Dhammanando wrote:Well, I’m not so sure about that. It would of course be true if one were talking strictly about Husserlian phenomenology, with its transcendental ego etc.; but my impression is that hardly any of the Buddhists who like to go tossing the word “phenomenological” about are using it in a Husserlian or any other narrowly technical sense (the exceptions are Ñāṇavīra with the Theravada and Dan Lusthaus with the Yogācāra). What they really seem to mean is something rather vaguer, like “experiential”.Jechbi wrote:Seems like we just end up with the same basic either/or choice. The idea of "phenomenological reality" relates to the self.
The cool thing about this discussion is that it takes us straight back to the heart of what is understood by "self," I think. Even "experiential" implies a plurality of phenomena, a division in some sense between the experiencer and that which is experienced. Otherwise it's just a variety of ontology. We can make this division as vague as we want, but on some level it still seems to be there.
Dhammanando wrote:Could you expand on this?The idea of "ontological reality" takes self out of the equation (but you still need to understand the notion of self to understand why ontological is ontological and not phenomenological).
I'm probably oversimplifying, so I hope you'll set me straight if that's the case. The whole idea of "ontological reality" seems to pretend that there is some reality out there that stands on its own regardless of whether we're there or not to experience it. That seems to be the sense in which Retro was using it, any way. But it's not even possible to consider the question of whether this reality is "ontological" without (at least in the background) having the thought about the relative absence of an experiencer.
So both ways of thinking about reality (ontological and phenomenological) seem to stem from some understanding of the role (or lack thereof) of self, at least as an underlying assumption. So we just end up where we started.
1. A philosophy or method of inquiry based on the premise that reality consists of objects and events as they are perceived or understood in human consciousness and not of anything independent of human consciousness.
The argument I was making earlier was that if something cannot be verified phenomenologically, it is not thereby disproved ontologically.
I think I know what you're saying. It seems like either way, there's an underlying assumption about self. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It just seems like we keep coming back to the same core question.