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Semiotic Roots and Buddhist Routes in Phenomenology and Intercultural Philosophy: A Peircean Study of Abhidharma Buddhist Theories of Consciousness and Perception

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Abstract

Setting out to explore phenomenological affinities between Charles Sanders Peirce’s phaneroscopy and Abhidharma Buddhist theories of consciousness and perception, this paper draws upon synergies between semiotic methodology (“roots”) and Buddhist applications (“routes”) in the spirit of intercultural philosophy. A Peircean interpretation of Buddhism and, reciprocally, a Buddhist development of Peirce’s philosophy can build upon a deeply phenomenological stance in both cases. As with a pansemiotic universe of signs and relations, what matters about the physical world in Buddhism is its being cognised by a sentient being. However, rather than to construe an interpreting mind by means of a psychological subject, the Buddhist “scholastic” analysis of commonsense subjects and objects into minimal experiential events (dharmas) accords well with locating agency in the semiosic arising of consciousness moments.

Keywords

  • Peirce
  • Semiotics
  • Phenomenology
  • Intercultural philosophy
  • Abhidharma Buddhism
  • Consciousness
  • Perception

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Abbreviations

Skt.:

Sanskrit

Pā.:

Pāḷi

EP 2:

Essential Peirce, vol. 2, cf. Peirce 1998

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Acknowledgements

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Tiago da Costa e Silva for his helpful suggestions and my deep gratitude to Søren Brier, Professor Emeritus of Copenhagen Business School, for his encouragement and criticism of my work.

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Lettner, A.T. (2021). Semiotic Roots and Buddhist Routes in Phenomenology and Intercultural Philosophy: A Peircean Study of Abhidharma Buddhist Theories of Consciousness and Perception. In: Giri, A.K. (eds) Roots, Routes and a New Awakening. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-7122-0_4

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