Coursera’s Buddhism and Modern Psychology : week three

I’m a bit later than usual posting on week 3 (week 4 lectures have just been posted). Such is life. Part of the reason is that the topic this week was “not-self”(anātman in Sanskrit, anattā in Pāli) in Buddhism and in Modern Psychology, which I am not terribly interested in writing more about at this time.

I’ve written extensively about the topic here, here (on metaphysics),here (comparing with Sartre), and here; along with guest posts at Danny Fisher’s blog and (around the topic of purification) at Wildmind. Read those for my coverage of the topic from Buddhist sources.

As for Modern Psychology, or at least a perspective from modern Western philosophy, you may find the TED talk by Julian Baggini (who was recently discussed here for his part part in a talk with Owen Flanagan) “Is There A Real You” helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jny68mFF8k

 Here Professor Wright discusses some of the class questions in part of his weekly office hour:

For a good academic paper directly discussing East-West parallels around this topic, see “The No-Self Theory: Hume, Buddhism, and Personal Identity” by James Giles. It is available free as a pdf here  (and as text here) now, but just google the name/author if the link doesn’t work for you and you should be able to find a copy.

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