The epistemologic-logical tradition of Buddhism

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The epistemologic-logical tradition of Buddhism developed from the fifth century CE, the end of the classical period of Indian philosophy. Among its representatives were a number of outstanding philosophers and logicians who elaborated theories that were mainly problem oriented. These philosophical and logical theories were influential throughout the following centuries until the final period of Buddhism in India. The tradition was continued as Buddhism was received in Tibet. Tibetan philosophers, in their own interpretations, built on the Indian heritage that had been translated into Tibetan, a literature that in part has been transmitted only through these translations. Within this framework they also developed specific methods of analysing the various themes as well as a specific dialectic, which became integral to much of Tibet's intellectual culture.

The research being conducted in the framework of this project aims at creating a picture of this philosophical tradition's ideas and problems using historio-critical philological methods and context-related interpretation to allow direct access to these valuable testimonies of Indian and Tibetan culture.

Very recently, a number of works from this tradition have become available that until now had not been known to exist. These works, original Sanskrit manuscripts from the 9th to 14th centuries that are still extant in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of the PR China, will contribute to a fundamental shift in this field’s research objectives. The IKGA, through an agreement concluded in January 2004 with the China Tibetology Research Center (CTRC), Beijing, has been given access to manuscript photocopies held in the centre’s library. The urgent middle-term task of the IKGA has therefore become the critical editing of the most important of these works in order to make them available to the scholarly community.

General studies

Texts and authors

The table below lists all authors and works of the epistemologic-logical tradition as well as authors and works connected with it that are studied at the Institute, in a roughly historical order.

Yogācāra
related traditions
3c
4c
5c
Abhidharma
Vasubandhu
6c
epistemologic-logical tradition
Sthiramati
Dignāga
7c Dharmakīrti
Mīmāṃsā
Madhyamaka
Kumārila
ca. 600–650
Ślokavārttika
Candrakīrti
Devendrabuddhi
Śākyabuddhi
8c Dharmottara
Tantrism
Jinendrabuddhi
9c
10c Śaṅkaranandana
11c Jñānaśrīmitra Samayavajra
Ratnakīrti
Manorathanandin
Tibet
Blo ldan śes rab
1059–1109
12c Abhayākaragupta Phya pa Chos kyi seṅ ge
1109-1169
13c
14c
15c sTag tshaṅ lo tsa ba


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