Earliest Buddhist Theory of knowledge

Earliest Buddhist Theory of knowledge

Product ID: 16485

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Author: K N Jayatilleke
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 520
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120806190


The book is based primarily on the source material available in the Pali Canon, studied histroically and philosophically in the light of the contemporary, earlier and later literary evidence related to the subject. The antiquity and authenticity of the materials vouchsafed by the literary, linguistic, ideological, sociological, and historical evidence existing in to Pali Canon itself. The book traces the origin of the theory of knowledge and its development in early Buddhism--the Hinayana Buddhism of Pali Canon.

The book is divided into nine chapters. Chs 1-3 conduct a survey of the historical background of the Buddhist theory of knowledge - with speccial reference to Pali canonon. Chs 4-5 explain the Buddhist attitude to Authroity and Reason. Chs 6-7 deal with the analysis and meansing as well as Logic and Truth respectively. Ch 8 discusses the role of Authroity and Reason in Buddhism and shows that Buddha is neither a traditionalist nor a rationalist in the strictly philosophical sense. Ch 9 deals with the means and limits of knowledge and propounds a number of theories: the theory of causatio, perception, inference, empiricism, so on and so forth.

The book is documented with a Preface, List of Abbreviations, an Appendix, Chronological Table of Schools, Bibliography and Index.


1. The historical background I-Vedic.

2. The historical background II--non-Vedici--materialism.

3. The historical background III--non-Vedic II--sceptics, Ajivikas and Jains.

4. The attitude to authority.

5. The attitude to reason.

6. Analysis and meaning.

7. Logic and truth.

8. Authority and reason within Buddhism.

9. The means and limits of knowledge.