Personal Identity

The Cartesian Self and Buddhist Alternatives

Introduction

Descartes provides a classic example of a individual, substantialist conception of the self, and Buddhists deny precisely such a view.  Consequently, they present intriguing alternatives for students. Theravada Buddhist argue that there is no self, but that it is conventionally useful to talk as if there are selves.  Mahayana Buddhists frequently argue that there is no completely individual self, but there is a transpersonal self that we are all manifestations of.

Precolumbian Maya Philosophy

Introduction

The philosophical thought of the Maya people of Central America in the period before Spanish contact in the 16th century is extremely rich.  With advances in the last 50 years in decipherment of the Classic Maya glyphs, it has become possible to reconstruct early Maya history, literature, and philosophy.  In addition to the glyphic texts of the codices and numerous stelae, carvings, and painted texts throughout the Maya region, Postcontact texts such as the Popol Vuh are important sources for Precolumbian Maya philosophy.  Because of the relative dearth of sp

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