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Nagarjuna's MadhyamakaA Philosophical Introduction$
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Jan Westerhoff

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195375213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195375213.001.0001

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Interpretations of Svabhāva

Interpretations of Svabhāva

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 Interpretations of Svabhāva
Source:
Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka
Author(s):

Jan Westerhoff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195375213.003.0002

This chapter deals with the concept of inherent existence (svabhāva), one of the central notions of Madhyamakaa philosophy. This is a notion of considerable complexity. The chapter gives a brief sketch of its history beginning with the Abhidharma, and distinguish two important senses of svabhāva: essence-svabhāva and substance-svabhāva. For the purposes of understanding Nāgārjuna’s arguments the chapter argues that it is particularly important to distinguish two of its conceptual dimensions: an ontological and a cognitive one. The chapter also addresses the problem of the emptiness of emptiness.

Keywords:   svabhāva, inherent existence, substance, essence, Abhidharma, refutation of svabhāva, arguments against svabhāva

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