THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Douglas Duckworth (Temple University)
Please join us on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 at 5:30 PM for his lecture entitled,
“Truth or Consequences: Implicit Commitments and the Logic of Prāsaṅgika"
In the first chapter of his Prasannapadā, Candrakīrti famously defended Buddhapālita against Bhāviveka’s criticism that he had failed to formulate Nāgārjuna’s critique of causality in terms of probative arguments, but rather left the arguments in the form of reductios. This debate is well known to be the starting point of the “Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka” interpretation in Tibet. Indeed, Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) has said that “an autonomous probative argument is not suitable to generate the view of thusness in an opponent” in the context of explaining Candrakīrti’s Prāsaṅgika (dgongs pa rab gsal, 226). In his critique of Tsongkhapa’s synthesis of Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka and pramāṇa, the fifteenth-century Sakya scholar, Daktsang (stag tsang), accused Tsongkhapa of “eighteen great contradictions,” including a contradiction that “the presence of inference contradicts the absence of probative arguments.” That is, Daktsang argued that a robust notion of inference - that is, inference qua pramāṇa - is antithetical to the logic behind Candrakīrti’s denial of probative arguments in this context. This paper discusses some of the issues driving this debate and shows how this debate sheds light on the place of epistemology in an anti-realist interpretation of Madhyamaka.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave., Columbia University