Nothingness and Emptiness: A Buddhist Engagement with the Ontology of Jean-Paul Sartre


Using Buddhist thought, explores and challenges the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre.
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Using Buddhist thought, explores and challenges the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Numerous authors have contributed to the phenomenology/Buddhism dialogue, but Laycock’s work is perhaps the most detailed and profound meditation on their convergence to date. The book’s major contribution is a reassessment of phenomenology—especially that of Sartre—in a global philosophical context. Individuals who care about the development and application of phenomenology will want to own this book.” — Frederic L. Bender, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
Laycock (philosophy, University of Toledo) seeks to resolve the incoherence implicit in the Sartean conception of nothingness by opening it to a Buddhist vision of emptiness. Rooted in the Madhyamika dialectic and an articulated meditative (zen) phenomenology, the book examines the assumptions that sustain Sartre's early phenomenological ontology and questions his theoretical elaboration of consciousness as "nothingness." Laycock argues that, in addition to the "relative" nothingness (the for-itself) defined against the positivity and plenitude of the in-itself, Sartre's view requires, but repudiates, an "absolute" nothingness<-->which Buddhism supplies in the form of "emptiness". Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791449103
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven W. Laycock is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toledo and the author of Mind as Mirror and the Mirroring of Mind: Buddhist Reflections on Western Phenomenology, coeditor (with James G. Hart) of Essays in Phenomenological Theology, also published by SUNY Press, and author of Foundations for a Phenomenological Theology.

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Table of Contents

The Radiance of the Lotus

Chapter One. Dancing with the Light

Chapter Two. Light upon Light

Chapter Three. Questioning Sartrean Questions

Chapter Four. Nothingness

Chapter Five. Emptiness

Chapter Six. Making Nothing of Something

Chapter Seven. The Myth of Repletion

Chapter Eight. The Possibility of the Possible



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