Distinguishing the Mādhyamika from the Advaitin: A Field Guide

Mark Siderits

in Studies in Buddhist Philosophy

Published in print March 2016 | ISBN: 9780198754862
Published online May 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191816369 | DOI:
Distinguishing the Mādhyamika from the Advaitin: A Field Guide

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This essay discusses the differences between Madhyamaka and Advaita Vedānta. Seeing these two systems as closely aligned used to be more common than it is nowadays, partly due to the limited availability of reliable translations of works in which the Mādhyamikas themselves discuss how their view differs from Vedānta. Still, even today the interpretation that Madhyamaka speaks about an ineffable ultimate finds favour with some. Yet, as the author points out, this identification overlooks a central difference between the Vedānta and the Madhyamaka project. The former is a realist project, the latter does not support a realist reading because it applies its analysis even to its own account of ultimate truth, namely the theory of universal emptiness.

Keywords: Madhyamaka; Advaita Vedānta; realism; two truths; inexpressibility

Chapter.  5660 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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