The Bodhisattva's Brain : Buddhism Naturalized

The Bodhisattva s Brain Buddhism Naturalized None

  • Title: The Bodhisattva's Brain : Buddhism Naturalized
  • Author: Owen J. Flanagan
  • ISBN: 9780262016049
  • Page: 233
  • Format: Hardcover
  • None

    One thought on “The Bodhisattva's Brain : Buddhism Naturalized”

    1. Is naturalism compatible with Buddhism? The answer is yes or possibly yes according to the philosopher, Owen Flanagan, and the whole book can be considered as an answer to this very question. Well, if you are a Buddhist or someone who has an interest in Buddhism or Buddhist philosophy, this is “a must read” book for many reasons you will be acquainted just by reading the introduction. He is one of the few philosophers of the analytic tradition to take Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy serious [...]

    2. ok, i hate to say this but i'm just going to come out and say it: why do all philosophy books have to be laced with mental masturbatory drivel?is there a good philosophy book written in a plain, easy-to-understand manner?well, this book WAS interesting in that you have to really understand buddhism before reading it. otherwise, you're screwed. but if you do know it it helps deepen your knowledge of the theory behind the religion. that being said, i learned a bit from this book. but it was writte [...]

    3. People Flanagan name drops:HobbesHumeKantAristotleFoucaultPlatoSocratesDescartesSpinozaWittgensteinSaint AugustineHeidegger (not named but uses the Dassein, being-in-time-in-the-world concepts)William JamesKierkegaardNietzscheLeibnizLockeMarxJS MillNozickKarl PopperBertrand RussellRortySchopenhauerSartreThe StoicsThe Epicureansthe HellenistsWhiteheadOtherwise known as the majority of the western philosophical canon. He even references James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy and Proust.So if you don't have a go [...]

    4. UNCLE! UNCLE! U-N-N-NCLE! For the love of god (or not), I can't take it anymore.For the first time in (approximately) 15 years I am doing something that I am very remiss in doing - I have to stop reading this book. (For what it's worth, my previous abandonment, 'The Celestine Prophecy' - absolute tripe.) If I could give this book a 'zero' star in order to drive down its average rating, I would, but hopefully the 'one' star will help in this effort.I am a fan of Sam Harris and his thoughts/writin [...]

    5. It’s been nearly a decade since my favorite undergraduate philosophy professor introduced me to Owen Flanagan. Flanagan is part of a vibrant but relatively new philosophical niche: naturalized ethics. The field plumbs the depths of philosophical history, plucks out tidbits that harmonize with modern findings about the capabilities and constraints of the embodied mind and human communities, and rejects the rest as outdated nonsense. In my view, naturalized ethics is one of the only specializati [...]

    6. Owen Flanagan's Bodhisattva's Brain is a great book that examines Buddhism as a philosophy, without any of the other supernatural or religious aspects. The benefit of this is seeing what is good and valuable in the Buddhist tradition, and what to make of the claims that Buddhism/meditation make you happier. There's much to be learned, I think, from viewing Buddhism as a philosophy, and I think most readers will find pieces that will resonate with their worldview or will allow readers to reformul [...]

    7. What I particularly appreciate about this book is the way it portrays Buddha as a kind of soul doctor or a therapist of desire. To change a mind, your own or somebody else's, takes a lot more than mere ratiocination. Meditation fits in here as a means of attuning the heart-mind towards compassion. But meditation is just one method; art in general can be a means of heart-transformation, and that's one of the reasons why its importance should never be downplayed by people who want to change the wo [...]

    8. Is there any underlying, testable truth in the claim that Buddhism generates happy people? I lived with Buddhists for several months. They seemed happy. The point is, even patients who take homeopaths report to feel good, and that does not prove homeopaths to be effective. The power of positive belief has to be examined and weighted when tackling such complicate questions about ‘happiness’, even more if we acknowledge that happiness has many facets, and c is at too an early stage to be able [...]

    9. Buddhism and western philosophy have so much to offer one another, especially when scientific plausibility is added to the mix. Flanagan, a western philosopher, does a great job starting a desperately needed conversation between traditions. I eagerly await a Buddhist practitioner's response to this book as well as further rigorous study of Buddhism by scientifically-minded westerners.The writing is very analytic philosophy, with plenty of definitional precision. My husband and I, both engineers, [...]

    10. Owen Flanagan sets out to "naturalize" Buddhism -- and by that he means make it conform with "modern" science. Once having done that, he then looks at whether Buddhism is a way of life that encourages happiness, or at a lesser level, "flourishing."OK, that's a lot of quote marks for one paragraph, so let's take them one at a time. First, "naturalize" is Flanagan's word for getting rid of superstition, magic and the other accoutrements that have been added since the original, more simple message [...]

    11. I found Flanagan's writing clear and enjoyable, and his exploration of Buddhism from a naturalist philosopher's perspective rather elucidating. I particularly found it enlightening to find that I did not like when he calls to question whether Buddhist epistemology necessarily leads to Buddhist-style ethics, because I want to believe they do, but that's not very Buddhist of me, to be so attached to the believe that there can and should be an "ought" that everyone can find their way to. It's also [...]

    12. Buddhism Naturalized has as its premise Buddhism shorn of the supernatural.The start of the book opens with a discussion of the Dalai Llama's interest in science. No surprise a man who wishes to have the support of the US to impose a backwards looking theocracy in Tibet seeks to align himself with the US empirical tradition as far as possible.After the opening guff, the book is broadly divided into two parts, epistemology and ethics. The Buddhist theory of knowledge is pretty interesting. The et [...]

    13. A steady, thoughtful treatise on what it means, both in the world and in the brain, to be happy, and to flourish. The focus is on wisdom traditions (particularly Buddhism) and what they have to say on the matter. The conclusion, generally, is that there's a lot of epistemically sound and useful stuff in the Buddhist tradition, and that we could all learn a thing or two; but, just as importantly, we shouldn't take the whole thing hook, line, and sinker; nor should we assume that claims of neuro-s [...]

    14. This book discusses an area close to that of Alain de Botton's book on religion for atheists.However, this is NOT a book for the casual reader. Flanagan, a Philosophy of Mind professor at Duke, states that his intended audience is other philosophers.This is not a journal article, however. Although the subject matter can get quite dense, Flanagan's prose is mostly lucid. After a passage where he makes formal philosophical arguments he will always summarize at a high-level and in layman's terms.St [...]

    15. This is a book by an analytic philosopher, one who would generally be expected to be unsympathetic to Buddhist spirituality, who nonethless finds much that is philosophically interesting in Buddhism. (I also teach philosophy and agree with this.) Flanagan makes clear that he has no interest in the superstitious side of Buddhism (e.g the gods and goddesses of Tibetan Buddhism) but shows that even if one dismisses those elements, Buddhism has much to teach Western philosophers.I recommend this boo [...]

    16. It's good: A dispassionate analysis of Buddhist philosophy and practice and its connection (or not) to happiness; this requires, of course, extensive discussion both of Buddhism and of "happiness." The book does get tedious, even for someone with an academic background in philosophy; I admit that I read some lengthy chunks of it but just skimmed my way through long sections, as well. The author's conclusion is that the practice of Buddhism, shorn of supernatural claptrap, certainly can (but does [...]

    17. Flanagan's The Bodhisattva's Brain introduces a wonderful new idea to academic philosophy: comparative neurophilosophy. This is required reading for anybody who is seriously engaged in neurophilosophy. Plenty others will find something in Flanagan's treatment of the philosophy of happiness, his exposition of Buddhist beliefs and philosophy, and his honest and largely successful attempt to offer us a Buddhism that is fully consistent with a scientific worldview. That said, this is a very academic [...]

    18. Brilliant in its analysis, stunning in its implications and utterly humble in its conclusions. There is true rarity in an author who ends his book with "maybe." This testifies not to Flanagan's inability to understand what he's talking about, that clearly isn't the case, but to his commitment to real scientific inquiry and objective consideration. "Maybe" is not laziness, it's honest appraisal. If you want a book that gives you answers, this isn't it. If you want a book that gives better tools t [...]

    19. This book describes Buddhist philosophy as a treatise on eudaimonia . It does a particularly good job in explaining why the concept of Impermanence is consistent with personhood, at least a Lockean or a Heraclitean version of it. The emphasis that virtues and happiness, whilst plausibly interconnected, are themselves polysemous is a recurring theme. Ultimately philosophical claims need to be psychologically valid and empirically robust. A very great read even for a die-hard theists like me. Four [...]

    20. Flanagan was an engaging guest on the Partially Examined Life podcast, where he discussed this book. The project of naturalizing Budhism is mixed up with poorly argued / opinionated philosophy of mind, a reach to match this up with Aristotelian eudaimonia, and a lot of appeals to neuroscientific authority. The no-self link to Heraclitus and the dis positional view of reality were the most illuminating sections for me.

    21. Provides a solid analysis of the "naturalistic" tenets of Buddhism, that is Buddhism without the supernatural enhancements. To me it is further evidence that the beneficial impact of religion (yes there is such a thing) is its emphasis on the communal interest and the damage done by selfish or ego-centric behavior.The structure of the book is a bit meandering and it is somewhat long-winded at times. A 40 page version could have provided the same value, for me at least.

    22. A clear examination of the philosophical/ethical basis of Buddhism written by a serious (but not quite deadly serious) Philosophy Professor from Duke who gained some fame/notoriety years ago by writing an article about how MRI's of Buddhist monks showed that they might be happier than most. He walks back from this (or elaborates on it) by examining what happiness might be and how Buddhism might lead to it.

    23. Spectacular and intelligent look at Buddhism and especially the philosophical aspects of Buddhism. Are Buddhists happier than non-Buddhists? Well, it depends on how you define happiness and how you define Buddhism. Some may find it a bit dense, but I love it. If you want a thorough breakdown of the secular, philosophical aspects of Buddhism and weather or not they can lead to happiness or flourishing, and how you would even go about determining if they can, then I highly recommend this book.

    24. Oh boy, the different definitions of happiness within each philosophy. The explanations of the different viewpoints within each philosophy. The different types of Buddhism. More than I want to get into right now. Are Buddhists in some way happier than others? Maybe I'll see what Flanagan has to say later. Maybe I'll find someone else who's read it and see what they say

    25. So far, an interesting inquiry into Buddhism's philosophical principals and were one can empty the myriad of "religious" aspects of Buddhism to come to a naturalistic understand of Buddhist philosophy. This is in tandem with a comparison of concepts of happiness from Aristotle, Buddhism, and contemporary ideas.

    26. Will go on the shelf beside my copies of Stephen Batchelor's "Buddhism Without Beliefs" and "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist." In this book Flanagan has adopted a relaxed and conversational style, replete with asides, qualifications, and occasional jokes, which I don't remember from previous books of his (and am too busy to check at the moment). So far he seems spot on in his premises.

    27. I've read it twice now. Flanagan argues hard for contemporary philosophy of mind and largely succeeds in eliminating anything that could be considered supernatural from spiritual life. However, in making his case, he includes many thoughts from the works of the Dalai Lama which keep the door open to higher states of consciousness and and a "knowledge" that goes beyond what science can reveal.

    28. Buddhism Naturalized?Fascinating topic but I found the author's style dense and unwieldy. Still, I learned a lot about Buddhism and would recommend this book to anybody with a penchant for the big questions and an aversion to superstition.

    29. Brilliant stuff. About time someone summarised Buddhism's "mental hygiene" with the rich tradition in the west of Eudaimonia, started by Aristotle. This book is a great synthesis of ancient traditions and modern insights, to use a cliche.

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