Confessions of a Deluded Westerner

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 25, 2018

Confessions of a Deluded Westerner

Michael Brent
University of Denver

In this paper, I aim to make two general points. First, I claim that the discussions in Repetti (Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will: Agentless Agency?) assume different, sometimes conflicting, notions of free will, so the guiding question of the book is not as clear as it could be. Second, according to Buddhist tradition, the path to enlightenment requires rejecting the delusional belief in the existence of a persisting self. I claim that if there is no persisting self, there are no intentional actions; and, if there are no intentional actions, there is no hope for Buddhist enlightenment. Thus, rejecting the allegedly delusional belief in a persisting self has disastrous consequences, both for the existence of intentional action and for Buddhist soteriology.
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