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Madhyamaka Buddhism
Author Arnold, Dan ; Fieser, James ; Dowden, Bradley
Source The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
PublisherThe Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP)
Publisher Url
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
NoteAuthor Information:
Dan Arnold
University of Chicago Divinity School
U. S. A.
AbstractMadhyamaka and Yogācāra are the two main philosophical trajectories associated with the Mahāyāna stream of Buddhist thought. According to Tibetan doxographical literature, Madhyamaka represents the philosophically definitive expression of Buddhist doctrine. Stemming from the second-century writings of Nāgārjuna, Madhyamaka developed in the form of commentaries on his works. This style of development is characteristic of the basically scholastic character of the Indian philosophical tradition. The commentaries elaborated not only varying interpretations of Nāgārjuna’s philosophy but also different understandings of the philosophical tools that are appropriate to its advancement. Tibetan interpreters generally claim to take the seventh-century commentaries of Candrakīrti as authoritative, but Indian commentators subsequent to him were in fact more influential in the course of Indian philosophy. Madhyamaka also had considerable influence (though by way of a rather different set of texts) in East Asian Buddhism, where a characteristic interpretive concern has been to harmonize Madhyamaka and Yogācāra. Although perhaps most frequently characterized by modern interpreters as a Buddhist version of skepticism, Madhyamaka arguably develops metaphysical concerns. The logically elusive character of Madhyamaka arguments has fascinated and perplexed generations of scholars. This is surely appropriate with regard to a school whose principal term of art, “emptiness” (śūnyatā), reflects developments in Buddhist thought from the high scholasticism of Tibet to the enigmatic discourse of East Asian Zen.
Table of contents1. Nāgārjuna and the Paradoxical “Perfection of Wisdom” Literature
2. The Basic Philosophical Impulse
a. The “Two Truths” in Buddhist Abhidharma
b. The Interminability of Dependent Origination
c. Ethics and the Charge of Nihilism
3. The Question of Self-contradiction and the Possible Truth of Mādhyamika Claims
4. Historical Development of Indian Schools of Interpretation
5. More on the Svātantrika-Prāsaṅgika Difference: Madhyamaka and Buddhist Epistemology
6. Madhyamaka in Tibet
7. Madhyamaka in East Asia
8. References and Further Reading
Created date2015.07.03
Modified date2015.07.03

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