Series Four Volume 2

Review: Why I Am Not a Buddhist

Why I Am Not a Buddhist. By Evan Thompson. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2020. 230 pages. $15.29 (cloth). ISBN: 0300226551.

In his recent book, Why I Am Not a Buddhist, Evan Thompson ventures to examine Buddhist modernism, Buddhist exceptionalism, and neural Buddhism. Specifically, Thompson identifies as the goals of his book the desire to present a “philosophical critique of Buddhist modernism” (p. 19) and to argue “for cosmopolitanism, the idea that all human beings belong to a single human community” (p. 21). To Thompson, these two goals are intrinsically intertwined since Buddhist modernists seem to conflate science, especially neuroscience, with what is referred to as Buddhist mindfulness practices…

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