By Paul Williams
Williams' paintings is the 1st book-length scholarly examine committed solely to Santideva's philosophy and as such it merits our cognizance and appreciation. Williams is a proficient and fascinating author a truly attention-grabbing and vigorous book.--Eli Franco, Bulletin of SOAS
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Extra resources for Altruism and Reality: Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryavatara
When these are both calmed, all diversifying constructions cease. In showing the impossibility of entity and non-entity Santideva is showing the impossibility of intentional obj ects and therefore subjects. Thus for Bu ston, Santideva's position on the attainment of nirva'fJa in 9 : 3 5 is a different version of the same argument in 9 : 1 1 1 . There is no subj ect because there is no object; thus there is nirva'fJa. We have therefore additional evidence that for Bu ston Santideva's argument in B CA 9 : 1 1 1 is intended to set forth actual nirva'fJa.
It looks as though Santideva is right. Given the characterisation of self derived from Susan Blackmore, as a fluctuating construct dependent upon bodily, social, psychological factors and so on, it is difficult to see how it could make any sense to speak of the (re ) born being - even supposing one accepts the coherence of the process which is usually called one of 'rebirth' - as being me. It will not be the same person as the person who died. rGyal tshab rje makes this point very clearly. That person who has died, he comments, is one thing.
This investigation is of course central to Madhyamaka, and forms the concern of insight meditation leading eventually to prajiia, seeing things the way they really are. However, much of what comes under the range of analytic inquiry in Western philosophy is not simply a matter of the search for putative ultimate reality. Ethical inquiry, for example, is not in itself a matter of such ultimates . e. inherent, existence. A Madhyamaka meditation manual like Santideva's B odhicaryavatara shows from the beginning how its author gives arguments, appeals to reason, in order to convince initially himself and then any other reader ( see 1 :2-3 ) to adopt a radically new vision and perspective.
Altruism and Reality: Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryavatara by Paul Williams