The Real is Not the Rational

By Joan Stambaugh

Subjects: Buddhism
Series: SUNY series in Buddhist Studies
Paperback : 9780887061677, 130 pages, June 1986
Hardcover : 9780887061660, 130 pages, June 1986

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Table of contents


1. Reason and Causality

2. The Non-Rational Faculties within the Framework of Rationalism

3. Irrationalism: The Revolt against Reason

4. The Temporalization of Consciousness

5. The Buddhist Way




What is real? What is man? Beginning with these two fundamental questions, The Real is not the Rational searches back into the history of philosophy for the development of these issues. It presents selected key stages in the history of the rationalist tradition, indicating the direction in which rationalism sought what is real. The role of non-rationalist tendencies within rationalism and the shift to an emphasis on the irrational in the nineteenth century are also examined. The study seeks alternatives to the rational-irrational dilemma—alternatives found in Heidegger, who takes the non-rational seriously. It also looks for alternatives in Buddhism, which dissolves the dichotomy between the rational and the irrational since its prime concern was never with reason, but has always been soteriological.

Joan Stambaugh is Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York.


"Stambaugh provides a refreshing and needed investigation of non-rational modes of access to reality, an investigation, more particularly, of alternatives to Hegelian rationalism. The subject matter is itself deeply thought provoking." — Steven W. Laycock