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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Nāgārjuna, who founded the school known as Philosophy of the Middle, or Madhyamaka, was an important South Indian Buddhist philosopher who flourished in the second century ce. His writings, as well as those of Āryadeva and the Nāgārjunian commentators, promote a certain type of irenic philosophy or quietism. The particularity of the Madhyamaka is that it emphasizes philosophical analysis as a method leading to quietening of thought. A complex issue is whether Nāgārjuna’s quietism should be seen as a type of anti-intellectualism or sophistical refusal to take responsibility for one’s views. I examine three contemporary interpretations of his claim to have no thesis of his own, and a variety of interpretations of his quietism. I argue that his quietism should be understood as a type of vigilance.

Keywords: Nāgārjuna, Āryadeva, Candrakīrti, Madhyamaka, Quietism, Anti-realism, Deflationism

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