The manifest fact of experiential unity—namely, that a single experience often seems to be composed of multiple features and multiple objects—was lodged as a key objection to the Buddhist no-self view by Nyāya philosophers in the classical Indian tradition. We revisit the Nyāya-Buddhist debate on this issue. The early Nyāya experiential unity arguments depend on diachronic unification of experiences in memory, but later Nyāya philosophers explicitly widened the scope to incorporate new unity arguments that invoke synchronic unification in experiences. We argue that classical responses to this objection in the Buddhist traditions are not satisfactory. We offer a new solution on behalf of the Buddhists, with some help from cognitive sciences. We argue that there are different kinds of experiential unity and that, once we distinguish between these kinds, the Nyāya argument becomes difficult to sustain.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Australasian Journal of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 11 Sep 2020|