The Self / No-Self Debate in Classical Indian Philosophy: Difficulties for the Buddhist (MT23)

Location: OCHS Library
Speaker: Prof. Alex Watson
Date: October 11, 2023
Time: 11.00am – 12.00pm

In the first part of the talk we will identify what was at stake in the Indian ātman debate between Nyāya and Buddhism.  Next, we will examine a Nyāya argument against Buddh­ism.  Finally, we will look at three new arguments from Rāmakaṇṭha, a Kashmir–ian author from the 10th century, belonging to the tradition of Śaiva Sid­dhānta.  They are ‘new’ both in the sense that no one had advanced them prior to Rāmakaṇṭha, and in the sense that they had not been mentioned in contemporary secondary literature prior to my work on this author.

Prof. Alex Watson is Professor of Indian Philosophy at Ashoka University, prior to which he was Preceptor in Sanskrit at Harvard.  His DPhil was from the University of Oxford.  He is author of The Self’s Awareness of Itself (2006) and, with Dominic Goodall and Anjaneya Sarma, An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation (mokṣa) (2013), as well as numerous articles on the History of Indian Philosophy.  He works on debates between Śaivism, Nyāya, Mīmāṃsā and Buddhism.