own preferred way to read Nagarjuna, and the reading dominant in Tibetan and highly influential example, what is Nagiirjuna and what is Garfield. After all, al-. Jay L. Garfield (Translator). · Rating details · 1, ratings · 33 reviews. The Buddhist saint Nagarjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the second. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way. Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika. Translation and Commentary by Jay L. Garfield. Groundbreaking translation.

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He has noted that “people in our profession are still happy to treat Western philosophy as the ‘core’ of the discipline, and as the umarked case.

Sep 14, Cecilia rated it liked it. Garfield uses the example of a table to introduce the notion nagarjuha a thing’s essence must be thoroughly non-relational in order for that thing to be ultimately real One reason for thinking not is that this would seem to nnagarjuna the dialectical force of his arguments. At times the sight can be shocking, such as when the text boldly proclaims that ‘not the slightest difference’ exists between nirvana and samsara.

If fire can burn other things without burning itself, why cannot vision likewise be said to see other things even though it cannot see itself? The table, he says, is not ultimately but only conventionally real because 1 its existence as an artifact is dependent on certain contingent human practices; 2 its existence is dependent on its parts; and 3 its existence is dependent on the causes including the material cause responsible for its origination.

Helped my interpretation immensely.

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā by Nāgārjuna

Despite lacking any essence, he argues, phenomena nonetheless exist conventionally, and that indeed conventional existence and ultimate emptiness are in fact the same thing.

Hold up, folks, this gets scholarly. In a series of reductio ad absurdum-like analyses of various types of phenomena, Nagarjuna demonstrates the incoherence of the belief in an inherently existent basis for objects of awareness. A difficult text, but an amazing explication on the Garfielf view of emptiness, nnagarjuna, especially important for a western audience, how that differs from mere nihilism.

My favorite footnote cites the Dalai Lama based on conversation! Jan 07, Kaitlyn rated it it was amazing. Philosophy in the Islamic World Peter Adamson. Illuminating the systematic character of Nagarjuna’s reasoning, Garfield shows how Nagarjuna develops his doctrine that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence, that is, than nothing exists substantially or independently.


The garfisld to discuss phenomena in the abstract is a conceptual distortion which leads, in the view of this system, inexorably to unnecessary forms of human misery.

Jay L. Garfield – Wikipedia

Point 2 then gets explained in n. The example of the lamp is also illuminated by VV. On the other hand, Nagarjuna is a ferocious logician and his arguments — incredibly compact as t This is a truly eye-opening book, especially if you’re not familiar with Madhyamika philosophy. Garfield could thus dispel the appearance that the opponent is a straw person expressly concocted to suit Nagarjuna’s dialectical purposes.

He taught from at Hampshire Collegefrom at the University of Tasmaniaand since at Smith College. This claim is based in part on the allegedly different treatment of the two terms “cause” and “condition” in this chapter.

What is not clear is that he would have wanted to explicitly affirm this as early as MMK I. There is one respect in which Nafarjuna interpretive framework does lead to readings that are in my view questionable. The influence from earlier Greek philosophers is clear.

This may very well strike the casual reader as 1 repetitive and ritualistic 2 entirely abstruse given especially the lack of commentary – which nonetheless can be got elsewhere; see Jay Garfield’s work.

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā

But expressed with extreme compression and razor-sharp wit in aphoristic verse form. Mandoki rated it really liked it. However, every time I “got it”, and understood exactly, and deeply, what he was trying to say, I felt This is the single greatest philosophical text I have ever read, and also it was the most difficult for me to understand. But this is a problematic assumption, since the opponent will immediately object that we are here subjecting to analysis the sort of entity that itself gzrfield inherently, and that it therefore makes no sense to demand that the factors our analysis identifies should themselves be supposed to exist inherently.

If Nagarjuna’s intention is to help his realist opponents overcome their clinging to an ultimate reality populated by things with intrinsic essences, his best strategy would seem to be to pile on absurd consequence after absurd consequence that follows from such a conception of the real. And in his discussion of the arguments against time in MMK XIX, he makes interesting use of the navarjuna of a meta-time, thereby making nagarjhna better sense of the argument than others have managed to do.

A key question in Nagarjuna interpretation has always been what to make of this. Jay Garfield really natarjuna his shit, and draws apt parallels with Hume and Wittgenstein without meandering into comparative philosophy.


His greatest philosophical w The Buddhist saint Nagarjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the second century CE, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mahayana Buddhist philosopher. Difficult reading, this is bare bones Mahayana Buddhism. He is also careful to point out alternative readings of the text that might support those other interpretive frameworks that he rejects.

Jun 17, Bruce rated it it was amazing. Retrieved 15 December I also found it astounding and enlightening, and it has influenced how I view life and reality. His interpretive framework makes clear why Nagarjuna’s thought has played a germinal role in Buddhist philosophizing as well as why it has so often been misunderstood by its critics.

Nagarjuna The Fundamental Wisdom Of The Middle Way

But nagarjuma opponent does wish origination to itself be originated, namely by itself; the point was to introduce an instance of reflexive operation in order to stop the infinite regress threatened by Nagarjuna’s initial argument. His many works include texts addressed to lay audiences, letters of advice to kings, and a set of penetrating metaphysical and epistemological treatises.

He offers a verse-by-verse commentary that explains Nagarjuna’s positions and arguments gagfield the language of Western metaphysics and epistemology, and connects Nagarjuna’s concerns nayarjuna those of Western philosophers such as Sextus, Hume, and Wittgenstein.

Nagarjuna gets five stars. For instance, the commentary on Vigrahavyavartani VV verse 33 has the opponent saying that fire illuminates both itself and other things. The actual text of Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way is way too obscure for anyone who hasn’t been schooled in this stuff, and Garfield does a great job of explicating the text, as well as giving references to alternate interpretations and guidance to the differ This book is hella good.

Nor do any have the power to act. Is it less a bus when not used for mass transit? And some of it was clearly by philosophers and students of philosophy. One of nagarjunz main issues is this: As the argument here runs, there’s conventional truth, in that it’s silly to reply to “Watch out for that oncoming bus! Nagarjuna has garfirld to be interpreted in a wide variety of ways by Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Western readers.

So the picture we end up with is this: Languages Norsk Edit links. Want to Read saving….