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Kramer, Jowita (2018): Conceptuality and Non-conceptuality in Yogācāra Sources. In: Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 46, No. 2: pp. 321-338
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Abstract

This paper investigates the YogAcAra notions of "conceptuality", represented by terms such as vikalpa, on the one hand, and of "non-conceptuality" on the other. The examination of the process of thinking as well as its absence has played a central role in the history of YogAcAra thought. The explanations of this process provided by YogAcAra thinkers in works such as the YogAcArabhA << mi, the MahAyAnasA << trAlaa(1)integral kAra and the MahAyAnasaa(1)integral graha appear to be mainly concerned with the contents and the components of thoughts, categorizing them into different classes. These lists are far more than arbitrary collections. Instead they are meant to represent exhaustive summaries of a person's conceptual experience. The first part of the paper focusses on conceptuality, exploring (mostly Abhidharmic) definitions of the relevant terms and ideas. The second part is mainly an investigation of the question which parts of the Buddhist path to liberation were considered to involve conceptual activity and which were described as non-conceptual.