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Perceiving RealityConsciousness, Intentionality, and Cognition in Buddhist Philosophy$
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Christian Coseru

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199843381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199843381.001.0001

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Introduction: Taking the Structure of Awareness Seriously

Introduction: Taking the Structure of Awareness Seriously

(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction: Taking the Structure of Awareness Seriously
Perceiving Reality

Christian Coseru

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces and outlines the main themes of the book: the specific view on perceptual knowledge advanced by the Buddhist epistemologists, arguments offered in support of the role that a particular understanding of the structure of awareness must play in settling epistemological disputes, and the naturalist perspective adopted to explain the contributions of Buddhist philosophers to epistemology. Drawing on discussions about naturalism in epistemology and phenomenology, it argues for a non-reductionist account of mental content, and identifies a common concern that Buddhist and Western philosophers share: developing a theory of knowledge that does not divorce logical arguments from descriptive accounts of cognition. It also introduces the methodological insight that guides the entire book, namely that a phenomenological account of perception on models first provided by Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, best serves to translate the intuitions of the Buddhist epistemologists about the cognitive function of perception.

Keywords:   sources of knowledge, reductionism, phenomenological naturalism, representationalism, phenomenal content, phenomenal character

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