The Buddhist epistemologist Dharmakı ̄rti(fl.ca.7thcenturyC.E.) developed a theory of yogic perception that achieved much influence among Buddhist thinkers in India and Tibet. His theory includes an odd problem: on Dharmakı ̄rti’s view, many of the paradigmatic objects of the adept’s medita- tions do not really exist. How can one cultivate a meditative perception of the nonexistent? This ontological difficulty stems from Dharmakı ̄rti’s decision to construe the Four Noble Truths as the paradigmatic objects of yogic perception. For him, this ontological problem manifests in an epistemological corollary: ‘‘impermanence’’ (anityata ̄) and other features of the Noble Truths are conceptual, but the adept’s meditative perception of them must be non- conceptual. How can a nonconceptual cognition apprehend a conceptual object?
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