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Dharmakīrti's account of yogic intuition as a source of knowledge

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Knowledge
  • Theory Of (Buddhism)
  • Intuition
  • Dharmakīrti
  • 7Th Cent.
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology


Writing in seventh century India, the Buddhist philosopher Dharmakirti developed a system of epistemology in which he recognized yogic intuition as a valid source of knowledge crowning the practice of meditation and capable of causing the psychological transformation necessary for the achievement of nirvana. But his account of the epistemological character of yogic intuition was controversial. Indeed, while it consists in a full understanding of a conceptual object (i.e. the four noble truths), Dharmakirti insisted that, due to its clarity, the yogin's intuition be considered a category of sensation, which by definition is non-conceptual and pertains to particular objects. This thesis is an analysis of Dharmakirti's account of yogic intuition as a category of cognition allowing the non-conceptual knowledge of conceptual objects.

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