The chapter begins by presenting a general overview of the rise of the Mahāyāna and its relation to the main schools of Buddhist philosophy associated with it, Madhyamaka and Yogācāra. This is followed by an introduction to the Madhyamaka school proper, focusing on the life and works of its founder, Nāgārjuna. The third section of the chapter examines the foundational sūtras of the Madhyamaka school, the Prajñāpāramitā or Perfection of Wisdom texts, focusing on their criticism of the Abhidharma philosophical project, their comprehensive illusionism, and their prima facie acceptance of contradictions. This is followed by an account of how these themes play a key role in the Madhyamaka system as set out by Nāgārjuna. The chapter then turns to examining the philosophical contributions of major Madhyamaka thinkers such as Buddhapālita, Bhāviveka, Candrakīrti, Śāntarakṣita, and Kamalaśīla. The chapter concludes by a discussion of the relation between Madhyamaka and Nyāya.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.