Buddhist Psychology – C. A. F. Rhys Davids (1914) (1st ed)


Buddhist Psychology – C. A. F. Rhys Davids (1914) (1st ed)


One of the earliest popular introductions to Theravada Buddhist psychology.

Title: Buddhist Psychology: An Inquiry Into the Analysis and Theory of Mind in Pali Literature

Author: Mrs. C. A. F. Rhys Davids

Publisher: G. Bell and Sons, 1914. Part of ‘The Quest Series’.

Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Presentation copy, as stated in a blindstamp on title page. Presumably presented to ‘The Quest Library’. which was linked to the publication of this series, and which bears ex-library markings from the same, dated 1921. Minimal library markings, with a sticker and stamp to endpapers. Covers tanned and slightly rubbed. Slight foxing. Binding tight, text clean, except for one pencil marking we detected. 212pp., app 8″x5″.

1 in stock

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About the book (from Preface):

My book is an attempts, in the words of the ‘Quest Series’ programme, to envisage faithfully something true in the history of a very interesting current in human ideas. This ‘something true’ is the analysis and theory of mind in the movement and culture we understand by Early Buddhism, as well as in that of its direct descendent still thriving in Burma, Ceylon and Siam, called Theravada, or the Doctrine of the Elders. This also is called Buddhism – some call in Hinayana, some Southern Buddhism.

Contents include:

  1. Habits of Thought
  2. The Psychology of the Nikayas (chapters each on Consciousness and the External World, Feeling, Ideation)
  3. Psychological Developments in the Abhidhamma-Pitaka
  4. Psychology in the Milinda
  5. Some Medieval Developments

About the author (from Wikipedia):

Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids (1857–1942) was a British writer and translator. She made a contribution to economics before becoming widely known as an editor, translator, and interpreter of Buddhist texts in the Pāli language. She was honorary secretary of the Pāli Text Society from 1907, and its president from 1923 to 1942.

Her translations of Pāli texts were at times idiosyncratic, but her contribution as editor, translator, and interpreter of Buddhist texts was considerable. She was one of the first scholars to translate Abhidhamma texts, known for their complexity and difficult use of technical language. She also translated large portions of the Sutta Piṭaka, or edited and supervised the translations of other PTS scholars. Beyond this, she also wrote numerous articles and popular books on Buddhism; it is in these manuals and journal articles where her controversial volte-face towards several key points of Theravāda doctrine can first be seen.