Panel on “The Role of Theory and Practice in the Abhidharma”

March 11, 2011

This program, open to the public, featured scholars from the Abhidharma Symposium as well as two members of the faculty of the University of California. Some 140 people attended.

Experience vs. Theory
as the Basis for Buddhist Abhidharma
– A Panel Discussion –

The relation of Abhidharma studies of the mind to immediate personal experience is a topic on which scholars and practitioners hold different views. Are the careful distinctions of the Abhidharma theoreticalconstructs, grounded for the most part on intertextual referents, or are they intended as road-maps for the practitioner/meditator? Can we understand aspects of these doctrines as constituting a psychology, or as a phenomenology of mind? Does it make sense to try to bring Abhidharma into conversation with current work (both first-person and third-person) in the field of cognitive science? Does the vocabulary of Husserlian phenomenology offer resources for translators?

To watch videos of the panel, click links below:

Part 1: Introduction by Jack Petranker, MRC
Part 2: Talk by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Independent Scholar
Part 3: Talk by Collett Cox, University of Washington
Part 4: Talk by Rupert Gethin, University of Bristol
Part 5: Talk by Eleanor Rosch, UC Berkeley
Part 6: Talk by Robert Sharf, UC Berkeley
Part 7: Panel Discussion Plus Question and Answer Period


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