary on Section 1: Vasubandhu's Theory of Persons 21. Commentary on Section 2: Vasubandhu's Objections to the Pudgalavâdines Theory of Persons 22. Commentary on Section 3: Vasubandhu's Replies to the Objections of the Pudgalavâdines 23. Commentary on Section 4: Vasubandhu's Replies to the Objections of the Tirthikasand Tirthikas
James Duerlinger has taught in the Philosophy Department at the University of Iowa since 1971. He has published on topics in Greek philosophy, philosophy of religion, and Buddhist philosophy, which are also his current teaching and research interests.
'The translation itself (pp. 71-121) is lucid ... [In] Duerlinger's important long commentary ... [e]very nuance of the text is well-explored and analyzed. ... He gives to a classic Indian Buddhist Sanskrit text the sort of critical attention that specialists in Greek philosophy give to Greek philosophical texts. This is a book everyone who studies Indian philosophy should read, and I hope it will become a standard against which other works in the field may be judged.'
– N.H. Satami, Philosophy East & West