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By Noa Ronkin

Early Buddhist Metaphysics provides a philosophical account of the key doctrinal shift within the heritage of early Theravada culture in India: the transition from the earliest stratum of Buddhist inspiration to the systematic and allegedly scholastic philosophy of the Pali Abhidhamma circulate. Entwining comparative philosophy and Buddhology, the writer probes the Abhidhamma's metaphysical transition when it comes to the Aristotelian culture and vis-?-vis glossy philosophy, exploits Western philosophical literature from Plato to modern texts within the fields of philosophy of brain and cultural feedback.

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See Cousins 1991: 27–8; Frauwallner 1956: 5ff. ; Lamotte 1988: 271ff. 2 For a discussion of the Sakgha’s discipline see Gombrich 1988: Ch. 4, esp. pp. 106–12 and the references therein; Frauwallner 1956: Ch. 1; Wijayaratna 1990: 104–6. 3 See Obeyesekere 1991: 152–82. 4 Cousins 2001: 147. 147–8. André Bareau’s Les Sectes bouddhiques du Petit Véhicule (1955) collates the available sources regarding the Sthavira schools. 5 Frauwallner 1956: 7–10. 6 Vin II 294–307; Cousins 1991: 29–31 and the references therein.

Cousins (1991: 59) has reached a slightly different dating, placing the Buddha’s death in 413 BCE and the Second Council seventy to eighty years later, namely between 343 and 333 BCE. 13 Frauwallner 1956: 55; Lamotte 1988: 520ff. and 696; Cox 1995: 22 and the references therein. 14 Cox 1995: 29; Gethin 1998: 50–3; Lamotte 1988: 520–1. 15 Cousins 1991: 27–8 and 54–5; Lamotte 1988: 531–2. 16 Cousins 2001: 147. : 151 and 155–7. The different lists that are in fact based on *Vasumitra are summarized by Lamotte 1988: 529ff.

F. Rhys Davids’s article in the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. J. v. C. Law’s History of Pali Literature, vol. 1 (1933: 235–40). See also Welbon 1968: 225ff. (esp. 225–8) and 270ff. (esp. 282–3) for a discussion of the Rhys Davids’s and La Vallée Poussin’s views of Pali Buddhism. 12 Frauwallner 1995: 8 and 11. Yet again Peter Masefield (1986: 162) argues that the Abhidhamma scholastic analysis, misrepresenting the Nikayas, testifies to an ideal which ‘lost contact with the Dhamma as the Deathless’.

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