Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James Kreines

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Both Spinoza and Buddhism raise objection to the existence of the self as independent. This work presents Spinoza’s and early Buddhism’s account of the non-self respectively, namely, that the self does not have independent existence. Starting from the non-self, I look into the metaphysical pictures outlined by Spinoza and Buddhism and argue that despite their agreement on the non-self, they differ in regard to their metaphysical views in general. In comparing and contrasting the two, I shall conclude that both fall short in some regards, and the two should be combined and complement each other. This will lead us to a denial of any independent existent thing. Thus, a comparative study of Spinoza and early Buddhism will end up with a view held by later Buddhism, emptiness, such that all things lack independent existence.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.