Philosophy of Mind in the Yogacara Buddhist Idealistic School

Autores: Carmen Dragonetti y Fernando Tola

After some general introductory remarks on Indian philosophy, this essay deals with the structure of mind in the Yogacara Buddhist idealist school. Mind can be conceived as having two ‘parts’: the receptacle consciousness, constituted by the vasanas, or ‘marks’ left by any individual experience, which ‘remains’ in the mind in an unconscious state; and the function consciousness, constituted by these same vasanas transforming themselves into conscious ideas and representations, which are either of a cognizing ego or of cognized objects and beings and similar to the experiences that gave rise to them. Since a beginningless eternity, vasanas have been produced without anything real corresponding to them, in a fantasmagorical process.


Tola, F. & Dragonetti, C. (2005), “Philosophy of Mind in the Yogacara Buddhist Idealistic School”, History of Psychiatry, 16 (4): 453-465.