#417. Why I’m Not a Buddhist | Evan Thompson

Ten Percent Happier
February 9, 2022
#417. Why I’m Not a Buddhist | Evan Thompson
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

This episode features Evan Thompson, author of the book Why I Am Not a Buddhist. Evan Thompson is a writer and professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His work and research focuses on the nature of the mind, the self, and human experience combining cognitive science, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and cross-cultural philosophy, particularly Asian philosophical traditions. 

This episode explores: Thompson’s beef with what he calls “Buddhist exceptionalism,” “Buddhist modernism,” and “neural Buddhism;” why Buddhism is so attractive in the Western world; our culture’s need for validation of meaning through science; McMindfulness and the Western obsession with individualism; the dialogue between science and Buddhism; what the Buddha meant by the word dukkha, or suffering; and Evan lays out his case for an alternative to Buddhist exceptionalism, which he calls “cosmopolitanism.”

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