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Candrakírti


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(c.7th c. ce)

A major Madhyamaka philosopher and key proponent of the reductio ad absurdum (prasaṇga) method of argumentation. This method aims to reduce to absurdity the position of the opponent through a dialectical process that reveals the internal contradictions of his argument. The alternative interpretation of Madhyamaka, that of the Svātantrika-Madhyamaka subschool led by Bhāvaviveka, was that the Madhyamaka should seek to establish a positive thesis of its own and that a purely negative dialectic was inadequate. Candrakīrti was the author of a number of important works, including the Prasannapadā, a commentary on Nāgārjuna's Mūla-madhyamaka-kārikā, which survives in Sanskrit and Tibetan, and the Madhyamakāvatāra, an outline of the Bodhisattva Path from the Madhyamaka viewpoint. While his works were much studied in Tibet.especially by the Geluk school, he seems to have been unknown to the Chinese.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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