Self-Awareness (svasaṃvedana) in Dignāga's Pramāṇasamuccaya and -vṛtti: A Close Reading

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Self-Awareness (svasaṃvedana) in Dignāga's Pramāṇasamuccaya and -vṛtti: A Close Reading
Article
Article
Citation: Kellner, Birgit. "Self-Awareness (svasaṃvedana) in Dignāga's Pramāṇasamuccaya and -vṛtti: A Close Reading." In "Buddhist Theories of Self-awareness (svasamvedana): Reception and Critique." Special issue, Journal of Indian Philosophy 38, no. 3 (2010): 203–31.

Abstract

The concept of "self-awareness" (svasaṃvedana) enters Buddhist epistemological discourse in the Pramāṇasamuccaya and -vṛtti by Dignāga (ca. 480–540), the founder of the Buddhist logico-epistemological tradition. Though some of the key passages have already been dealt with in various publications, no attempt has been made to comprehensively examine all of them as a whole. A close reading is here proposed to make up for this deficit. In connection with a particularly difficult passage (PS(V) 1.8cd-10) that presents the means of valid cognition and its result (pramāṇa/pramāṇaphala), a new interpretation is suggested, inspired by the commentary of Jinendrabuddhi. This interpretation highlights an aspect of self-awareness that has hitherto not been claimed for Dignāga: self-awareness offers essentially subjective access to one’s own mental states and factors.