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Short bio

Serena Saccone received her master’s degree in Philosophy and Indology from the University of Naples “L’Orientale” in 2003. In 2009, she received her PhD from the University of Turin (Italy). She has also worked at the University of Palermo (lecturer in Indology, 2009–2010), Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (research fellow, 2010–2011) and the University of Naples “L’Orientale” (postdoctoral researcher, 2011–2015).

Saccone’s main area of research is Buddhist logic, with a specific interest in epistemological themes and the internal debate between Buddhists regarding them. Her master’s thesis focuses on Buddhist philosophy, specifically the Bhāvanākramas (Progress of Meditation) by Kamalaśīla (8th century). Her PhD thesis is a critical edition and translation of the Bahirarthaparīkṣā (Investigation of External Objects), which is a chapter of the Tattvasaṅgraha by Śāntarakṣita (8th century) and the related Pañjikā by Kamalaśīla. The thesis also includes an essay focusing on the debate between the two authors and a fellow Buddhist philosopher, Śubhagupta (8th century), regarding the cognitive process.

Serena Saccone started working at the ÖAW in December 2015, joining the FWF-funded project “Language and Action in Early Brahmanical Philosophy.” Specifically, she investigated the subject of omniscience from the perspective of 8th-century Buddhism. Currently, she is working as part of the FWF-funded project "Rationality, meditation and liberation In Indian Buddhism: Kamalaśīla's scriptural commentaries in context".


  • (2018) "On the Nature of Things – A Buddhist debate on cognitions and their object" Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde 94, Arbeitskreis für tibetische und buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien.


  • (2019b) "Of Authoritativeness and Perception: On Establishing an Omniscient Person (against the Mīmāṃsakas)" In: A. Drocco, L. Galli, C. Letizia, G. Orofino, C. Simioli, Wind HorsesTibetan, Himalayan and Mongolian Studies, Università degli Studi di Napoli, Dipartimento Asia, Africa e Mediterraneo, Series Minor LXXXVIII, Napoli (ISBN 978-88-6719-175-8), pp. 455-483.
  • (2019a) "Śubhagupta" In: J. Silk, R. Bowring, V. Eltschinger, M. Radich (eds,), Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Volume II: Lives. Leiden/Boston: Brill, pp. 458-462.
  • (2016). “Conflicting Theories regarding Externalism. Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla against the Nyāya in the Dravyapadārthaparīkṣā.” Rivista degli Studi Orientali, Nuova Serie 89 supplemento 2, pp. 165-191.
  • (2015). “The Conception of Atoms as Substantially Existing in Śubhagupta”. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 38, pp. 109-139.
  • (2014b – first online 2013). “Śubhagupta on the Cognitive Process”. Journal of Indian Philosophy, 42-2/3, pp. 377-399.
  • (2014a). “The Wheel of Time: a Survey and Bibliography of Previous Research and Forthcoming Works” in F. Sferra - Dramdul eds., From the Mediterranean to the Himalayas – A Festschrift to Commemorate the 120th birthday of the Italian Tibetologist Giuseppe Tucci, Peking, pp. 503-551.
  • (2012). “Il Buddha come fonte di retta conoscenza nella Pramāṇasiddhi del Pramāṇavārttika di Dharmakīrti” in Musco, A. (ed.), Universality of Reason. Plurality of Philosophies in the Middle Ages. Proceedings of the XII International Congress of Medieval Philosophy, Vol. 3. Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale (SIEPM) - Officina di Studi Medievali, Palermo, pp. 179-192.