Editorial Reviews. Review. ” Westerhoff’s commentary is lucid, philosophically engaging, and included ample references for the serious student of Indian or. The Dispeller of Disputes This page intentionally left blank The Dispeller of Disputes N¯ag¯arjuna’s Vigrahavy¯avar. The Dispeller of Disputes – Nagarjuna’s Vigrahavyavartani — translated and commented by Jan Westerhoff · A short work by the.

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The Dispeller of Disputes: No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Oxford University Press. English] The dispeller of disputes: Translation and commentry by Jan Westerhoff. ISBN ; pbk. Madhyamika Buddhism —Early works to This page intentionally left blank Contents 1.

The Dispeller of Disputes 19 3. The Status of the Theory of Emptiness [1—4, 21—29] 3. The Madhyamaka Dilemma [1—2, 21—24] 3. The Sound Analogy [3, 25—28] 55 3. The No-thesis View [4, 29] 61 3. Epistemology [5—6, 30—51] 3.

Intrinsically Good Things [7—8, 52—56] 94 3. Names without Objects [9, 57—59] 3. Extrinsic Substances [10, 60] 3.

Dispeller of Disputes: Nagarjuna’s Vigrahavyavartani – Oxford Scholarship

Negation and Existence [11—12, 61—64] 3. The Mirage Analogy [13—16, disputew 3. Emptiness and Reasons [17—19, 68] 3. Dsipeller and Temporal Relations [20, 69] 3.

The text is divided into two parts: The Chinese translation is considerably earlier; it was translated by Vi3 moksa. Fortunately, contemporary scholars, unlike Yamaguchi and Tucci, do not have to rely exclusively on either of these translations any more. A new edition encorporating the sDe dge and Co ne versions as well is given in Yonezawa See also Yamaguchi See also Steinkellner Inthe manuscript was brought to Beijing and later returned to Lhasa, where it is now kept in the Tibet Museum.

This appeared as an appendix to the Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society; it is essentially a copy of dispelller Sanskrit text with very little change, even though it does take account of the Tibetan translation.

Though complete, it contains a large number of omissions, additions, and other mistakes. Cases of disagreement between the Sanskrit and Tibetan text have been decided by appeal to the Chinese translation.

The most important of these is 5. This is now most easily available as a reprint in Bhattacharya et al. Where this Sanskrit text is defective, however, I follow the Tibetan translation, which I also do in some instances where it appears to provide a philosophically more interesting reading. Disphtes has to be borne in mind, however, that the au.

Modern scholars have If we follow Ruegg On this matter see Ruegg Their argument focuses on two main issues.

I am more concerned with the methodology of this argument. What the critic would want to show is that the properties which make us doubt the authenticity of B are precisely the ones that make it resemble A. Apart from the fact that it is far from obvious that the Vaidalyaprakaran. Tola and Dragonetti For their arguments against the authenticity of the Vaidalyaprakaran.


For this argument to work, one would have to assume that an author generally discusses the same problems in all his works and that he generally uses examples in the pf way. Not only do philosophers treat different topics in different works but also their works sometimes disagree with each other if this disagreement is diachronic, we generally regard it as philosophical development. On the whole, the philosophical system presented is quite uniform.

ThemajorityofmodernMadhyamaka scholars accept theVaidalyaprakaran. See, for example, Kajiyama Considering the diverging philosophical views discussed in each, we would surely have to assume that they were written by two different people who just happened to share the name Wittgenstein. The opponent does speak occasionaly in the second half for example in the autocommentary on verses 33, 37, 40, and If this list was well known enough for it to be recognizable but not detailed enough to serve as a basis for a treatise refuting it, the arrangement of the text might appear a bit more reasonable.

For the commentary, however, I have chosen a different approach.

The Dispeller of Disputes

In this way verses 1 and 2, for example, are not followed by verse 3, but by verses 21 to 24, which answer the objection formulated there. Moreover, this rearrangement allows us to divide the text into different sections of objections and replies that deal with different issues.

In the translation I have attempted to provide English equivalents of all the Indian philosophical terms and have only given the Sanskrit equivalent in brackets at times when I considered it to be indispensable. I also left out the formulaic phrases connecting some of the verses kim. But this leads to a problem, the opponent says. For how could a wholly insubstantial thesis be effective as an argument against any philosophical proposition? On the other hand, if it does have argumentative power it must be substantial, so that the universal thesis that everything lacks substance has to be false.

This is the second horn. Since the thesis of universal emptiness is causally produced, it is itself empty. The thesis therefore holds with full generality. The most mundane ones are those of things like chariots, pots, and so forth, which are dependently originated and therefore empty while More intriguingly, he describes several cases where causal interaction happens between illusory entities, such as various phantoms conjured up by an illusionist.

Nobody will want to hold that these phantoms exist substantially, yet they interact in a regular, causal manner. This does not amount to the paradoxical claim of someone asserting that he is not asserting anything.

This, however, is not the case. Two replies suggest themselves here: But knowing that the epistemic instruments really are the instruments they seem to be then would be something that we could not know by these very instruments.

The Dispeller of Disputes: Nagarjuna’s Vigrahavyavartani

The opponent suggests an alternative that is supposed to get around these problems. For how do we know that the self-establishment of the epistemic instruments really is an indication of epistemic veracity and not of something else? We can only do so by looking at the objects thus apprehended. But if we have to take the epistemic objects into account, the dispelker of self-establishment loses its basis. The next seven verses 42—48 take a closer look at the role of the objects in the establishment of the epistemic instruments.


Establishing the epistemic instruments on the basis of the objects does not seem to be a very promising route. After all, the instruments are supposed to be what provides us with knowledge of the objects.

Finally, if the epistemic instruments and objects are risputes dependent on each other, we do not reach a foundation for our epistemology. It therefore becomes evident that it is in no way a drawback that we have to regard the epistemic instruments as empty, as the opponent suggested at the beginning of this section.

Given the problems of the alternative picture he provides, this is in fact the preferable option. Now we see him take the standpoint of a Buddhist, probably that of an bhidharmika. These are not just bad or good because we think them to be that way, but they have these qualities by their very nature, and exist independent of anything else.

It is the opponent who cannot make sense of dispellet Buddhist path. For if suffering and liberation existed as substances, independent of other things, it would be impossible ever to eradicate suffering or bring about liberation, since they would be outside of the network of causes and conditions.

According to this theory, simple names and predicates dispites a language acquire their meaning by connecting with things and properties in the world. In this case his assertion must be wrong, as we can argue on semantic grounds that substance must exist. Taking into account the realist assumptions built into this semantics, he would be ill-advised to do so.

But if this semantics is rejected, disphtes criticism raised will disappear. Dkspeller Substances [10, 60] But perhaps there is a way of squaring a realist semantics with the theory of emptiness. Unfortunately for the opponent, this argument can also be run the other way around.

The statement is therefore false. If it is true, however, it must be meaningless, since one of its terms is lacking a referent. One we reject this semantic doctrine, the problem disappears. We only assert negations of things we sometimes experience as conjoined, such as books and tables. Assuming for the sake of argument that all the terms in the statement are simple.

Asserting such a negation therefore does not serve any practical purpose. But if the substance he negates is existent, the process of negation must somehow make an existent thing nonexistent, which appears problematic.

The disputtes of his negation is not to make something existent nonexistent, but to remove a mistaken superimposition dispktes substance onto the world.

This is the example of illusory water being perceived in a mirage. Similarly, the negation of the appearance, what the negation negates, and the negator will also have dispeler exist.