Is Everything Connected to Everything Else? What the Gopīs Know

Mark Siderits

in Moonshadows

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751426
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827190 | DOI:
Is Everything Connected to Everything Else? What the Gopīs Know

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From the Madhyamaka claim that nothing has intrinsic nature it follows that nothing could be ultimately real. It is sometimes said to be a further consequence of emptiness that conventionally real entities exist in thoroughgoing interconnection. This seems to be consistent with the Prāsaṅgika claim that intrinsic natures are problematic even if they are posited only at the level of the conventional reals. It likewise seems to cohere with the stance that Candrakīrti takes on the conventionally valid epistemic instruments. Here it is argued, however, that this sort of package would leave the Mādhyamika unable to account for the kind of epistemic progress that comes with the use of scientific methods. An alternative Madhyamaka stance is sketched that might avoid the problem of flattening conventional truth. According to this way of understanding emptiness, the Mādhyamika does not hold it to be conventionally true that everything is connected to everything else.

Keywords: Madhyamaka; emptiness; conventional truth; interconnectedness; Candrakīrti

Chapter.  7156 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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