Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Alexander, Thomas


In this thesis I explore aspects of the Buddha Gotama as a teacher. I begin by analyzing the nature of the Buddha's enlightenment and his state of mind as presented by various accounts. The chapter reconciles his decision to teach by means of Buddhist epistemology and gives an account of the difficulty of learning the Buddhadhamma. In chapter two I give three examples of the Buddha teaching individual students about the dhamma to show how he approaches each scenario differently depending on the needs of the student. Finally I give an account of William James' pragmatic method in an effort to show how the Buddha's teaching is pragmatic as a method for solving an existential crisis.




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