Chapter

Prāsaṅgika Epistemology in Context

Sonam Thakchöe

in Moonshadows

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751426
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827190 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751426.003.0003
Prāsaṅgika Epistemology in Context

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Some argue that a Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika is committed to rejecting all epistemic instruments (pramāṇa) because they reject intrinsic natures (svabhāva) and intrinsic characteristics (svalakṣaṇa). This chapter argues that Candrakīrti accepts both conventional and rationally warranted epistemic instruments and develops a cogent account of their respective roles in our cognitive lives. While any Mādhyamika rejects intrinsic nature, Candrakīrti shows that epistemic instruments give us access to epistemic objects (prameya) precisely because they lack such nature and that each has its appropriate sphere of use simply because, relative to the standards appropriate to those spheres, each apprehends its respective object.

Keywords: Candrakīrti; epistemology; pramāṇa; conventional truth; Madhyamaka

Chapter.  7725 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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