David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Indian Philosophy 34 (4):367-395 (2006)
The catuṣkoṭi or tetralemma is an argumentative figure familiar to any reader of Buddhist philosophical literature. Roughly speaking it consists of the enumeration of four alternatives: that some propositions holds, that it fails to hold, that it both holds and fails to hold, that it neither holds nor fails to hold. The tetralemma also constitutes one of the more puzzling features of Buddhist philosophy as the use to which it is put in arguments is not immediately obvious and certainly not uniform: sometimes one of the four possibilities is selected as ‘the right one’, sometimes all four are rejected, sometimes all four are affirmed. It seems that this confusion is only exacerbated by the plethora of treatments we find in the modern commentarial literature, many of which try to analyze the tetralemma by recourse to notions of modern logic. Despite some important work done during the last decades a comprehensive study of the origin and development of the catuṣkoṭi from its use in the earliest Buddhist literature up to its later employment in the Buddhist philosophical works of Tibet, China, and Japan remains yet to be written. The present paper is obviously not intended to fill this gap, but has the specific objective of giving an interpretation of Nāgārrjuna’s employment of the tetralemma which makes both logical sense and is in accordance with his general philosophical position.
|Keywords||Nagarjuna Madhyamaka negation catuṣkoṭi tetralemma|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
William L. Ames (1982). The Notion of Svabhāva in the Thought of Candrakīrti. Journal of Indian Philosophy 10 (2):161-177.
V. K. Bharadwaja (1984). Rationality, Argumentation and Embarrassment: A Study of Four Logical Alternatives (Catuṣkoṭi) in Buddhist Logic. Philosophy East and West 34 (3):303-319.
R. S. Y. Chi (1969/1984). Buddhist Formal Logic. Motilal Banarsidass.
Surendranath Dasgupta (1922). A History of Indian Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Michael A. E. Dummett (2000). Elements of Intuitionism. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Gerald Dōkō Virtbauer (2010). Dimensions of Intersubjectivity in Mahayana-Buddhism and Relational Psychoanalysis. Contemporary Buddhism 11 (1):85-102.
Similar books and articles
Abraham Vélez De Cea (2005). Emptiness in the Pāli Suttas and the Question of Nāgārjuna's Orthodoxy. Philosophy East and West 55 (4):507 - 528.
Jan Christoph Westerhoff, Nāgārjuna. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
John Schroeder (2000). Nāgārjuna and the Doctrine of "Skillful Means". Philosophy East and West 50 (4):559-583.
Vicente Fatone (1981). The Philosophy of Nāgārjuna. Motilal Banarsidass.
Chien-Hsing Ho (2010). Nāgārjuna's Critique of Language. Asian Philosophy 20 (2):159-174.
Jan Westerhoff (2008). Nāgārjuna's Arguments on Motion Revisited. Journal of Indian Philosophy 36 (4):455-479.
Jan Westerhoff (2009). Nāgārjuna's Madhyamaka: A Philosophical Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Chien-Hsing Ho (2012). The Nonduality of Speech and Silence: A Comparative Analysis of Jizang’s Thought on Language and Beyond. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (1):1-19.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads197 ( #3,882 of 1,409,994 )
Recent downloads (6 months)33 ( #5,739 of 1,409,994 )
How can I increase my downloads?