Attention not Self

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Abstract / Description of output

The aim of Attention Not Self is to explain fundamental aspects of human experience by an appeal to the concept of attention, in a way that entirely eschews the ‘Authorship’ view of self. Ganeri argues that this project is not as radical or novel as it may initially sound, for it is the account of experience found in the work of the fifth-century Theravādan Buddhist thinker Buddhagosa. Throughout the book, Ganeri argues that concepts from Buddhagosa's writing can be realised within the context of contemporary cognitive science (and vice versa), claiming that the framework that ensues has greater explanatory power than those that place the self at the centre of experience. One can therefore evaluate the book along two distinct lines: first, the plausibility of the accounts of attention and experience that it offers; and, second, its goal of drawing together Theravādan Buddhist concepts and cognitive science
Original languageEnglish
Article numberpqaa028
JournalPhilosophical Quarterly
Early online date16 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2020


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