PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Buddhist Philosophy Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit provides a forum for the scholarly study of Buddhist philosophical thought in its various forms across all regions and traditions of the Buddhist world. We seek to develop tightly organized sessions that deal not only with intra-Buddhist philosophical issues — such as those involving major philosophical traditions and major thinkers and texts — but also with topics involving the relationship between Buddhist philosophy and other traditions of philosophical thought, both ancient and modern. The Unit likewise provides a venue to examine the relationship between Buddhist thought and Buddhist practice. We encourage work on the full range of Buddhist philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, soteriology, ethics, and philosophy of mind.

Call for Papers: 

This Unit entertains individual paper proposals, but mostly encourages thematically integrated sessions. These sessions might focus on specific philosophical topics, on methodological issues, or on (a) recent publication(s) in the field (books, papers, etc.) or a classical text of particular importance. Sessions representing a diversity of methods to address a regionally-defined topic are also encouraged. There is particular interest in developing a papers session or roundtable proposal that would be suitable for co-sponsorship with another unit. If proposing a session, please provide suggestions for co-sponsorship.

Please note that beginning in 2018, the AAR is shifting to a set of new session formats. The new allocation for the Buddhist Philosophy Unit is either: A.) One 2.5-hour and one 2-hour session; or B.) One 2.5-hour and two 90-minute sessions. The choice of which option to use will be dictated by the number and types of panel proposals received. Either allocation allows an additional 90-minute session to be listed if co sponsorship is secured.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• Buddhist Existentialism (Pierre-Julien Harter,

• Buddhist Philosophy and Moral Realism (Bharat Ranganathan,

• Chinese Madhyamaka Metaphysics (Rafal K Stepien,

• Immanence and Transcendence in Buddhist Philosophy: Metaphysical, Ethical, and/or Soteriological Issues (Pierre-Julien Harter,

• Non- and Post-Human Beings and Realms (Karin Meyers,

• Object-Oriented Ontology and Buddhist Philosophy (Takushi Odagiri,

• Philosophy and the Pure Land (Leah Kalmanson,

• Reexamining Attachment and Detachment in Buddhist Discourse(s) (Tao Jiang,

• Social Construction and Buddhist Philosophy (Constance Kassor,

• Tantric Doxographies: How Tantra-inflected Philosophers Distinguish Between Traditions (co-sponsored with Tantric Studies Unit)
(Daniel McNamara,

• The Poetics of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Poetics (M. David Eckel,

• The Verbal and the Visual: Shared Vocabularies in Buddhist Meditative Traditions (Bruce Williams,

Persons wishing to organize a panel on a subject not listed above may also wish to contact one or both of the co-chairs.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee