This book seeks to explain carefully and sympathetically the Buddhist doctrine of anatta ('not-self'), which denies the existence of any self, soul or enduring essence in man. The author relates this doctrine to its cultural and historical context, particularly to its Brahmanical background, and shows how the Theravada Buddhist tradition has constructed a philosophical and psychological account of personal identity and continuity on the apparently impossible basis of the denial of self.
Preface; Introduction; Part I. The Cultural and Social Setting of Buddhist Thought: 1. The origins of rebirth; 2. Varieties of Buddhist discourse; Part II. The Doctrine of Not-Slef: 3. The denial of self as 'right view'; 4. Views, attachment, and 'emptiness'; Part III. Personality and Rebirth: 5. The individual of 'conventional truth'; 6. 'Neither the same nor different'; Part IV. Continuity: 7. Conditioning and consciousness; 8. Momentariness and the bhavanga-mind; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Glossary and index of Pali and Sanskrit terms; General index.