more from Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama)

Single Idea 5517

[catalogued under 16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 4. Denial of the Self]

Full Idea

There exists no individual, it is only a conventional name given to a set of elements.

Gist of Idea

Individuals don't exist, but are conventional names for sets of elements


Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) (reports [c.540 BCE]), quoted by Derek Parfit - The Unimportance of Identity p.295

Book Reference

'Personal Identity', ed/tr. Martin,R /Barresi,J [Blackwells 2003], p.295

A Reaction

I take this to arise from an excessively spiritual concept of a human being, which faces Descartes' problem of how to individuate non-physical minds, when they have no clear boundaries. Combine dualism with a bundle theory, and you have Buddhism.