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History of Religions of Eastern Origins

Philosophy

Articles 1 - 10 of 10

Full-Text Articles in Religion

Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma Dec 2011

Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The nature of self awareness and the origin and persistence of personal identity still loom large in contemporary philosophy of mind. Many philosophers have been wooed by the computational approach to consciousness, and they attempt to find the self amidst the phenomenon of neocortical information processing. Affective neuroscience offers another pathway to understanding the evolution and nature of self. This paper explores how affective neuroscience acts as a positive game-changer in the philosophical pursuit of self. In particular, we focus on connecting 'mammalian agency' to (a) subjective awareness, and (b) identity through time.


The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma Jan 2011

The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article discusses atheism, Buddhism, and the practice of animism in southeast Asia. Atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are discussed as is the argument regarding the "provincialism" of religion. It is noted that some atheists echo the statement by philosopher Karl Marx that religion is an opiate that should be done away with because it has little moral value. The use of spirit houses as a part of religious practice in southeast Asia is described. The opinion held by theists on animism is explored. Other topics include living conditions in Cambodia and the role of religion in ...


What We Talk About When We Talk About The Soul, Stephen Asma May 2010

What We Talk About When We Talk About The Soul, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The author discusses the popularity among college students of the concept of the soul, and attempts to place it in its proper context. He dispenses with orthodox theological arguments and New Age arguments as scientifically untenable. He takes a so-called Wittgensteinian approach, noting soul's linguistic significance. He analyzes expressions which use the concept of soul and concludes that they are qualitatively different from testable factual expressions. He notes that soul talk is about hopes and aspirations, inspiration, or feelings deeper than friendship. He assigns it meaning outside of scientific concepts. He likens expressions of soul to creative and ethical ...


Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma Feb 2010

Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Profound and amusing, this book provides a viable approach to answering the perennial questions: Who am I? Why am I here? How can I live a meaningful life? For Asma, the answers are to be found in Buddhism.

There have been a lot of books that have made the case for Buddhism. What makes this book fresh and exciting is Asma's iconoclasm, irreverence, and hardheaded approach to the subject. He is distressed that much of what passes for Buddhism is really little more than "New Age mush." He loudly asserts that it is time to "take the California out ...


Monsters And The Moral Imagination, Stephen Asma Oct 2009

Monsters And The Moral Imagination, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article discusses the cultural interest in monsters in the 21st century. The author speculates on the reasons for the interest, citing anxiety after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq, or the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. He notes a conference in September 2009 at the University of Oxford entitled "Monsters and the Monstrous." Cultural uses of monsters, he notes, include scolding ourselves for failure to be inclusive, the medievals' punishment for the sin of pride, or the ancient Greeks' warnings of impending calamity. He notes that monster stories can promote the individual's thought about ...


Never Mind Grendel! Can Beowulf Conquer The 21st-Century Guilt Trip?, Stephen Asma Dec 2007

Never Mind Grendel! Can Beowulf Conquer The 21st-Century Guilt Trip?, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The writer casts doubt on whether the emasculated Beowulf put forward by J. R. R. Tolkien and in the recent movie version of the story transcends and nullifies the heroic original. He suggests that both Beowulfs may be necessary.


Looking Up From The Gutter: Pop-Culture And Philosophy, Stephen Asma Oct 2007

Looking Up From The Gutter: Pop-Culture And Philosophy, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

No abstract provided.


The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment In The Land Of The Tattered Buddha, Stephen Asma Apr 2006

The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment In The Land Of The Tattered Buddha, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Asma, a professor of Buddhism at Columbia College in Chicago and the author of Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads (2001), recounts his intense and revelatory Cambodian adventures while teaching at Phnom Penh's Buddhist Institute. In an electrifying and frank mix of hair-raising anecdotes and expert analysis, he explicates the vast difference between text-based Buddhist teachings and daily life in a poor and politically volatile Buddhist society. Amid tales of massage parlors, marijuana-spiced pizza, and bloodshed, he cogently explains how Theravada Buddhism, the form practiced throughout Southeast Asia, differs from the Buddhism Westerners are familiar with, and how entwined it ...


Against Transcendentalism: The Meaning Of Life And Buddhism, Stephen Asma Mar 2006

Against Transcendentalism: The Meaning Of Life And Buddhism, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

From the 1970s cult TV show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, to the current hit musical Spamalot, the Monty Python comedy troupe has been at the center of popular culture and entertainment. The Pythons John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam are increasingly recognized and honored for their creativity and enduring influence in the worlds of comedy and film. Monty Python and Philosophy extends that recognition into the world of philosophy. Fifteen experts in topics like mythology, Buddhism, feminism, logic, ethics, and the philosophy of science bring their expertise to bear on Python movies ...


'Mass Delusion' Or 'True Myth'? Pbs Considers The Question Of God, Stephen Asma Sep 2004

'Mass Delusion' Or 'True Myth'? Pbs Considers The Question Of God, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The Question of God is a new 4-hour miniseries from PBS. It is based on a long-running course taught by Harvard University psychiatry professor Armand Nicholi that compares the biographies and theories of Sigmund Freud, skeptic, and C. S. Lewis, believer. On balance, the miniseries succeeds as an introduction to complex issues.