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Allison Aitken
New York University
  1. Introduction to Reality: A Tibetan Critical Edition, Annotated English Translation, and Philosophical Introduction to Śrīgupta’s Tattvāvatāravṛtti.Allison Aitken - forthcoming - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard Oriental Series, Harvard University Press.
    This monograph includes an analysis of the Commentary on the Introduction to Reality (Tattvāvatāravṛtti) by the Indian Madhyamaka Buddhist philosopher, Śrīgupta (7th/8th century), together with a Tibetan critical edition and annotated translation of this text, which has never before been available in English. In this work, Śrīgupta advances the “neither-one-nor-many argument,” which sets out to prove that all things lack ontological independence, and by implication, that everything depends for its existence on something else. I present a detailed reconstruction and analysis (...)
     
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  2. No Unity, No Problem: Madhyamaka Metaphysical Indefinitism.Allison Aitken - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    According to Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophers, everything is ontologically dependent on something else. But what would a world devoid of fundamentalia look like? In this paper, I argue that the anti-foundationalist “neither-one-nor-many argument” of the Indian Mādhyamika Śrīgupta (c. seventh/eighth century) commits him to a position I call “metaphysical indefinitism.” I demonstrate how this view follows from Śrīgupta’s rejection of mereological simples and ontologically independent being (svabhāva), when understood in light of his account of conventional reality (saṃvṛtisatya). I clarify how—contra recent (...)
     
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  3. The Truth About Śrīgupta’s Two Truths: Longchenpa’s 'Lower Svātantrikas' and the Making of a New Philosophical School.Allison Aitken - forthcoming - Journal of South Asian Intellectual History.
    Longchen Rabjampa (1308–64), scholar of the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma tradition, presents a novel doxographical taxonomy of the so-called Svātantrika branch of Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy, designating the Indian Mādhyamika Śrīgupta (c. 7th/8th century) as the exemplar of a Svātantrika sub-school which maintains that appearance and emptiness are metaphysically distinct. This paper compares Longchenpa’s characterization of this “distinct-appearance-and-emptiness” view with Śrīgupta’s own account of the two truths. I expose a significant disconnect between Longchenpa’s Śrīgupta and Śrīgupta himself and argue that the impetus (...)
     
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  4.  43
    Somethings and Nothings: Śrīgupta and Leibniz on Being and Unity.Allison Aitken & Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2020 - Philosophy East and West (4).
    Śrīgupta, a Buddhist philosopher in the Middle Way tradition, was born in Bengal in present-day India in the seventh century. He is best known for his Introduction to Reality with its accompanying auto-commentary,1 in which he presents the first Middle Way iteration of the influential "neither-one-nor-many argument."2 This antifoundationalist line of reasoning sets out to prove that nothing enjoys ontologically independent being.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born some one thousand years later, in the city of Leipzig, situated on the outskirts of (...)
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    Somethings and Nothings: Śrīgupta and Leibniz on Being and Unity.Allison Aitken & Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (4):1022-1046.
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  6. The Truth About Śrīgupta’s Two Truths: Longchenpa’s 'Lower Svātantrikas' and the Making of a New Philosophical School.Allison Aitken - forthcoming - Journal of South Asian Intellectual History.
    Longchen Rabjampa (1308–64), scholar of the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma tradition, presents a novel doxographical taxonomy of the so-called Svātantrika branch of Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy, designating the Indian Mādhyamika Śrīgupta (c. 7th/8th century) as the exemplar of a Svātantrika sub-school which maintains that appearance and emptiness are metaphysically distinct. This paper compares Longchenpa’s characterization of this “distinct-appearance-and-emptiness” view with Śrīgupta’s own account of the two truths. I expose a significant disconnect between Longchenpa’s Śrīgupta and Śrīgupta himself and argue that the impetus (...)
     
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