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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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(p.165) 8 Epistemology
Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka

Jan Westerhoff (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Nāgārjuna’s discussion of epistemology focuses on the relation between means of knowledge (pramāṇa) and objects of knowledge (prameya). He investigates in particular how the means of knowledge themselves are supposed to be established: are they somehow self-established, or do the objects of knowledge establish them? Nāgārjuna concludes that neither of these alternatives is satisfactory. Another question concerns the temporal relation between objects and means of knowledge. Do they come into existence at the same time or does one precede the other? Neither of these it taken to be acceptable by Nāgārjuna either. The chapter concludes by outlining the aims of Nāgārjuna’s epistemological theory.

Keywords:   means of knowledge, pramāṇa, object of knowledge, prameya, epistemology, theory of knowledge, temporal relations

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