Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Foundations of Dharmakīrti's Philosophy - Praise

“On the basis of thorough philological work, John Dunne presents the essentials of Dharmakīrti’s ontology, epistemology, and logic in philosophically informed language with an admirable capacity to interpret even those more difficult aspects of Dharmakīrti’s thought with easily readable clarity. His interpretation is conscientious of the context, well-documented, and Dharmakīrti’s problems are carefully analyzsed. The book promotes our understanding and, at the same time, can serve as a lucid introduction to one of the most important philosophers of India’s past.”—Ernst Steinkellner, University of Vienna

“A comprehensive introduction. Dunne renders comprehensible some of the most basic and also challenging features of this seventh-century Buddhist thinker’s thought. He also provides a fascinating analysis of commentarial practices and the problems posed in attempting to forge an intellectual history for Indian Buddhism.”—Buddhadharma

“A milestone in the modern history of Dharmakīrti studies. Dunne thoroughly examines the achievements of previous scholars in the field, presents his own answers to the various questions related to Dharmakīrti’s philosophy, and suggests what problems are yet to be solved. Apoha theory, one of the least-investigated subjects of Buddhist logic and epistemology, is beautifully explained. A brilliant work!”—Shoryu Katsura, Professor of Indian Philosophy, Hiroshima University

“This volume is both an in-depth introduction to and a historically oriented interpretation of the thought of Dharmakīrti, the seventh-century South Asian philosopher. ‘Foundations’ in John Dunne’s sense are fundamental elements of Dharmakīrti’s conceptual system that make his arguments possible. His study is based on Dharmakīrti’s earliest work, the Pramanavarttika, and his autocommentary on the chapter on ‘inference for oneself,’ with occasional forays into later treatises, especially the Hetubindu. As a point of departure, Dunne chooses the oldest stratum of commentarial interpretation by Devendrabuddhi and Sakyabuddhi, which is available only in classical Tibetan translations... This study is notable especially for the breadth of textual material that it covers... Dunne presents occasionally surprising new interpretations that will no doubt shape future scholarly debates.”—Birgit Kellner in The Journal of Religion

“Dunne displays a mastery of primary and secondary sources, and, given the semantic fluidity of Sanskrit technical terms, an admirable stylistic consistency.... Foundations of Dharmakīrti’s Philosophy stands as one of the most innovative and sophisticated attempts to engage with Dharmakīrti’s project in a systematic way.”—Christian Coseru, College of Charleston on H-Net.org