The Emptiness of Emptiness: An Introduction to Early Indian Mādhyamika

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1992 - Mādhyamika (Buddhism) - 287 pages
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The Madhyamika or Middle Way, a school of Buddhist thought that originated in India in the second or third century, was a decisive influence in the subsequent developement of Mahayana Buddhism.  In a new approach to its study, The Emptiness of Emptiness reconsiders the central doctrine of emptiness and shows that the Madhyamika critique of all philosophical views is both subtler and more radical than most Western interpretation indicates.  Building on earlier research into Sanskrit and Tibetan sources, the present work also examines the assumptions that have governed the study of Asian soteriological philosophy.  In assessing the philosophical significance of the Madhyamika, the author demonstrates that the thrust toward a self-critical awareness of methodological presuppositions lies at the very heart of early Indian Madhyamika.  In this analysis, the self-deconstructing categories of Nagarjuna and his immediate followers emerge as an edifying philosophy that may have a great deal to offer to discussion of the related problems of objectivity and relativism issues crucial to current philosophical conversation in the West.  The volume also contains the first complete English translation of Candrakirti's Madhyamakavatara (The Entry into the Middle Way), with extensive exegetical and text-critical notes.


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Methodological Considerations
Candrakirtis Historical and Doctrinal Context
The Philosophical Language of the Madhyamika
The Ten Perfections of the Bodhisattva Path
Philosophy as Propaganda
Sources for the Translation
The Immaculate
The Direcdy Facing
The Far Advanced
Epilogue 196

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Page x - opinion: Let me emphasize from the outset that the philosophical side cannot usually be divorced and treated entirely separately from the religious without a certain more or less arbitrary compartmentalization, for no hard and fast dividing line can normally be drawn between the philosophical and the religious in either India or Tibet. Indeed, the Sanskrit word
Page ix - Buddhism is not and never has pretended to be a "theory," an explanation of the universe; it is a way to salvation, a way of life. —E. Zürcher, The Buddhist Conquest of China

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