- Paperback: 306 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (December 6, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195146727
- ISBN-13: 978-0195146721
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,046,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Empty Words: Buddhist Philosophy and Cross-Cultural Interpretation 1st Edition
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"It represents useful constructive philosophical engagement with Buddhist texts and offers much-needed theoretical and practical reflection on the project of cross-cultural philosophy itself."-- The Journal of Religion
"Empty Words represents a serious engagement with Buddhist philosophy and contributes to the exegesis of Madhyamaka and Yogacara thought. More importantly, however, I think that it contributes to the further development of Buddhist philosophy as a continuing project"-Mario D'Amato, Hampshire College, Philosophy East & West
About the Author
Jay L. Garfield is at University of Massachusetts.
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Top Customer Reviews
To be concise, unlike Nagarjuna, Sextus Empiricus wouldn't accord any relevance to smvrtti-satya. Nagarjuna made the distinction between samvrtti/paramartha-satya to save the value accorded to relative knowledge. True, there are points where Nagarjuna even appears to be questioning the relative (i.e. purely empirical) claims of samvrtti, the validity of causality etc. - detrimental to his spiritual purpose. This left the way open for criticism and the developed Vijnanavada system came about to account for the things left unaccounted for in the Madhyamika. It may well be that in the ultimate sense, no modification of consciousness transpires. Nevertheless, this is most certainly the case in the relative sense. Hence, it seems rather pointless trying to explain away the Vijnanavada as a kind of eccentricity, let alone one confined to adherents of the Gelug-pa, as one reviewer would have it. In truth, there has never been a 'pure' Madhyamika school as Jay Garfield writes about it. In Tibetan Buddhism, as in Northern Buddhism generally (e.g. in India, China, Korea,Japan etc.), it will be found that the Madhyamika and Vijnanavada have exerted equal influence and are often found side-by-side.
So far as the interface between Western philosophy and Buddhism goes, it strikes me that Jay Garfield has overlooked the real parallels - viz. Heraclitean flux versus the 'One' of Parmenides, equvalent to the tension between the 'flux' philosophy of the Sarvastivadins and the adherents of the
old Atmavada. The resolution of this in the Western tradition is to be found in Plato (cf. the Theatatus and Sophist) - rather than Sextus Empiricus.