Reconsidering the Soteriological Significance of Śūnyavāda

Contemporary Buddhism (2):1-15 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The doctrine of emptiness (śūnyavāda) is of significant soteriological importance for the Madhyamaka Buddhism. Therefore it is a reasonable prima facie demand that interpretations of emptiness must accord with this fact. This hermeneutic consideration has been taken to present particular problems for Mark Siderits' semantic interpretation of śūnyavāda. This paper examines Siderits' attempted reconciliation of his semantic interpretation of śūnyavāda with its purported soteriological aspects. I question whether Siderits can successfully respond to these problems in order to adequately incorporate the hermeneutic requirement. I argue that the semantic view is not immune to the problems that it was formulated to avoid. It too can be asserted. What is more, the semantic view can generate its own particular forms of attachment which can obscure soteriological goals. These conclusions lead me to question the general project of trying to develop a soteriologically efficacious interpretation of śūnyavāda in the first place.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,227

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Nāgārjuna and the doctrine of "skillful means".John Schroeder - 2000 - Philosophy East and West 50 (4):559-583.
Nāgārjuna.Jan Christoph Westerhoff - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Nāgārjuna’s Arguments on Motion Revisited.Jan Westerhoff - 2008 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 36 (4):455-479.
Causation and emptiness in early madhyamaka.Mark Siderits - 2004 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 32 (4):393-419.


Added to PP

42 (#380,966)

6 months
7 (#439,760)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Luke Brunning
University of Oxford