Buddhism and Critical Social Science on the Causes of Suffering: Towards a Dialogue

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: Booth 53
Oral Presentation
Ruben FLORES , Sociology, National Research University, Moscow, Russia
In order to demonstrate the possibilities of building a philosophically and empirically informed framework for the study and alleviation of suffering, this paper compares the Buddhist tradition and critical social science from the perspective of their understanding of the nature and causes of suffering. Though both traditions are driven by the wish to combat suffering, their understanding of the causing of suffering differs. There may be, however, a productive complementarity in this difference; and yet frictions between the two traditions are real enough. Furthermore, neither tradition exists in a social or ideological vacuum. Thus, establishing a dialogue between these and other traditions calls also for reflexivity, critique and self-critique.