Zazen, philosophy of mind, and the practicality of realising impermanence

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dc.contributor.advisor Walmsley, Joel Vincent en
dc.contributor.author Power, Kevin J.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-27T11:21:56Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-27T11:21:56Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.date.submitted 2015
dc.identifier.citation Power, K. J. 2015. Zazen, philosophy of mind, and the practicality of realising impermanence. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 238
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/2111
dc.description.abstract This dissertation involves a general overview of the meditative practice of zazen and analytic philosophy of mind while suggesting a potential bridge between them in the form of an analysis of the practicality of realising impermanence. By the end of my argument I hope to have offered up some compelling evidence in favour of the idea that analytic philosophy would benefit greatly from adopting principles which are best learned and expressed through the practice of, and scholarship around, Zen Buddhism and in particular the treatment of the concept of impermanence. I demonstrate the Western philosophical tendency to make dichotomous assumptions about the nature of mind, even when explicitly denying a dualist framework. I do so by examining the historical and philosophical precedent for dualistic thinking in the work of figures such as Plato and Descartes. I expand on this idea by examining the psychology of categorisation - i.e. creating mental categories and boundaries - and demonstrating how such categorisations feeds back into behaviour in practical ways, both positive and negative. The Zen Buddhist principle of impermanence states that all phenomena are impermanent and therefore lack essential nature; this includes intellectual concepts such as the metaphysical framework of the analytic approach to mind. Impermanence is a principle which is realised through the embodied practice of zazen. By demonstrating its application to analytic philosophy of mind I show that zazen (and mindfulness practice in general) provides an ongoing opportunity for clearing up entrenched world views, metaphysical assumptions and dogmatic thinking. This in turn may promote a more holistic and ultimately more rewarding comprehension of the role of first-person experience in understanding the world. My argument is not limited to analytic philosophy of mind but reflects broad aspects of thinking in general, and I explain its application to issues of social importance, in particular education systems. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2015, Kevin J. Power. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Zen en
dc.subject Zazen en
dc.subject Buddhism en
dc.subject Impermanence en
dc.subject Dogen en
dc.subject Hofstadter en
dc.subject Philosophy of mind en
dc.subject Consciousness studies en
dc.subject Applied philosophy en
dc.subject Comparative philosophy en
dc.title Zazen, philosophy of mind, and the practicality of realising impermanence en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Philosophy en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
ucc.workflow.supervisor j.walmsley@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Autumn Conferring 2015


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© 2015, Kevin J. Power. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2015, Kevin J. Power.
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