Can anyone recommend to me a book or a treatise about the philosophy in the EBTs?

No-one. But as he clarified, the OP was not looking for a summary of the Buddha’s teachings.

The whole point of the thread was literally that hardly anyone in the EBT field has really done anything other than trying to understand the indigenous categories. Some of us have been doing this for more than 20 years, and it is perfectly reasonable to ask (1) whether we can draw any abstract principles from concrete teachings and (2) how such abstract principles relate to the way wisdom has been understood elsewhere. Which is one of the things abstraction is good for. It helps you integrate diverse things.


What comes to mind then are more general books that do this with a wider scope, either EBTs+Theravāda (like Harvey & others), Indian Buddhism generally (like Siderits, Garfield, Westerhoff), or even Indian Philosophy (Perrett).

In terms of early Buddhism it’s scattered around in books/chapters/papers, sometimes by philosophers that Buddhists and Buddhist scholars read less of.

There might be PhD theses on some of this floating around tho…


There are these two articles from encyclopedia of philosphy about the Buddha’s philosophical teaching based on Pali Nikayas and other modern writings :

Buddha (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Buddha | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Perhaps this is what the TS looking for :thinking:


According to the essential teachings of SA/SN suttas, the indigenous categories of EBTs philosophy are:

  • Discourses Connected with the Aggregates
  • Discourses Connected with the Sense Spheres
  • Discourses Connected with Causal Condition
  • Discourses Connected with the Nutriments
  • Discourses Connected with the Truths
  • Discourses Connected with the Elements
  • Discourses Connected with the Path: the Stations of Mindfulness, etc., of the Enlightenment Factors

These are in the five major sections (varga) on aggregates, sense spheres, causal condition (including nutriments, truths and the elements) and path of the extant Saṃyukta-āgama/Saṃyutta-nikāya. In the Saṃyutta-nikāya the section on the truths is located in the Mahā-vagga (= the path section of the Saṃyukta-āgama).

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Buddhist Romanticism, by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu could be of interest.

An in-depth study of the pervasive influence of early Romantic thought in shaping the way Buddhism is taught in the West, and of the practical consequences of following the Romantics rather than the Buddha in approaching the problem of suffering and stress.

as well as Skill in Questions: How the Buddha Taught, treatise about discernment in action, centered on the Buddha’s strategic use of discernment in framing and responding to questions.

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Nice articles, thanks!

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