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LUCIP Lecture Series with Antoine Panaïoti

Wednesday 12 May 2021
https://smart.newrow.com/room/nr2/?room_id=ytz-076&fr=lti at 3.30 PM Dutch time

Towards a Mādhyamika Error Theory of Causation

All interested are cordially invited to the next Spring lecture of the Centre of Intercultural Philosophy on Kaltura, on Wednesday 12 May 2021, 3.30 PM Dutch time.

Dr. Antoine Panaïoti 

Assistant Profesoor Ryerson University, Toronto

In this talk, I defend four theses. I argue: (1) that the Mādhyamika account of causation is an error theory according to which all meaningful causal propositions bear the stamp of personification; (2) that this account can be enriched by drawing from the late Friedrich Nietzsche’s conception of causal notions as grounded in a form of fetichism, and yet as necessary fictions;  (3) that the resulting interpretation of Madhyamaka thought as committed to a therapeutic fictionalist stance vis-à vis causal discourse is superior to alternative interpretations of the Mādhyamika account of causation; and (4) that the Mādhyamika account (as I interpret it) may further be characterized as a type of agency theory of causal discourse which, as it happens, fares better than rival agency theories on a number of counts.

Antoine Panaïoti has been Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ryerson University since July 2017. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies (Joint Honours Program) from McGill University as well as an M.Phil and a PhD in South-Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge. His dissertation critically examined the reception of Indian Buddhist thought in the work of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche. As a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Counsel Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Université de Montréal’s Centre de recherche en éthique, he drew from his doctoral work to produce a monograph entitled Nietzsche and Buddhist Philosophy, which was published under the auspices of Cambridge University Press (and, after appearing in Portuguese and Turkish, is now being translated into Mandarin Chinese). His research interests are fairly diverse. He is a student of both Nineteenth-century German Philosophy, particularly Nietzsche, and Early Classical Indian Buddhist Thought, particularly Madhyamaka philosophy from Nāgārjuna (2nd century C.E.) to Candrakīrti (6th century C.E.). He also has a keen interest in the reception of Buddhist thought in: (a) contemporary Analytic Philosophy (viz., the work of such philosophers as Derek Parfit and Galen Strawson); (b) contemporary cognitive science, psychology, and psychotherapy (viz., in connection to Embodied-Enactive Cognitive Science, and rise of so-called ‘secular mindfulness practices’, respectively); and (c) Western philosophical scholarship more generally. 

Antoine Panaïoti
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