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By Bas C. Van Fraassen

An introductory, ancient survey of philosophical positions on area and time, in the course of the precise thought of relativity and the causal thought of time.

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It was but natural that in tandem with the Sakgha’s spread across Northern India, and subsequently throughout the subcontinent, various groups of monks assembled around charismatic teachers and came to endorse divergent positions on certain points of the teaching. Yet in addressing the complex problem of the origin of the ancient Indian Buddhist schools we must bear in mind that we are dealing with orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy: splitting the Sakgha is a technically precise matter and is always measured in terms of vinaya alone, so that holding a particular view of any doctrinal matter cannot be the grounds for a schism in or expulsion from the Sakgha.

INTRODUCTION: THERAVADIN DOCTRINAL THOUGHT singular form dhamma to the plural dhammas, [T]he relationship between dhamma and dhammas has been insufficiently examined by modern scholarship. This is in part the result of a tendency to view dhammas as the exclusive domain of the later Abhidhamma literature, both canonical and commentarial. 33 Contemporary scholars have construed the major difference between the Buddha’s teaching and the Abhidhamma in terms of a shift from how to what: from a concern with how one knows and how one experiences one’s world, to asking what there is in the world.

Ruegg 1995: 151. : 145 and 151–2. For instance, in his paper ‘India without mystification: comments on Nussbaum and Sen’ (2002: 386–401), Matilal says: ‘Communities of human beings constitute the substrata of ethical virtues and values. Hence we cannot talk about values without “humanizing” them. An “unexampled” (aprasiddha) value is a non-value. Our conditions, ways of life, hopes and desires, pleasures and pains, almost weave together in our informal consideration and search for truth and values.

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