Garfield presents a superb translation of the Tibetan text of Mulamadhyamikakarika in its entirety, and a commentary reflecting the Tibetan tradition through which Nagarjuna's philosophical influence has largely been transmitted. Illuminating the systematic character of Nagarjuna's reasoning, Garfield shows how Nagarjuna develops his doctrine that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence, that is, than nothing exists substantially or independently. Despite lacking any essence, he argues, phenomena nonetheless exist conventionally, and that indeed conventional existence and ultimate emptiness are in fact the same thing. This represents the radical understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of the two truths, or two levels of reality. He offers a verse-by-verse commentary that explains Nagarjuna's positions and arguments in the language of Western metaphysics and epistemology, and connects Nagarjuna's concerns to those of Western philosophers such as Sextus, Hume, and Wittgenstein.
An accessible translation of the foundational text for all Mahayana Buddhism, The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way offers insight to all those interested in the nature of reality.
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