Attention: This page reflects the state of December 2019. It is meant for documentary purposes and will not be updated any longer.

This joint research with Jonathan Stoltz on the philosophy of mind of the Tibetan Buddhist scholar Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge (1109–1169) was begun during Stoltz’s stay at the IKGA as a Visiting Fellow in the summer of 2016.

The resulting monograph, which sheds light on the contributions of this particularly influential and innovative twelfth-century Tibetan Buddhist thinker, was published in December 2019 by Austrian Academy of Sciences Press (

The study of Phya pa’s thought and of his key role in the early development of Tibetan scholasticism has been made possible by the recent discovery of eighteen of his works, including his most famous work in the area of logic and epistemology, the Dispeller of the Mind’s Darkness (Tshad ma yid kyi mun sel). The above monograph contains a critical edition of the portions of Phya pa’s Dispeller devoted to explicating the nature of mental episodes and their objects. It also includes an accessible English translation, thus giving a wider audience direct access to Phya pa’s ideas. The translation and critical edition are preceded by a two-part introduction that examines the contributions of this scholar both from a contemporary philosophical perspective and from the viewpoint of the development of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist thought. This material is supplemented by an in-depth analysis of Phya pa’s fivefold typology of mental episodes that do not qualify as knowledge. Because the chapter of the Dispeller dealing with mind and its objects presupposes familiarity with many topics that Phya pa discusses elsewhere in the text, a series of appendices are included that provide background information, tables, as well as supplementary textual materials. This study, the joint work of two scholars, one a philosophically oriented Tibetologist and the other a Tibetologically oriented philosopher, will contribute to a deeper understanding of Tibetan intellectual history, while also promoting a wider appreciation of Phya pa’s theory of mind as well as its significance within the global history of philosophy.

Project Data