By Paul Williams

Areas the talk initiated by means of the Tibetan Tsong kha pa - who elaborated on one of many 8 tough issues in knowing Madhyamaka philosophy - in its Indian and Tibetan context.

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The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence

Areas the debate initiated via the Tibetan Tsong kha pa - who elaborated on one of many 8 tough issues in figuring out Madhyamaka philosophy - in its Indian and Tibetan context.

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Extra info for The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence

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1 59) has observed that ' the usual m e n talistic strategy is to introduce an insurmountable barrier between the mental and the non-mental (material) and then claim that the mental (a cognitive event, a mode of consciousness) cannot be connected with the material object unless it transforms the latter into a mental object. This would, therefore, create w h a t has sometimes been called the 'veil o f ideas'. An argument can usually be developed to show eventually that this veil of ideas becomes in fact our veil of ignorance about the external, ma te­ rial world: if this is so, then, in our explanation of kn owl e d g e = 34 S antarak�ita on Reflexivity sciousness as its uniquely defining quality one m oves to an epistemology where consciousness apprehends itself in the form of the object.

Thus wherever there is consciousness there is that characteristic of reflexivity, and in the sense i n which 'reflexivity' is being used here it can o n ly characterize consciousness. It is what makes con­ sciousness consciousness. It has nothing 10 do with a particular epistemological situation or theory as such , and the reflexivity of consciousness does not in itself involve any intentional situation. In other words ' self1 7 See here Klein (1986) , p. l-vedana] is a factor of experience that is one entity [ngv bo gcilrsee ch.

P . 234 n . vedanam abhipretam/ kirp. tarhi / svayam prakrtya prawatmataya nabhastalavarttyalokavat / / . taviirttika (mam par 'grel pa las kyang de bzhin nyid du ston to). Cf. tavinScaya 1 : 38cd cited above, note 8. 1 6 Thus when w e refer to self-awareness in this sense ( self-awareness (ii» it is not self awareness in the sense of an awareness that takes itself as an object. What referent a consciousness takes is another issue. But in its own nature as con­ sciousness it is always reflexive.

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