Show Summary Details

p. 354.

What am I?

An unknown Buddhist on the self: King Milinda’s chariotlocked

  • Edward Craig


We don't know much about the origins of Indian philosophy. ‘What am I?’ considers the case of the Milindapañha, the Questions of King Milinda, about which we know very little. In this, a Buddhist monk, Nagasena, debates with a regional king and answers his questions. Milanda's questioning ponders a number of issues: Are we our feelings? Are we our perceptions? Are we our dispositions, character? Or is the body the thing that has the dispositions, perceptions, and feelings? Milanda's questioning is structured by the Buddhist doctrine of the ‘five aggregates’, according to which a human being is a complex of five elements, called by Milanda feeling, material form, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.