Metaphysical Realism in Classical Indian Buddhism and Modern Anglo-European Philosophy

Abstract

In modern Anglo-European philosophy there is a distinct progression from the metaphysical realism of ancient and classical philosophy towards a type of scepticism that eventually leads towards nihilism. Interestingly this progression also appears in the doctrines of the Classical schools of Indian Buddhism that pre-date modern European philosophy by well over six centuries. This progression stems from the application of the same types of logical and philosophical reasoning to the problems of metaphysics. The movement from metaphysical realism to representationalism to idealism and finally towards nihilism, which is seen within both the classical Indian Buddhist tradition and Modern Anglo-European philosophy, are products of a coherent and wholly logical progression from the acceptance of certain metaphysical principles. The fact that these same movements occur in two philosophical traditions that are separated by vast chasms in space, time and culture seems to point to an underlying commonality underlying human philosophical enquiry, whether this is a result of a common intelligible reality, an essential and universal human nature or both is a philosophical question we must continue to pursue

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