The Institute of Chinese Buddhist Studies, University of the West invites Prof. Robert H. Sharf, Chair of Buddhist Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Berkeley, to lecture on "Is Nirvana the Same as Insentience? Chinese Struggles with an Indian Buddhist Ideal" on 7:00-8:30pm Feb 6 (Fri). Content of the lecture is about a discussion on “What is the relationship between nirvana and simple insentience?” This was an issue of considerable concern to both Indian and Chinese Buddhist exegetes, although it was often approached somewhat obliquely. Prof. Sharf suggests that there are parallels between classical Buddhist struggles to make sense of mindlessness and insentience, on the one hand, and modern debates over the animate/inanimate distinction in the disciplines of psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy of mind, on the other.
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