Laura Pace Guerrero F'17
The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies 2017
Philosophy and Humanities
Utah Valley University
Book project entitled: “Truth for the Rest of Us: Conventional Truth in the Work of Dharmakirti.”
I argue that Dharmakirti’s account of pramana is given in a way that does not presuppose a constitutive relation to reality. This ontological independence makes Dharmakirti’s account consistent with the common Buddhist claim that all experienced reality is merely conventional, yet it is still robust enough to withstand the relativism that threatens such a conventionalism. This project is important since for many Buddhist traditions, Buddhist teachings are themselves to be given only conventionally. Dharmakirti’s account, I argue, can provide an account of truth and knowledge at the conventional level that is stable and non-arbitrary and thus is sufficient to support robust standards of warrant or justification for conventional claims, and thus can defend Buddhist teachings as true.