The Philosophy of Buddhism
(Die Philosophie des Buddhismus)
by Erich Frauwallner
Translated by Gelong Lodrö Sangpo,
with the assistance of Jigme Sheldrön,
under the supervision of Professor Ernst Steinkellner.
578 pages; price: US $18.93 = Rupees 795
Now available from publisher Motilal Banarsidass:
The translation of Erich Frauwallner’s Die Philosophie des Buddhismus, first published in 1956, opens up a classic introduction to Buddhist thought to a broader English language readership. Because of the exemplary choice of source texts translated in Die Philosophie des Buddhismus and particularly because of the clear and substantial introductions to these texts, this anthology is a profound narrative of the unfolding of Buddhist thought, and it is still the only one of its kind. The book covers the period of early canonical literature with examples of its philosophically relevant ideas, followed by the principal philosophical concepts of systematic Śrāvakayāna-Buddhism.
In the main part of the book, Frauwallner presents the first survey of the development of the philosophical systems of Mahāyāna-Buddhism. He was well aware of the limitations in presenting only the Buddhist philosophy of the “classical”, i.e., the systematic period, and does not seem to have been ready to add the philosophically creative new post-systematic tradition of Buddhist epistemology and logic [or a more detailed account of the beginnings of Buddhist scholastic philosophy (Abhidharma), both] subject again of his subsequent and final years of research.
Frauwallner’s way of translating was straightforward: to remain as close as possible to the original text while presenting it in a clear and readable way in order to convey an accurate impression of its meaning. For technical terms in the source materials he maintained a single translation even when various meanings were suggested. For clarity regarding such variations of meaning he relied on the context and his explanation.
The same approach was taken by the translator of the present book, Gelong Lodrö Sangpo, however — although his translation attempts to be faithful to the 1994 edition of Die Philosophie des Buddhismus — he inserted helpful additional headlines into the text and considerably enlarged the index. All other additions by the translator are given within square brackets. Besides this, he created an Appendix, which includes one of Frauwallner's more important articles “Amalavijñāna and Ālayavijñāna” (1951) to complement the long Yogācāra section of the book, a bibliography of Frauwallner, and a bibliography of selective publications after 1969.
Brief Table of Contents:
Preface by Ernst Steinkellner
Introduction by Erich Frauwallner
A. The Teaching of the Buddha 9
> AA. The Buddha 11
> AB. The proclamation of the Buddha 13
> AC. Questions that the Buddha did not answer 21
> AD. The tenet of dependent origination 30
B. The Scholasticism (Abhidharma) of the Way of Hearers (Śrāvakayāna) 63
> BA. The rise of the Buddhist schools 65
> BB. The principal philosophical doctrines of the Sarvāstivāda 67
C. The Schools of the Great Way (Mahāyāna) 151
> CA. Main elements in the development of the Mahāyāna 153
> CB. The beginnings of the Mahāyāna 156
> CC. The oldest literary documentation of the Mahāyāna 157
> CD. The Madhyamaka school 181
> CE. The school of Sāramati 271
> CF. The Yogācāra school 280
- Appendix I: Amalavijñāna and Ālayavijñāna. A Contribution to the
- Epistemology of Buddhism. (1951) 469
- Appendix II: Bibliography of Erich Frauwallner 496
- Appendix III: Selected editions, translations, resources, and literature after the third edition (1969) 503
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The URLs for many of the source materials can be found on the web page of the Chökyi Gyatso Translation Committee.
Chökyi Gyatso Translation Committee