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This project investigates how answers to some of the key 'big questions' concerning metaphysics, the theory of knowledge and personal identity provided in the Buddhist philosophical tradition can be analyzed, refined, and advanced using philosophical theories and techniques developed by contemporary analytic philosophy. Instead of treating ancient Asian philosophical thought as a repository of arguments to be mined for advancing the Western philosophical discussion the current project focuses on how the sophisticated set of tools developed by Western philosophers over the course of the last century can be used in order to clarify and support key systematic aspects of Buddhist thought in an innovative way.
There will be two main parts of the project. The first is an invitation-only workshop during which leading scholars in the field will discuss their ideas about a systematic development of Buddhist philosophical views. A group of 10 international scholars is expected to attend. All of them have made seminal contributions to the philosophical analysis of Madhyamaka and will debate how the discussion and development of Madhyamaka thought can be moved forward. Video recordings of the workshop will be made freely available via a website. This new approach to distributing the project's outcome has the double aim of preserving a more intimate workshop atmosphere, while also making the results available to a wider audience than would be possible through the more traditional channels.
In addition, an article summarizing the results of the workshop will be published in a suitable journal. The workshop will conclude with a public event in which themes of the workshop can be discussed with the invited speakers.
The second component is a systematic monograph on the development of key Madhyamaka ideas using tools from contemporary philosophy written by the PL. It will take up some themes from the workshop but go beyond it both in breadth and depth of coverage.