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The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy$
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Jan Westerhoff

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198732662.001.0001

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Madhyamaka

Madhyamaka

Chapter:
(p.84) 2 Madhyamaka
Source:
The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy
Author(s):

Jan Westerhoff

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198732662.003.0003

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.

Keywords:   Madhyamaka, Mahāyāna, Nāgārjuna, Prajñāpāramitā, Buddhapālita, Bhāviveka, Candrakīrti, Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, Nyāya

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