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

Nagarjuna seems to be little known or read in the West; at least I rarely encounter anyone who has heard of him. Garfield uses the example of a table to introduce the notion that gagfield thing’s essence must be thoroughly non-relational in order for that thing to be ultimately real This makes it possible for students to confront the text directly and grapple with Nagarjuna’s arguments on their own before taking in Garfield’s reconstruction of them.

Likewise, Garfield interprets the argument of V. Point 2 then gets explained in n. I also found it astounding and enlightening, and it has influenced how I view life and reality.

The sorts of sorites difficulties that Garfield relies on at a number of key points do succeed in conveying the flavor of the Madhyamaka critique of realist metaphysics e. An accessible translation of the foundational text for all Mahayana Buddhism, The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way offers insight to all those interested in the nature of reality.

Explicating this defense is crucial to understanding why Abhidharma insisted that only that which nagarjuma an intrinsic essence is ultimately real. Aug 08, Camille Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Supposing that these arguments are sound, what conclusion does Nagarjuna wish us to draw from our supposed inability to theorize reality?

The example of the nagarnuna is also illuminated by VV. A course in Indian philosophy is not another course in the history of philosophybut is part of the non-Western curriculum. Rating navarjuna of traditional texts is difficult. Garfield shows the brilliance of Nagarjuna’s thought by explicating the rigor of the Buddhist’s argumentation, mainly directed at rival Buddhist schools of the 2nd century AD.

Overall, it was okay and really worth studying if you are into that sort of thing and the excessive use of the word “Syllogism” by over-zealous and linguistically dull translators of the past make this translation at least readable to the end because he didn’t do that!


For the Buddhist, the ignorance that is the root cause of suffering must be deeply entrenched within common sense, since suffering is not confined to philosophers but is the common lot of humankind.

Garfield presents a superb translation of nxgarjuna Tibetan text of Mulamadhyamikakarika in its entirety, and a commentary reflecting the Tibetan tradition through which Nagarjuna’s philosophical influence has largely been transmitted. For instance, in his exposition of MMK I. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. One garfied point concerning the framework nagarjuuna bring us to the arguments themselves.

Rather, as VV 34 makes clear, the argument is that the lamp, considered qua source of illumination, cannot be said to illuminate itself.

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way – Paperback – Nagarjuna – Oxford University Press

He taught from at Hampshire Collegefrom at the University of Tasmaniaand since at Smith College. We might nagafjuna of this as the “rivers are rivers” moment in Madhyamaka thought.

In fact Garfield’s is, in my opinion, the best overall account of Nagarjuna’s central work yet to appear in English. But I must delete “philosophical. As long as you insist on supposing that there are things with intrinsically determinate essences, you will find yourself unable to maintain this key Buddhist tenet.

While Garfield would not have seen Hayes’s claims in print before his own work went to press the two were published roughly simultaneouslyit is still an interesting question to what extent Garfield’s “deliberately sympathetic” 99 account of Nagarjuna’s arguments succeeds in deflecting such criticisms.

Mar 11, David Joseph rated it liked it Shelves: Garfield is right to see the doctrine of intrinsic essences playing a crucial role in the argument here, but it is not clear that he has the argument quite right. I liked that it had only varfield references to supernatural ideas such as reincarnation.

Nagarjuna The Fundamental Wisdom Of The Middle Way

And Garfield does show concern regarding this issue. For instance, Garfield claims to find evidence that in MMK Garifeld, Nagarjuna is both rejecting a realist account of causation in terms of necessary connection, and also endorsing a regularity theory of dependent arising that is to be understood as purely conventional.


You are such a moron!

The table, he says, is not navarjuna but only conventionally real because 1 its existence as bagarjuna 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. Supremacy of Western Philosophy “Hard to Justify ” “. Likewise, Garfield translates I.

The whole text, as one friend called it, is a giant game of ontological strip poker with its imagined opponents, who think they’re nagariuna plain-old Jenga instead.

Paperbackpages. 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. His method is a comprehensive analysis of the emptiness of phenomena emptiness being a technical Buddhism term for lack of essence. Very interesting, very good, very difficult. Retrieved 10 December His writings are the basis for the formation of the Madhyamaka school, which was transmitted to China under the name of the Three Treatise Sanlun School.

Read this way, the argument does not require us to agree that essences must be eternal and fixed, for nagarjjuna is a view to which the opponent is already committed. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: This may not prove fully garield, however, if he indicates at the outset that the conventional realm offers a means of escaping the dilemmas posed by the dialectic. There is so much in so few words that it will forever be a book that can be read garfeld and over again. And some of it was clearly by philosophers and students of philosophy.

Throughout MMK, Nagarjuna subjects to reductio analysis the various categories that must be used in constructing any theory of the ultimate nature of reality, thereby seeking to show that all things are “empty” sunyai.

And yet there is plenty to be had here for those undeterred by the cryptic language which the translation seems to varfield no effort at softening.

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