Studies in Abhidharma Literature and the Origins of Buddhist Philosophical Systems

Translated from the German by Sophie Francis Kidd as translator and under the supervision of Ernst Steinkellner as editor

By Erich Frauwallner
Edited by Ernst Steinkellner

Subjects: Philosophy Of Mind
Series: SUNY series in Indian Thought: Texts and Studies
Paperback : 9780791427002, 250 pages, January 1996
Hardcover : 9780791426999, 250 pages, January 1996

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Translator's Note


Abbreviations of Frequently Cited Works

Part 1: The Canonical Abhidharma Literature--Its Development and Methodology

I. The Earliest Abhidharma

II. The Canonical [Abhidharma] Works [of the Sarvastivada School]

III. The Abhidharma of the Pali School

IV. The Sariputrabhidharma

Part 2: The Development of Buddhist Philosophical Systems

V. The Origin of the Buddhist System

VI. Pancaskandhaka and Pancavastuka

VII. The Abhisamayavada

VIII. The Sarvastivada


Name Index

Subject Index

Index of Terms

Index of Texts


This is a translation of Frauwallner's Abhidharmastudien. It analyzes the literary traditions, doctrinal tendencies, and structural methods of the Buddhist Abhidarma canon in order to expose the beginnings of systematic philosophical thought in Buddhism. Frauwallner's insights illuminate the path of meditation toward liberation, the development of Buddhist psychology, and the evolution of the Buddhist view of causality and the problem of time. He provides a clear explanation of the gradual development of Buddhist thought from its early doctrinal beginning to some of the most complex and remarkable philosophical edifices in history.