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Guest Lecture by Lin Chen-kuo

Jul 08, 2016

On Tuesday, July 12, Prof. Lin Chen-kuo (National Chengchi University) gave a lecture on the topic “What Can We Learn from Medieval Chinese Sources about Indian Buddhist Epistemology?”. The lecture took place at Karl Jaspers Centre on behalf of Cluster Research Group MC 13.1 “Standards of Validity”.

The widespread consensus about Buddhist epistemology (pramāṇa-vāda) is that it has never received any serious attention outside of the development of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. As clearly shown in the current scholarship, the study of Chinese textual sources in this field has been totally ignored owing to the untenable belief that it is unhelpful, if not entirely useless, for our understanding of Buddhist epistemology in the Sinitic form. In this talk, however, the attempt is to demonstrate the opposite by presenting a study of Jingying Huiyuan’s (523-592) “Essay on the Three Means of Valid Cognition” and two other Dunhuang manuscripts (S.4303 and S.613). This study will show that the reception of Indian Buddhist epistemology in the era before Xuanzang was far more significant than what has been previously assumed.

Lin Chen-kuo is a Distinguished Professor in both the Department of Philosophy and the Graduate Institute of Religious Studies at National Chengchi University. His research interest includes Buddhist philosophy, Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy. Currently he is conducting two research projects, “Cognition and Mind: A Study and Annotated Translation of Huizhao’s Treatise on Two Means of Valid Cognition” and “The Encounter of Chinese Buddhists with Indian Yogācāra Texts: A Comparative Study of Indian and Chinese Commentaries on Vasubandhu’s Twenty Verses (Viṃśikā)”.

The invitation for the lecture was extended by Research Area C “Knowledge Systems”, subproject MC 13.1 “Standards of Validity in Imperial Chinese Discourses”, which is coordinated by Prof. Joachim Kurtz and Dr. Martin Hofmann. The lecture took place at room 112 at 6 pm.


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