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Philosophy Department - Colloquium

April 25, 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Manoa Campus, Sakamaki Hall C-308

On Seeing or Imagining Sameness or Similarity: Dharmakīrti on Recognition

Classical Indian epistemology offers a complex picture of human cognition, with every school and sub-school having its own position. Recognition, particularly in the sense of identification, has the same characteristic, with some philosophers considering it as a unique form of cognition, distinct from memory, imagination, and perception, while others consider it a fiction of imagination. The arguments of Dharmakīrti, a prominent 7th Century Mādhyamika-Sautrāntika-Yogācāra Buddhist philosopher, are noteworthy for his sharp criticism of recognition as a separate cognitive faculty. Not only did Jains categorically reject his cognitive model, a separate school of philosophy, the Recognition School (pratyabhijñā) developed around 9-11th centuries in criticism of Dharmakīrti’s arguments. I find this classical debate relevant for the contemporary discourse on cognition, memory, imagination, and other psychological and phenomenological issues.

Speaker: Sthaneshwar Timalsina, PhD

Professor of Religious Studies at San Diego State University and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at UH Mānoa

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Philosophy, Manoa Campus

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Pat Pimental, 956-8649,

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