Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Buddhism, meditation, and ‘the inner world’

  • CAMPBELL PURTON (a1)

Abstract

Buddhist meditation seems to involve giving attention to one's thoughts and feelings, to one's ‘inner world’. In this article I explore what is involved in such talk of one's inner world, with special reference to Wittgenstein's claim that ‘the inner’ is a delusion. The article explores the nature of thoughts and feelings, and suggests that we cannot fully understand what is involved in meditation without some consideration of its ethical and religious context. I conclude with some reflections on how the pictures we naturally employ in thinking about meditation can lead us into a misleading metaphysical view of ‘the inner’.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Buddhism, meditation, and ‘the inner world’
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Buddhism, meditation, and ‘the inner world’
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Buddhism, meditation, and ‘the inner world’
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Canfield, John V. (1975) ‘Wittgenstein and Zen’, Philosophy, 50, 383408.
Canfield, John V. (2007a) Becoming Human: The Development of Language, Self, and Self-Consciousness (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
Canfield, John V. (2007b) ‘Wittgenstein on fear’, in Moyal-Sharrock, D. (ed.) Perspicuous Presentations: Essays on Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), 1227.
Cleary, Thomas (1993) The Flower Ornament Scripture (Boston: Shambhala Publications).
Cook, Francis (1977) Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra (London: Pennsylvania State University Press).
Fogelin, R. (1987) Wittgenstein, 2nd edn (London: Routledge).
Gendlin, Eugene T. (1978/2003) Focusing, rev. edn (London: Rider).
Gendlin, Eugene T. (1996) Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy (New York: Guilford Press).
Gudmunsen, Chris (1977) Wittgenstein and Buddhism (London: Macmillan).
Hacker, Peter (2010) ‘In one's head: review of Galen Strawson's Selves’, Times Literary Supplement, 22 January.
Hamilton, Sue (1996) Identity and Experience: The Constitution of the Human Being According to Early Buddhism (London: Luzac Oriental).
Harvey, Peter (1995) The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism (London: Routledge).
Hudson, H. (1973) ‘Wittgenstein and Zen Buddhism’, Philosophy East and West, 23, 471481.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon & Davidson, Richard (eds) (2011) The Mind's Own Physician (Oakland CA: New Harbinger Publications).
Namgyal, Dakpo Tashi (2001) Clarifying the Natural State, Kunsang, Eric (tr.) (Hong Kong: Rangyung Yeshe).
Ñanamoli, Bhikkhu (2001) The Life of the Buddha (Onalaska WA: Pariyatti Publishing).
Phillips, D. Z. (1977) ‘On wanting to compare Wittgenstein and Zen’, Philosophy, 50, 338343.
Purton, Campbell (2014a) The Trouble with Psychotherapy: Counselling and Common Sense (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
Purton, Campbell (2014b) ‘Wittgenstein and the expression of feelings in psychotherapy’, Philosophical Investigations, 37, 152166.
Read, Rupert (2009) ‘Wittgenstein and Zen: one practice, no dogma’, in Garfield, Jay L. & Tilemans, Tom J. F. (eds) Pointing at the Moon: Buddhism, Logic, Analytical Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 1324.
Schopenhauer, Arthur (1844/1966) The World as Will and as Representation, Payne, E. F. J. II (tr.) (New York: Dover Publications).
Strawson, Galen (2009) Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Sujata, Victoria (2011) Songs of Shabkar: The Path of a Tibetan Yogi Inspired by Nature (Cazadero CA: Dharma Publishing).
ter Hark, Michel (1990) Beyond the Inner and the Outer: Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers).
Vesey, Godfrey N. & Bleau, Renée (2013) Inner and Outer: Essays on a Philosophical Myth (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
Willis, Janice (1982) On Knowing Reality: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga's Bodhisattvabhumi (Delhi: Motilal Banaridass).
Williams, Leonard (1980) Samba and the Monkey Mind, rev. edn (London: Allison & Busby).
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1963) Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1969) On Certainty (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1980) Culture and Value, 2nd edn (Oxford: Blackwell).
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1992) Last Writings on the Philosophy of Psychology, II: The Inner and the Outer (Oxford: Blackwell).
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (2009) Philosophical Investigations, 4th edn (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell).
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (2009 PPF). ‘Philosophy of psychology – a fragment’, in Philosophical Investigations, 4th edn (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell), 182243.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed