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Attention, Not Self$
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Jonardon Ganeri

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198757405

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198757405.001.0001

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(p.37) 2 Consciousness
Attention, Not Self

Jonardon Ganeri

Oxford University Press

Two accounts of consciousness collide in the work of the fifth-century Buddhist philosopher Buddhaghosa, where they co-exist incompletely integrated and perhaps incompatibly with one another. They apparently represent two substantively different pictures of the nature of mind. Did Buddhaghosa see a tension? If so, how did he try to resolve it? What does the confrontation between these two ways of understanding consciousness in his writings enable us to learn about the nature of consciousness itself? The first of the two accounts is that there are certain ‘concomitants’ (cetasika) always accompanying every moment of worldly experience (citta). Consciousness is never barely consciousness-of; it is always consciousness-with. What the second account states is that consciousness arises at the end of a series of cognitive activities, each member a condition for the next.

Keywords:   Buddhist philosophy, philosophy of mind, consciousness, Buddhaghosa, intentionality, phenomenal properties

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