Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010)

Jan Westerhoff
Oxford University
There is unanimous agreement that Nāgārjuna (ca 150–250 AD) is the most important Buddhist philosopher after the historical Buddha himself and one of the most original and influential thinkers in the history of Indian philosophy. His philosophy of the “middle way” (madhyamaka) based around the central notion of “emptiness” (śūnyatā) influenced the Indian philosophical debate for a thousand years after his death; with the spread of Buddhism to Tibet, China, Japan and other Asian countries the writings of Nāgārjuna became an indispensable point of reference for their own philosophical inquiries. A specific reading of Nāgārjuna's thought, called Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka, became the official philosophical position of Tibetan Buddhism which regards it as the pinnacle of philosophical sophistication up to the present day.
Keywords Nagarjuna  Buddhism  Madhyamaka  Indian Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,842
External links

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

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Russellian Analysis of Buddhist Catuskoti.Nicholaos Jones - 2020 - Comparative Philosophy 11 (2):63-89.
The 'Two Truths' Doctrine and the Nature of Upāya in Nāgārjuna.Dilip Loundo - 2016 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 57 (133):17-41.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
63 ( #165,066 of 2,438,917 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #434,842 of 2,438,917 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes