Moonshadows: Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy

Moonshadows: Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy

by The Cowherds

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Overview

The doctrine of the two truths--a conventional truth and an ultimate truth--is central to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology. The two truths (or two realities), the distinction between them, and the relation between them is understood variously in different Buddhist schools and is of special importance to the Madhyamaka school. The fundamental ideas are articulated with particular force by Nagarjuna (2nd--3rd century CE) who famously claims that the two truths are identical to one another, and yet distinct. One of the most influential interpretations of Nagarjuna's difficult doctrine derives from the commentary of Candrakirti (6th century CE). While much attention has been devoted to explaining the nature of the ultimate truth in view of its special soteriological role, less has been paid to understanding the nature of conventional truth, which is often described as "deceptive," "illusion," or "truth for fools." But conventional truth is nonetheless truth. This book therefore asks, "what is true about conventional truth?" and "What are the implications of an understanding of conventional truth for our lives?"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199830862
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/24/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

The Cowherds are scholars of Buddhist studies from the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. They are united by a commitment to rigorous philosophical analysis as an approach to understanding Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and to the union of philology and philosophy in the service of greater understanding of the Buddhist tradition and its insights. They are: Georges Dreyfus, Bronwyn Finnigan, Jay L. Garfield, Guy Martin Newland, Graham Priest, Mark Siderits, Koji Tanaka, Sonam Thakchoe, Tom Tillemans, and Jan Westerhoff.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Acknowledgments Preface 1. An Introduction to Conventional Truth Guy Newland and Tom J F Tillemans 2. Taking Conventional Truth Seriously: Authority Regarding Deceptive Reality Jay L Garfield 3. Prasangika Epistemology in Context Sonam Thakchöe 4. Weighing the Butter, Levels of Explanation and Falsification: Models of the Conventional in Tsongkhapa's Account of Madhyamaka Guy Martin Newland 5. Identifying the Object of Negation and the Status of Conventional Truth: Why the dgag bya Matters So Much to Tibetan Madhyamikas Jay L Garfield and Sonam Thakchöe 6. Can a Madhyamaka be a Skeptic? The Case of Patsab Nyimadrak Georges Dreyfus 7. Madhyamaka and Classical Greek Skepticism Georges Dreyfus and Jay L Garfield 8. The (Two) Truths about Truth Graham Priest, Mark Siderits and Tom J F Tillemans 9. How Far can a Madhyamika Buddhist Reform Conventional Truth? Dismal Relativism, Fictionalism, Easy-easy Truth and the Alternatives Tom J F Tillemans 10. Is Everything Connected to Everything Else? What the Gopis Know Mark Siderits 11. Carnap's Pragmatism and the Two Truths Bronwyn Finnigan and Koji Tanaka 12. The Merely Conventional Existence of the World Jan Westerhoff 13. Two Truths: Two Models Graham Priest 14. Ethics for Madhyamikas Bronwyn Finnigan and Koji Tanaka References and Abbreviations Index

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