"The Buddhist Doctrine of Designations-only (prajñaptimātra)
- A Survey of the Origins and Development of this Doctrine up to Sthiramati"
Seongho Choi specializes in the doctrinal history of early Yogācāra Buddhism. His dissertation will set forth the early usage of artha, nāma, prajñapti, etc., and Yogācāra philosophers’ exegetical reinterpretation. The meaning of these terms are related with language, and they do not have philosophical connotations in early Buddhist texts. However, Yogācāra philosophers elaborate these terms and the functions of language in Buddhist contemplation. Seongho Choi assumes this characteristic is from Yogācāra philosophers’ own perspective, and also from the trend of contemporary Indian philosophy. They developed their own doctrine of consciousness-only (vijñānamātra), and language is closely related with the process of consciousness. Possibly the explanation of language was developed in accordance with the maturity of Doctrine. Moreover, this kind of explanation and the related dispute increased explosively not only in other Buddhist sects but also in the sects of traditional Indian philosophy at some point. It might demonstrate that Indian philosophers were required to argue about the characteristic of language at that time. Therefore, the dissertation would consist of three parts: the early usage of above mentioned terms in early Buddhist literature, the main issues of language in early Yogācāra Buddhism, and the response of Yogācāra philosophers.