25. Philosophy of Mind in Buddhism

  1. Steven M. Emmanuel
  1. Richard P. Hayes

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch25

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

How to Cite

Hayes, R. P. (2013) Philosophy of Mind in Buddhism, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch25

Author Information

  1. University of New Mexico, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658772

Online ISBN: 9781118324004



  • Buddhist philosophy;
  • Dharmakīrti;
  • mental events;
  • Nāgārjuna;
  • physical events;
  • Śāntideva;
  • Vasubandhu


This chapter discusses canonical views of Buddhist philosophers on the relation of physical and mental events, including Nāgārjuna, Vasubandhu, Dharmakīrti, and Śāntideva. Over the course of the first fifteen centuries of Buddhist philosophy one finds several positions taken on the relation of mental events to physical events. In some quarters one finds a robust mind-body dualism in which the physical world and consciousness are ontologically independent of one another but interactive; in other quarters one finds a view that consciousness is the ultimate source of the physical world; in other quarters one finds a tendency to reject the reality of the physical world as anything other than a figment of imagination; and in yet other quarters one finds an anti-intellectual tendency to regard this very problem as a distraction from more important tasks.