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HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 23 no. 1 (2022)

THE BUDDHIST TURN IN CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY OF MIND

Napoleon M. Mabaquiao Jr.

 

Abstract:

Contemporary philosophy of mind is generally characterized by its project to naturalize the mind. Utilizing the findings of the different sciences involved in cognitive science, especially those of artificial intelligence and neuroscience, it continues to explore ways to explain the workings of the mind in purely scientific terms. But despite the rigor and sophistication of its methods, certain questions critical to its success have remained unanswered, such as how consciousness emerges from the brain’s physical processes and how the phenomenal properties of our conscious experiences arise from the physical properties of our bodily experiences. This has led some scholars to seek alternative perspectives. One such perspective that is widely explored today is Buddhist thought. The centrality of the mind in Buddhist thought and its perceived compatibility with the findings of modern science make it an attractive alternative framework to carry out the naturalization project. In this paper, I aim to examine the plausibility of this strategy. In particular, I shall evaluate whether Buddhist thought provides the needed insights to overcome the challenges facing the said project.