Emptiness Appraised: A Critical Study of Nāgārjuna's Philosophy

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Motilal Banarsidass Publishe, 1999 - Buddhism - 248 pages
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`Emptiness` (sunyata) is a religious/philosophical concept which is central to much of Buddhist thought. It is employed in numerous contexts by different thinkers and schools, with a variety of meanings. A thorough comparative study of the uses and meanings of the notion of emptiness throughout the history of Buddhism was certainly a desideratum, which this present work fulfils. It is an investigation into the philosophy of emptiness as expressed by the second century Indian Buddhist thinker Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna came to be known as the founder of the Madhyamika school, a school which was particularly influential in Tibetan and Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. Nagarjuna`s philosophy of emptiness has famously yielded many diverse and divergent interpretations. This study of Nagarjuna`s philosophy of emptiness has two principal concerns. The first principal concern in this study is to ascertain the possible meaning or meanings of Nagarjuna`s philosophy of emptiness. The second principal concern is with critical analysis. There was a need for an assessment of Nagarjuna`s philosophy. Too few books about Nagarjuna take the crucial step from exposition to evaluation. This study has taken this step. It will be of use and interest to both students/scholars of Buddhism and philosophers.
 

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Contents

Introduction I
1
Nagarjuna and Scepticism
19
NonConceptuality and Knowledge of Reality
45
The Problem of Nihilism
87
The Purpose of Part II
125
Nagarjunas NonApprehension of Entities
141
Introduction
151
The Attack on Intrinsic Validation
157
The Attack on Extrinsic Validation
181
Conclusion
189
Further Arguments in the Vaidalyaprakarana
201
Conclusion
209
Bibliography
221
Index
228
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