Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika / Nagarjuna; Jay L. Garfield -- N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1995
This volume is a translation of the Mulamadhyamakakarika (MK) with commentary by Jay Garfield. The MK is the most important work by Nagarjuna, the founder of the Madhyamika school of Mahayana Buddhism. The MK is primarily a work in metaphysics, dealing with objects, properties, time, space, causation, personal identity and other topics. Nagarjuna's arguments are largely critical, reminiscent of Zeno on motion, and prefiguring Hume on causation, and Kant's antinomies. The positive doctrine is the mutual dependence of all things and the ultimate "emptiness" (shunyata) of the phenomenal world. Garfield's commentary is extremely helpful in elucidating this difficult text.