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date: 20 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an introductory survey of some of the main points in Nāgārjuna’s thought with specific focus on his arguments against foundationalism. After a brief introduction to Nāgārjuna and the Madhyamaka project it discusses four different kinds of non-foundationalism: ontological non-foundationalism (the view that there are no fundamental kinds of object), epistemological non-foundationalism (the view that epistemic instruments and objects do not have their nature intrinsically), linguistic non-foundationalism (the view that there is no objective semantic relation between word and world) and non-foundationalism about truth (the view that there are no ultimately true theories). In the context of this last view it also briefly discusses a criticism raised frequently against Nāgārjuna’s thought and its later interpreters, namely that it reduces to a form of nihilism. The chapter concludes with some remarks on the ongoing relevance of Nāgārjuna’s project.

Keywords: Nāgārjuna, Madhyamaka, non-foundationalism, emptiness, svabhāva, nihilism, Abhidharma

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