Study course in Buddhist philosophy
Questions to ask a Buddhist. This is designed to be a study course that takes Buddhism seriously on a philosophical level by studying its arguments with an eye to seeing which arguments hold up well and which fail to be fully convincing. It is not meant to be an exegesis of Buddhist scriptures or a doctrinal history of particular schools, but a systematic discussion of issues. The principal sources of information on the issues discussed are Indian Buddhist treatises, but there are occasional discussions of those issues as they were treated by Tibetan and East Asian Buddhists, as well as by non-Buddhists in various cultural settings. Although all of what is dealt with here with has been discussed by Buddhists in the distant past, it is hoped that the topics chosen have universal appeal and are still of philosophical interest today. While many of the arguments studied were initially made long ago, an attempt has been made to illustrate them with examples that people living in today’s world can readily ﬁnd relevant. In short, this course is based on the conviction that if Buddhist philosophy was ever worth examining seriously to assess its merits and shortcomings, it still is.
Richard P. Hayes (Dayāmati Dharmacārin, TBO) received a doctorate from University of Toronto’s Sanskrit and Indian Studies department in 1982. He taught comparative religions and Indian philosophy at University of Toronto before taking a position in 1988 in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, where he taught intermediate and advanced Sanskrit and several courses in Buddhist thought. He returned to his native New Mexico in 2003, teaching Asian philosophies in the Department of Philosophy at The University of New Mexico until his retirement in 2013. He now lives in Jemez Springs, NM.