Abstract
In verse nine of the Vigrahavyavartani, Nagarjuna gives a defense of his skepticism by insisting that he makes no proposition concerning the nature of reality. B. K. Matilal has argued that this position is not an untenable one for a skeptic to hold, using as an explanatory model Searle’s distinction between a propositional and an illocutionary negation. The argument runs that Nagarjuna does not refute rival philosophical positions by simply refuting whatever positive claims those positions might make, but rather he refuses the very act of making an assertion. From this kind of illocutionary negation, however, a certain paradoxicality arises: for in the negating the act of assertion, the skeptic is barred from asserting his or her own position, for under this condition, if he or she asserts that position, it is falsified! I want to argue that there are certain senses in which it seems that Nagarjuna’s resorting to the illocution we find in the Vigrahavyavartani may not have been necessary for the maintenance of his skeptical position, for he has recourse to prasanga counter-arguments which can always offset the metaphysical and epistemological claims of the Hindu and Buddhist philosophers whom he confronts. There are also places in the Karika itself, where certain pramanas seem to be employed, that give one the impression that this kind of skepticism and the pramanas are only inimical to one another insofar as the latter may lead to the metaphysical, essentialist extremes criticized by the Buddhists. Nagarjuna’s illocution in this light seems an attempt to radicalize his difference from a developing Nyaya extensionalist theory of the pramanas, a theory in which the Buddhists and the Naiyayikas are closer than anywhere else.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 9781634350518
DOI 10.5840/wcp20-paideia199824411
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,231
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Śrīharṣa on Knowledge and Justification.Sthaneshwar Timalsina - 2017 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 45 (2):313-329.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Cognitive Scepticism Of Nagarjuna.D. K. Mohanta - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 45:180-189.
Averting Arguments: Nagarjuna’s Verse 29.S. K. Wertz - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 24:70-73.
The No-Thesis View: Making Sense of Verse 29 of Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani.Jan Westerhoff - 2009 - In Mario D'Amato, Jay L. Garfield & Tom J. F. Tillemans (eds.), Pointing at the Moon: Buddhism, Logic, Analytic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Revisiting Nāgārjuna’s Vigrahavyāvartanī.Ramesh Sharma - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (1):113-151.
Nāgārjuna's Critique of Language.Chien-Hsing Ho - 2010 - Asian Philosophy 20 (2):159-174.
The Destruction and Reappearance of the World in Nāgārjuna’s Analysis of the Self.Itay Ehre - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 4:17-22.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-05-08

Total views
3 ( #1,362,300 of 2,518,150 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,577 of 2,518,150 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes