Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 8, 2018

Comparative and Intercultural Philosophy

Любовь Борисовна Четырова
Pages 225-231

«Картезианские размышления» М. K. Мамардашвили как опыт рецепции философии буддизма

The paper attempts to justify that Merab Mamardashvili was one of few Russian philosophers, who combined two philosophical traditions: the Western and the Eastern ones. Mamardashvili used Buddhist ideas and concepts for the interpretation of Descartes’ philosophy. In his study of the questions of philosophy as a way of life, of thinking as a way of becoming human, of thinking and consciousness, and of freedom, he used the Buddhist concept of the absence of the individual “I” (anatma), the principle of interdependence, and the idea of detachment, and proceeded from the existence of various forms of consciousness. Talking about Descartes, Mamardashvili finds a way to talk about himself and his own philosophy. The fundamental thesis of Descartes’ philosophy – the principle of doubt – is treated as if Descartes was a Buddhist. A fruitful distinction for Mamardashvili was that between consciousness and thinking that is adopted in Buddhist philosophy. He states that thinking is simple intuition of the mind, is that which is controlled by the will and the consciousness. For him, a thought is a real existential object. This distinction enables him to distinguish between empirical (psychological) “I” and transcendental consciousness, in virtue of which human being becomes man. An important role here plays the phenomenon of awareness. Thus, not only Husserl’s phenomenology, but also the view of Descartes’ philosophy and Descartes himself from a Buddhist philosophical standpoint enabled Mamardashvili to suggest a new reading of his philosophy. However, his aim was not a simple interpretation of Descartes’ philosophy, but also the exposition of his own philosophy, the core of which is the theory of consciousness..