James Roberts, MA class of 2015, will be presenting his paper titled "A Taste for Freedom: Interpreting Aesthetic Value in Buddhist Texts " at the Association for Core Texts and Courses conference in April.
The paper uses two core texts: Xuanzang's Demonstration of Consciousness Only and Kant's Critique of Aesthetic Judgement.
Abhidharma (Buddhist psychology) texts contain their own frameworks of ideas which can help to clarify connections between Buddhist and western psychology. In particular, Buddhist descriptions of the subject’s encounter with ethics and morality play an important role in understanding Buddhist approaches to freedom from suffering. Xuanzang’s Demonstration of Consciousness Only, a seminal text of East Asian Buddhist thought, includes a rigorous analysis of experience similar to Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgment. A careful reading of both texts reveal some alternatives for approaching aesthetic and moral values as well as their relationship to human consciousness.