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 whole notion of a reliable epistemic instrument ceases to make sense, and the distinction between ontology and epistemology that the critic of the thesis of universal emptiness has to defend seems to vanish. The thesis of universal emptiness is indeed so universal that it includes itself. If the epistemic instruments establish their own veridicality, they do not require any other entities to do this for them; in particular, they do not need to be established by the epistemic objects. Some passages in diseller works might be interpreted as a denial of abstract objects altogether.

And if these epistemic instruments are established by the epistemic objects, and if the epistemic objects are to be established by precisely these epistemic instruments, should we not ddispeller how the unestablished epistemic instruments will establish something, as the epistemic instruments are eisputes, since their cause is unestablished?

There could be other substances, and these would then act as the referents of linguistic expressions. Perhaps they both name a phantom created by an illusionist, or perhaps an automaton created by non-magical feats of engineering is meant by one or both of the terms.

Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication. Emptiness is established by way of conventional truth, since all philosophical debates must happen at this level. Both cases can easily be given a cinematic analogue. Or, if this disleller given up, the establishment of epistemic objects og be like the establishment of the epistemic instruments.

I am more concerned with the methodology of this argument.

The Dispeller of Disputes: Nagarjuna’s Vigrahavyavartani – PDF Free Download

I venerate the one who taught emptiness, dependent origination, and the middle way as one thing, the incomparable Buddha. Their purpose is already established. When the argument claims that the effect is not separate from the cause and conditions, this does not deny that the sprout is a thing which we can clearly distinguish from other things, such as the seed, the soil, water, and so forth. But to be consistent with the thesis, the reason has to be empty too.


It has this quality intrinsically, in the same way as suffering is not only conventionally troublesome but has this property independent of what anybody thinks about suffering. To illustrate the same point with a more modern example: People who know the state of things think that auspicious phenomena have an auspicious substance.

If substanceless things are refuted by something substanceless, when what is substanceless is abandoned substance would be established. Particularly confusing is the fact that a multitude of items in the list are not auspicious at all, for example, items 40 being not conducive to liberation59 lack of devotion74 anguishand so forth.

You might rather think: The Dispeller of Disputes Nagarjuna’s Vigrahavyavartani Jan Westerhoff Extensive commentary on content of the text, rather than on questions in Indology or Religious Studies Based on the latest critical editions of the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts Accessible to readers with no prior acquaintance with Nagarjuna’s philosophy.

Because of its own non-emptiness, the negation of the substance of all things fails to be accomplished. On the other hand, one might argue for the same conclusion by saying that the denial of dependent origination entails the denial of the origin of suffering, as dependent origination is the origin of suffering.

Dispeller of Disputes: Nagarjuna’s Vigrahavyavartani – Oxford Scholarship

But if the substance he negates is existent, the process of negation must somehow make an existent thing nonexistent, which appears problematic. This would have the advantage of giving a numerical progression which increases in size.

It is hard to understand the meaning of this passage as given in the Sankskrit, while the Tibetan just reiterates the argument formulated in the preceding point.

Verse 28 has turned the comparatively simple debate about which example to use into something more subtle, namely, a question about the level at which philosophical debates happen. For a discussion of the different uses of the two concepts in Buddhist and non-Buddhist literature, see Bhattacharyaespecially —, Matilalespecially —, as well as Bhattacharya et al.

Translation and commentry by Jan Westerhoff. It has to be understood that the issue of expressing the negation in the three time was answered earlier. And if the denial of substance is established for you without a reason, the existence of substantiality is also established for me without a reason.

The Dispeller of Disputes

These objects have their characteristics by nature: If the substance of the auspicious things was not produced in dependence on anything, there would be no religious practice. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use for details see www.


Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. The reason that it is included at all, one must suppose, is that is was introduced by someone in defense of the Madhyamaka position. This point is made here again, as the opponent argues that the negation of the appearance must be real, even though the appearance is not. We only assert negations of things we sometimes experience as conjoined, such as books and tables. We can only speculate about how he might want to do this, but an obvious idea would be to claim that both the auspicious mental states of a Buddha as well as the inauspicious mental states are already fully present in our mind but obscured by other factors.

It is, however, not the only way to understand the Sanskrit. Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka Jan Westerhoff. In his nuanced and incisive commentary, he explains Nagarjuna’s arguments, grounds them in historical and textual scholarship, and explicitly connects them to contemporary philosophical concerns. While there is no negation, no object of negation, and no negator, all things are unnegated and the substance of all things exists.

For there is no referring name of what is substantially without a referent.

More intriguingly, he describes several cases where causal interaction happens between illusory entities, such as various phantoms conjured up by an illusionist. As such, dispelldr opponent argues, they should be intrinsically meritorious and therefore not empty. For it is of course true that if there are truths made true by the world, then truths made true only by a theory appear insubstantial in comparison. Dispellwr, all things lack substance, like an illusory person.

The magician himself, disputez the way, is illusory because our notion of a person who superimposes substance onto the world is also just a superimposition on a disparate and changing set of physicopsychological elements. What the opponent wants to say is that those We could make the same point for epistemic instruments and objects.

There would be the establishment of the established, because what is not established does not depend on another thing. Emptiness and Reasons [17—19, 68]