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´¯ ¯ THE IMMUNITY OF SUNYATA: IS IT POSSIBLE TO ¯ ¯ UNDERSTAND MADHYAMAKAKARIKAS, 4,8-9?
LET US RECALL THE SITUATION
¯ In keeping with canonical texts, the Abhidharmikas maintained that ¯ ¯. the self, or the owner (upadatr), is in fact made up of ﬁve aggregates ¯ ¯ (upadana-skandha). But these skandhas were supposed to be selfa a subsistent, and their analyses stopped at this point. N¯g¯rjuna pushes the analysis further, to something more radical : producers, these very skandhas are also produced by a conjunction of causes and conditions ¯ ¯ ı (hetu-pratyaya-samagr¯). Besides, from the paramartha point of view there is no such thing as a producer or a product. In chapter 4 of MK, what is at stake in the debate between ¯ ¯ ¯ Abhidharmikas and N¯g¯rjuna is the dilemma svabhavata / a a ¯ ¯ nihsvabhavata about the ﬁve skandhas. In the ﬁrst six stanzas N¯g¯rjuna a a . demonstrates the lack of own being of the ﬁrst skandha, material form ¯ (rupa). Thereafter, economizing his words as usual, he invites his audience to repeat the same process about the four other skandhas: feeling ¯ (vedana), thought (citta), notion (samjna), tendency (samskara). . ˜¯ . ¯ ¯ ¯ At this point two unexpected karikas emerge abruptly. Here is the ﬁrst one
¯ vigrahe yah par¯haram krte sunyataya vadet / ı ¯ . . ´¯ . ¯ ¯ sarvam tasyaparihrtam samam sadhyena jayate // 4.8. . . . . ¯
Let me attempt a translation. “During a discussion made through ¯ emptiness as an instrument (upaya, not tattva), if an opponent puts forward a reply, any reply is non-reply because the new example he calls upon is shown to be of the same kind (and consequently brings up the same predicament) as what is and remains to be demonstrated”. Into e French: Lorsque dans une discussion on se sert de la vacuit´ comme ¯ d’un instrument (upaya, non tattva), toute r´plique de l’adversaire est e e e une non-r´plique, car le nouvel exemple qu’il invoque est du mˆme e e e a ordre (et soul`ve donc la mˆme difﬁcult´) que ce qui est et reste ` 1 The same rule works for a Commentary (4,9). d´montrer . e
Journal of Indian Philosophy 28: 385–397, 2000. c 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
1. LOGICAL NATURE OF THE DOSA ATTRIBUTED TO THE OPPONENT BY .
¯ ¯ NAGARJUNA
¯ ¯ At ﬁrst sight, i.e. quoted out of their context, these two ﬁnal karikas seem to be an exorbitant pretention. In dialectical slang: don’t you touch emptiness. One thinks also of the famous clowns Footit and Chocolate. Chocolate is always chocolate.
¯ ¯ ¯ All is different if one considers the preceding karika n◦ 7. After rupa the four other skandhas are enumerated. In order to demonstrate that they are devoid of own being, in the same way as any entity understood ¯ ¯ ¯. a a in a separate sense (sarvesam eva bhavanam), N¯g¯rjuna invites his .¯ audience to apply the same process (samah kramah) to them. This . . enumeration gives the opponent an opportunity of escaping, at which ¯ ı Candrak¯rti hints in the Prasannapada (127.5–8). But in his eyes as a a well as N¯g¯rjuna’s this involves a real dosa. .
1.3. What does this dosa consist of, what is its nature? Many scholars once . ¯ believed that samam sadhyena has the same meaning as sadhyasama in . ¯ a Ny¯ya, namely petitio principii. Nowadays K.Mimaki, B.K. Matilal,2 Kamaleswar Bhattacharya,3 D. Seyfort Ruegg,4 think that such is not the case. Only Ian Mabbett seems to come back to the sense of begging the question, but he acknowledges that “the interpretation of these verses is problematic”.5 Jacques May revisited “ces deux k¯rik¯ difﬁciles”.6 He a a recently conﬁrmed to us during the XIIth IABS Conference, Lausanne, e Aug. 23–28, 1999, that he gives up “p´tition de principe”. As for D.S. Ruegg, he writes: “absence of thesis and immunity from refutation as twin features of Madhyamaka theory require further historical study and philosophical analysis”7 I shall deal with the second part of this ´¯ ¯ programme: philosophical analysis of the immunity of sunyata. 1.4. Methodological Precautions Let us put aside some preliminary objections before we seek and ﬁnd quite unexpected help from Aristotle. To start with, one may think that these two stanzas are an interpolation. But this would be an easy solution. It can only be an ultima ratio. Besides the most important problem lies elsewhere. Here is a text
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coming to us from the philosophical corpus of Madhyamaka through four manuscripts. Can we try to understand it? Does it make sense? Let us say straightaway: we do not pretend to impose the answer, we only propose an interpretation of chapter 4 that is as consistent as possible. On the other hand one can object from the outset that it is rash to expect Aristotle’s Greek text to throw light upon a Sanskrit Buddhist text. My reply would be the following. Firstly we remain within the ﬁeld of Indo-European languages. Secondly the purport of such a connection is not at all philological but only logico-semantic. Lastly, when somebody uses a notion and is eager to know what it says, he must go back to its original occurrence. Now when we say petitio principii, petizione di principio, begging the question, etc., we use the latin, italian, english, ’ ˛ ’ ι ` η ` ’ ι ` etc. translation of τ o δ’ ’ν αρχ˜ α ιτ ˜σθαι or τ o α ιτ ˜σθαι τ o ’ξ ’ η αρχ˜ς , in Aristotle’s Prior Analytics. Here is the Birth Certiﬁcate of the notion.8 Aristotle gives the following deﬁnition. “When any one tries to prove by means of itself that which is not knowable by means of itself, then he is begging the point at issue”.9 Obviously, the reasoning of a a N¯g¯rjuna’s opponent does not ﬁt at all with this deﬁnition. What does it consist of? In order to identify it, let us ask Aristotle himself. In the same text (1.28–38) he passes in review four ways of missing a ’o η demonstration. Firstly, if one does not conclude at all ( ι ‘ λωζ µ` συλλoγ´ζ τ αι, 30–31). Secondly, if the premisses are less well known ι ’ ’ ’ or not better known than the point to be proved ( ι δι’ αγνωστ oτ ´ρων η ‘ ιως αγν ω στ ων , 31). Thirdly, if the prior is proved by the posterior ’ ´ oµo´ ’ α ˜ ‘ ` o ( ι δι` τ ω ν υστ ´ρων τ o πρ´τ ρoν · , 32), although the posterior should be explained by the prior, not the reverse.10 Fourthly, petitio principii, begging the question. These are the four kinds of the genus (γ´ν ι) no-demonstration. Any petitio principii is no-demonstration, but the converse is not true. There are a few kinds of absence of demonstration which do not involve petitio principii. Amongst these, the second and above all the third one will retain our attention. Concerning the second one let us notice a remarkable encounter between Professor Aristotle and Professor D.S. Ruegg. The latter writes: “the existence as substantial entities of the last four skandhas is equi¯ valent (sama) to – and hence just as dubious as – the sadhya in question, ¯ ¯ i.e. the substantial existence of visible form (rupasadbhava)”.11 “Equi’ ´ ‘ ι valent, as dubious as” is perfectly in keeping with oµo´ως αγν ω στ ων and a little below with τ o oµo´ως αδηλoν .12 However, we shall see `‘ ι ’ that the most relevant link is to be found in the third kind, i.e. in the
reverse order of the demonstration : willing to demonstrate priora by posteriora, antecedents by subsequents. 1.5. Is this not exactly what N¯g¯juna’s opponent wants to do? Let us a a consider, with the help of Candrak¯rti,13 the game that is taking place ı ¯ between them. The opponent defeated as to the ﬁrst skandha, rupa or material form, prepares himself to return to the attack by calling upon the own being of the second skandha or feeling. Now this own being has not yet been proved at this time of the debate, it is still to be proved. Therefore, the opponent will be led to lean on the third skandha, and step by step on the fourth one, with the recurrence of the same difﬁculty: ‘same predicament’ says Matilal concerning samam. . a a What is samah kramah for N¯g¯rjuna becomes samo duhkramah for . . . . his opponent. And so on, one would say, but unfortunately there are only ﬁve skandhas. After having called upon the own being of the ﬁfth skandha in order to establish that of the fourth one, the opponent ﬁnds himself back in the abyss, for there is nothing more left to him in order to prove the own being of the ﬁfth one. The hope of a real demonstration a a continues to disappear below the horizon. Whereas N¯g¯rjuna provides us with a mere refutation without any ontic thesis of his own (prasajya¯ pratisedha), the Abhidharmikas on the contrary have a thesis but are . short of demonstration. One could at ﬁrst sight think that they are running away forward. No! They are rather moving backwards like a foot soldier facing his enemy, resisting every inch of the way. Alas, comes the moment when no more ground is available for further withdrawal. So close to the void, the opponent will fall into it while ¯ retreating. Therefore his process cannot be compared with anavastha, regressus in inﬁnitum. This is rather a regressus in ﬁnitum,14 the end ´¯ ¯ of which opens into an abyss, i.e. sunyata. 1.6. In this case, to what extent is the idea of circularity relevant? Prof. D.S. Ruegg emphasized this idea during the XIIth IABS Conference, Lausanne, Aug. 23–28, 1999, and quite recently in our personal correspondence. To tell the truth this idea is already found in an important foot-note of 1981.15 With the author’s permission my starting point will be nothing but an expression of his own: “circularity or petitio principii so named”. If I understand him rightly, ‘or’ means that the ﬁrst one is tantamount to the other and vice versa. But it seems to me that there
´¯ ¯ THE IMMUNITY OF S U NYATA
is a sort of misunderstanding. These two notions are not synonymous. Moreover we have already noticed that there are several kinds of the genus no-demonstration. In the same way there are several kinds of circularity. Petitio principii is but one of them. With respect to the problem of MK, 4, 8–9, I shall distinguish two types of circularity: static and dynamic. Petitio principii corresponds to the ﬁrst one. It is practically a quasi non-temporal repetition of two terms A and A under a different and deceptive garb. The truth shines forth at ﬁrst glance, without any mediation, on the spot. The second type involves a dynamic move and needs a bit of time. It is a circularity on the move and implies a real circulation. There are several forms of this type. Let us cite and eliminate some examples which by no means ﬁt with our problem: Epimenides the Cretan, the Liar’s Paradox. Montaigne would have said that they work like a spinning wheel. They have nothing to do with the opponent’s reasoning. His own reasoning when he jumps through from one skandha to another one, is not even more amenable to a vicious circle (cakraka) if we agree that a vicious circle is a “logical error that consists in deﬁning or proving something A through something B which cannot be deﬁned or proved but through A”.16 So how can we characterize the features of a dynamic circularity so as a a to describe the withdrawal of N¯g¯rjuna’s opponent from one skandha to another? This is a postponed, delayed circularity, the opponent stalling for time as it were. It remains uncompleted, being abruptly broken off after a ﬁvefold series of fruitless attempts have taken place. It hangs over like a threat, a time bomb not blowing up for the time being. Impending, potential circularity, in the latent state. The recurrence, as a reverting process, is unable to happen. The debate comes to an end for want of another subject matter, that is some nth skandha to be debated. Nevertheless as far as one realizes that after the examination of the ﬁfth ¯ skandha one is no further on than after the ﬁrst (rupa), one becomes aware that in fact he has stayed on the spot. Consequently the return to the starting point looms up on the horizon. In other words, it is like a potential vicious circle, as it were, a dotted line. Perhaps that accounts for the very strong feeling of circularity coming along with the last two stanzas of chapter four, notwithstanding the fact there is strictly speaking no petitio principii.17 Nor even a vicious circle? – There would be a vicious circle in the strict sense of the word if there were a mutual ¯ conditioning such as one could say: A (viz. rupa) is established provided ¯ ¯ B (vedana, etc.) is established, which B (vedana, etc.) is established ¯ ¯ ¯ only provided A (rupa) is established before. Now neither the karikas
nor Candrak¯rti’s Commentary use this way of reasoning. The vicious ı circle remains in a latent state, as it were, a dotted line. ¯ ¯ In this light the last two karikas (whoever their author may be) emerge like a general admonition. As a lesson is drawn from or at the end of a tale, so the reader should be aware of this warning: whoever wants, retreating and retreating again, to escape the dialectics of emptiness, runs the very risk that just took place with the ﬁve skandhas. Emptiness is endowed with a privileged efﬁciency. 1.7. ı One more word about this backward escapism suggested by Candrak¯rti for this chapter four of MK (Pr. 127.5–8). It is the very same that he ascribes to the opponent throughout the ﬁrst twenty-ﬁve chapters of the ¯ ı Prasannapada. For between one chapter and the following Candrak¯rti inserts some links. Inasmuch as we can rely on these links, here is the opponent’s strategy. Defeated temporarily after the critical examination of some topic, he starts again to debate through a fresh objection originating either from an item of Buddhist doctrine or common sense remark. “Yes, he says, but . . . ”. He yields some ground but does not give in. He behaves like a foot soldier who withdraws step by step, facing the enemy, ready to ﬁght again and again until he ends up back ¯. at the abyss: the 25th chapter on nirvana. The role of this chapter in ¯ ´¯ ¯ the structure of the Prasannapada is similar to the role of sunyata at the end of the 4th chapter of MK. We do not know whether this regressive logical structure is in keeping with the procedure of debate at the time of N¯g¯rjuna or results from a a a later reconstruction. Given that we can understand MK,4,7–9 in harmony ¯ with the general progress of the Prasannapada (chap. 1–25), we are inclined to favour the former hypothesis. In any case, considering ı Candrak¯rti only, one thing is obvious: his local suggestion at MK ¯ and his links throughout the Prasannapada are congruent with each other. Should we adopt this viewpoint that gives a supplementary argument for our analysis of samam sadhyena, how are we to explain the . ¯ unexpected arising on the scene of the last two chapters 26–27? For it ¯. seems rather difﬁcult to add any more words after nirvana. Is this the 18 Our hypothesis e reason why Ren´ Grousset’s Commentary stops here? ¯ is that the Abhidharmikas return once more to the attack about the ¯ ı prat¯tya-samutpada issue. So we read these last two chapters like a ¯ Postscript to some “Instances” of Abhidharmikas – more or less as Descartes the author of Meditationes, after he answered Gassendi’s
´¯ ¯ THE IMMUNITY OF S U NYATA
Objections, was to reply anew to Instantiae of the same Gassendi in his Letter to Clerselier of 12th January 1646.19 2. PSYCHOLOGY AND SOTERIOLOGY: THE LIMITS OF COMMUNICATION 2.1. However important it may be to identify the logical processes working a a in N¯g¯rjuna’s dialectics, a related issue comes to our mind: to what ¯ ¯ extent can we be convinced by the last two karikas of chapter four? One should not forget that in MK logic is subordinate to dialectics and dialectics to soteriology. Now the critical dialogue in the MK takes place between human partners who are not only endowed with reason but also with feelings, passions and a certain cast of mind. Mere logic is not sufﬁcient to carry conviction. One must take into account the partner’s psychological and soteriological moods (samskara) to assess . ¯ his receptiveness and outline the limits of communication. From this a a point of view I think one can distinguish three groups in N¯g¯rjuna’s audience (or among his readers today), three ways of reacting to the last two stanzas of the fourth chapter. 2.2. Let us consider ﬁrst the situation of common sense in general, then of ¯ the Abhidharmikas in particular. There are certainly some differences between these two. Common sense is realistic in an implicit and hazy ¯ way, while the Abhidharmikas’ approach is explicit and strictly limited: compounds are empty of own being but components or factors (dharma, here skandha) are self-existent. All in all, the reactions of common sense and Buddhist scholasticism go nevertheless the same way: they a a cannot agree with N¯g¯rjuna. Both indeed, although to an unequal extent, believe in beings and things with their threefold declension (I, you, he/she, it), and according to the every day spatiotemporal scopes. Something and someone are not empty words in their minds. On the a a contrary N¯g¯rjuna, at this time of the dialogue, postulates sarvam . ´¯ sunyam. Moreover, he thinks that he has already proved it since the ¯ very start of MK chapter one. But in the Abhidharmikas’ eyes the ¯ ¯ debate has hardly been opened. Nihsvabhavata is still a postulate for . them, whereas they stick to the idea of various self-beings. That is true a fortiori for common sense. The dialogue cannot but be a dialogue between the deaf because they start from opposite conceptions. Better, there can be a reversal of the charge in the opponent’s mind. Here I should digress to explain my approach. In spite of my obvious
afﬁnities with the Madhyamaka, I shall strive to favour neither of the two interlocutors, while listening to the dialogue between them. I am like a neutral reader of the MK without prejudice concerning either ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ svabhavata or nihsvabhavata. From this angle it is obvious that the . opponent will not only think that the debate is just beginning but that there is a reversal of the charge. In fact, by claiming the immunity ´¯ ¯ of sunyata and preserving it from any attack or contestation, it is ¯g¯rjuna who makes a real petitio principii, because as soon as one Na a takes emptiness for granted NOTHING is left to be put forward against it. On behalf of emptiness he dismisses in advance each and every objection against emptiness.20 The opponent is compelled to make strokes in water and that is getting on his nerves. In conclusion, those a who believe in separate entities – this is the case with Naiy¯yikas, ¯ Abhidharmikas and those acting out of common sense – cannot get ¯ on with those who in the last analysis (paramarthatas) do not believe in them so that they are led up to what Ramachandra Pandeya rightly named “philosophy of no-identity”. 2.3. All is different as regards some rare yogins who have the experience ´¯ ¯ ¯ of non-substantiality in sunyata-samadhi. They will necessarily react ´¯ ¯ ¯ in another way. For the sunyata-samadhi21 works above all as an antidote (pratipaksa) against beliefs, by purging the mind from one. ¯ sided views. At the top of these mistakes is the satkaya-drs.ti according .. to which an accumulation of factors is misunderstood as one real being. More generally the yogin should unveil the fact that there is no such thing as a self. Therefore, not entertaining a theoretical viewpoint but having realized it through immediate experience, his real life does not basically improve through the yukti such as is condensed in the last a a stanzas. N¯g¯rjuna’s argument is both superﬂuous and quite satisfactory, the communication is redundant. At the very most, that conﬁrms the experience of the yogin and provides him with a discursive control ¯ of some truths assimilated in repeated samadhis. Those who have undergone this kind of experience are convinced in advance. Lacking experience, let us use a comparison. Let us consider the ´¯ ¯ ¯ yogin’s mind to be like a balance. When the sunyata-samadhi takes place the beam is upright, the two pans are on the same horizontal level. Nothing as it were is noticeable: what is balanced goes unnoticed. Hence one has a feeling of nothingness. For the world of solid ﬁgures is made of nothing but mutual extremes (antau): middle is void, void is middle. On the contrary should one pan go down? A belief is about to arise,
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because a belief is always one-sided by deﬁnition, it is always “one of the two”, most often unwittingly. In the ﬁfth century B.C. Plato ´´ ` had already shown (in Theetetes, Sophistes) that the act of thinking is based on a dialectical relationship, although unawares. By contrast a a yogin, particularly a M¯dhyamika, because he sees one and the other, ¯ chooses neither one nor the other paramarthatas. He stands, as far as possible, in the neutral position of the beam. Therefrom inasmuch as one takes the heat out of the argument, one understands that the argument gives no hold, no attack angle to the opponent’s objections. As D.S. Ruegg brilliantly writes, “the immunity of Madhyamaka theory is the consequence of the annulment (‘zeroing’) of all hypostatized and dichotomously structured concepts, and it pertains only to the domain of an entity conceived of in terms of a conceptual dichotomy”.22 Let’s however emit a few reservations. For it may happen that the yogin’s mind focuses on the idea of emptiness, so that one of the two pans goes down and this idea becomes paradoxically a viewpoint (dr. .ti). It is this negativistic danger that is strongly denounced in MK, .s 13,8: “The Victorious ones have proclaimed that emptiness consists of escaping from all viewpoints. Those who hold emptiness as a viewpoint, they declared them to be incurable”.23 The yogin has still to get rid ¯ of emptiness, and that is the purpose of the reduplicated samadhi, 24 It is only on this condition that any further ´¯ ¯ ´¯ ¯ ¯ sunyata-sunyata-samadhi. reply from the opponent will fall into voidness, viz. into a depolarized listening. 2.4. a a Facing N¯g¯rjuna’s text MK, 4, 8–9, is on one side the group of those who have more or less conﬁdence in common experience, i.e. experience of separate entities or identity resting on difference, are on another side those who have got the experience of emptiness. These two react at once in contrasting and parallel ways to each other. Can these two ever meet? Should we decide for solipsism? We do not think so because of two reasons. 2.4.1. First of all, lack of understanding is not strictly equal between the two ¯ a interlocutors, Abhidharmikas and M¯dhyamikas are not evenly matched. In order to show the privileged situation of a discussion carried through ¯ ¯ emptiness, let us make an opposite test, let us substitute svabhavataya ´unyataya in MK, 4,8 ab: “During a discussion made through own ¯ ¯ for s being . . . ”. It by no means follows that any reply is non-reply, because
the m¯dhyamika opponent will come across a “something”, a referent a ¯ to contest. Besides he has no difﬁculty in using the Abidharmikas’ ¯ language provisionally, namely that of vyavahara and samvrti-satya, . . whereas the advocate of an ontic and one-dimensional truth is conversely incapable of using the language of the one he is ﬁghting against, because emptiness does not denote any being, this name is itself non-referential. 2.4.2. ´¯ In addition, Buddhist teaching is plural. The anusasana is gradual and ﬂexible. It may be that these two stanzas of chapter four raise a nuanced echo, yesterday or today, in the mind of monks or laymen hearing or reading them. Some may ﬁnd their own way within them because of their destiny. For instance those who have no life experience of emptiness but have faith in a master supposed to be gifted. Besides, there are perhaps those who do not follow any particular way except ¯ for a preliminary one (prayoga-marga). Residing in the samskara. ¯ ¯ ¯ bhumi, they strive after sattva-ksanti, looking forward to dharma-ksanti . .¯ ¯ . scin ´ as an horizon. Keeping in their mind the above admonition kam ¯ na vikalpan vikalpayet (MK, 4, 5 cd), “one should refrain from any conceptual dichotomy”, they intend, they are ready virtually to get rid of the servitude of dichotomized thought. They assent to the idea that here is not the last word of things (if there is one): a discussion ruled by this way of thinking is like an unfulﬁlled fugue. Hence, conversely, some premonition of release for the reader of these two stanzas: emptiness ¯ appears as a method of release, upaya as well as tattva: tattva being ¯ ipso facto its own upaya, as tao is in China the principle and the path.25 In that sense, if we may compare this chapter four to a sentence or better to a word, the last stanzas, as much impressive as expressive, ¯ sound like an anusvara.
Petitio principii? No. The normal order of the demonstration is reversed? Yes. More precisely regressus in ﬁnitum? Yes. Vicious circle? No, in the strict sense, viz. actual (cf. Lalande, p. 5). Yet a very strong feeling of a certain circularity remains: there is a potential vicious circle, so to speak a dotted line (pp. 5–6). One narrowly escapes solipsism. One escapes it all the same.
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It will not be an exaggeration if I say that I wrote this paper as a dialogue with Professor D. Seyfort Ruegg. I am also indebted to my eminent friend Professor Jacques May whose remarks about solipsism gave me the opportunity for a short digression to explain my approach. Last but not least I am grateful to Professor J.W. de Jong due to his interest in my philosophical analyses. Many thanks to Dr. Lakshmi Kapani who kindly helped me in my English translation.
I take into account Candrak¯ ırti’s suggestion (Pr. 127.5–8), R. Gnoli’s excellent translation of samam, della stessa specie, and B.K. Matilal’s interpretation, same . predicament. 2 JIP, 2, 1974, pp. 211–224, particularly p.221 ff. 3 ¯ ¯ Ibidem, pp. 225–230. The Dialectical Method of Nagarjuna, 1978, p. 22, n. 3. 4 The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy in India, 1981, p. 22, ¯ n. 49, although relative to the Vigraha-vyavartan¯, it’s true. As for MK, 4, 8–9, D.S. ı Ruegg has not taken an explicit decision, perhaps because he wants to emphasize the idea of circularity. Rightly of course, we shall come back to it. 5 JIP, 1996, 24,3, p. 319, n. 41. 6 ¯ ¯ ¯ Chugan, Hobogirin, V, 1979, p. 477, col. 2, 18–35. 7 The Literature . . . , 1981, p. 23, n. 50. 8 Prior Analytics, II, 16, 64 b, respectively 1.28 and 33–34. 9 Ibidem, 1.36–38, transl. H. Tredennick, Harvard. See the Greek text in the Appendix. 10 Cf. Categories, 12, 36 ff. 11 On thesis and assertion in the Madhyamaka/dBu ma , Contributions on Tibetan and Buddhist Religion and Philosophy, Wien, 1983, p. 210.Cf. Does the M¯dhyamika have a thesis and philosophical position? , Buddhist Logic and a Epistemology, 1986, p. 235. Besides D.S. Ruegg points out an argument taken from ¯ Tibetan author’s Commentary mkhas grub rje ad Catuhsataka XVI, 25 d’Aryadeva: .´ N¯g¯rjuna because he sticks to no (pro-) position of the tetralemma cannot be seized a a although he carries on with the rules of a rational debate. Ibidem, p. 220. 12 ’ ` ’ η ’ o υ γ αρ αρχ` απoδ ´ξ ως τ o oµo´ως αδηλoν: for that which is no less uncertain ι `` ι ’ is not the starting-point of demonstration (Prior Analytics, II, 16,65 a, 13–14, transl. H. Tredennick, Harvard). 13 Pr. 127,5–8. 14 ¨ Referred to in J. Hoffmeister, Worterbuch der philosophischen Begriffe, art. Regress, p. 520. 15 Note 49, p. 22, The Literature . . . – In fact this Note is about the Vigraha¯ vyavartan¯ but with reference to MK, 4, 8–9. ı 16 A. Lalande, Vocabulaire technique et critique de la philosophie, art. Cercle vicieux, p. 133: faute de logique qui consiste ` d´ﬁnir ou ` d´montrer une chose A au a e a e moyen d’une chose B qui ne peut ˆtre d´ﬁnie ou d´montr´e que par la chose A . e e e e 17 One must agree that Candrak¯ ırti’s vocabulary is somewhat unsettled. We relied ¯ mainly on Pr. 127.5–8 where he writes sadhyena . . . samo (1.7–8), just like 1.12 ¯ . ¯ ¯ ¯ rupena sadhyena sama iti. On the contrary sarvam etat sadhyasamam bhavati (1.10– . ¯ ¯ 11), sadhyasamam, sadhyasamatvam (1.13). Not to speak of Tibetan modiﬁcations . .
¯ (J.May, Prasannapada, p. 94, n. 211). Can one suppose that Candrak¯ does not ırti stick to formal problems we are delighted with? 18 R. Grousset, Les Philosophies indiennes, I, p. 263. 19 Petri Gassendi Disquisitio metaphysica seu dubitationes et instantiae: adversus Renati Cartesii metaphysicam, et responsa (Adam et Tannery, VII, pp. 391–412). – Letter of Mr. Descartes to Mr. Clerselier as an answer to a compendium of the main Instantiae made by Mr. Gassendi against the above Answers (Adam et Tannery, IX, pp. 202–217). 20 Prof. D.S. Ruegg points us out that Bh¯vaviveka (ad 4,7) and already Buddhap¯lita a a ¯ (ad 4,8) drop a hint that in the case of the universal proposition ‘Every bhava is ¯ nihsvabhava’ no dr. .tanta is available to us . Therefore one cannot give an example .s ¯ . in support of emptiness since the statement is all-encompassing, but the reverse is true too: one can quote nothing against it. The opponent cannot agree to that. 21 ¯ ´ D¯ghanikaya, III, 219. Traite de la grande vertu de sagesse, t.II, p. 1102. ı 22 ¯ In other words pertains only to a bhava. The annulment of existential judgments stops by no means a M¯dhyamika from being gifted with some theory and doctrine, a ´ ¯ darsana and vada: D.S. Ruegg, The Literature . . . , p. 23. 23 ´¯ ¯ ¯ . ´¯ ¯ ..t ¯ sunyata sarvadrs.t¯nam prokta nihsaranam jinaih / yesam tu sunyatadrs. is tan . . ı ¯. . . . . ¯. ¯ ¯ ¯. asadhyan babhasire // 24 ´ Abhidharma-kosa, chap. VIII, pp. 188–190. 25 ´unyatayam . . . prayojanam / ¯ ¯. Cf. MK, 24,7: s ¯ . MK, 18,9: tattvasya laksanam/ . . . ´¯ ¯ Pr. 491.4-6: where tattva is glossed by sunyata.
APPENDIX Aristotle, Prior Analytics, II, 16, 64b, 28–38
Postuler et prendre la question pos´e en commencant, c’est l` un raisonnement e ¸ a e qui, au point de vue du genre auquel il appartient, consiste dans un d´faut de e e e e e d´monstration du probl`me propos´. Or le d´faut de d´monstration peut se produire de plusieurs facons: il a lieu si on ne conclut pas du tout, ou si on ¸ e e proc`de au moyen de pr´misses moins connues ou pareillement inconnues, e e e e e ou si enﬁn on ´tablit l’ant´c´dent par les cons´quents; car la d´monstration a e se fait ` partir de notions plus certaines et ant´rieures. Rien de tout cela n’est e la p´tition de principe. Mais puisqu’il est de la nature de certaines choses e e d’ˆtre connues par elles-mˆmes, tandis que les autres le sont seulement par
´¯ ¯ THE IMMUNITY OF S U NYATA
l’interm´diaire de donn´es ´trang`res (les principes, en effet, sont connus par e e e e e e e eux-mˆmes, et ce qui est subordonn´ aux principes, par d’autres donn´es), e e e e c’est quand on entreprend de d´montrer par elle-mˆme une v´rit´ qui n’est e e pas connue par elle-mˆme qu’alors on commet une p´tition de principe (trad. J. Tricot, Paris, Vrin).
XVI. Begging or assuming the point at issue consists (to take the expression in its widest sense) in failing to demonstrate the required proposition. But there are several other ways in which this may happen: for example, if the argument has not taken syllogistic form at all, or if the premisses are less well known or no better known than the point to be proved, or if the prior is proved by the posterior; for demonstration proceeds from premisses which are surer and prior. None of these procedures is begging the point at issue. Now some things are naturally knowable through themselves, and others through something else (for principles are knowable through themselves, while the examples which fall under the principles are knowable through something else); and when any one tries to prove by means of itself that which is not knowable by means of itself, then he is begging the point at issue (transl. H. Tredennick, Harvard).
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