Intentional Features of Consciousness in Phenomenology and Shingon Buddhism

  • Angelique Coralie Kendall


Fundamental commitments in Western Phenomenology rest on the assumption that subjectivity and intentionality are unassailable features of conscious experience. The dyadic, subject-object structure of experience that results, is thus a necessary condition for conscious awareness. In sharp contrast, Buddhist thought emphasises the fundamental error of subjective and intentional modes of awareness, emphasising instead non-dyadic conscious states. In the Japanese Shingon Buddhist philosophy of Kūkai, such non-dyadic awareness is metaphysically construed as the ontological horizon of the field of consciousness-as-such, interpenetrating all phenomena. The embodied state is highlighted as the means through which such awareness is realised. This paper explores these two perspectives with two questions in mind: how can an enlightened person experience non-dyadic states, and how can they act in the world without subjective agency?
How to Cite
KENDALL, Angelique Coralie. Intentional Features of Consciousness in Phenomenology and Shingon Buddhism. Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 1 - 13, sep. 2017. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 feb. 2018.


Embodiment; Phenomenology; Intentionality; Buddhist Philosophy,;Kūkai