Crushing the Categories (Vaidalyaprakarana)
Nagarjuna, Jan Westerhoff
A rare glimpse of the sophisticated philosophical exchange between Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools at an early stage.
The Vaidalyaprakarana provides a rare glimpse of the sophisticated philosophical exchange between Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools at an early stage and will be of interest to scholars of Buddhist thought, classical Indian Philosophy, and the history of Asian thought.
Belonging to a set of Nagarjuna’s philosophical works known as the yukti-corpus, the Vaidalyaprakarana is noteworthy for its close engagement with the Hindu philosophers. It refutes the sixteen categories of the Nyaya school, which formed the logical and epistemological framework for many of the debates between Buddhist and Hindu philosophers.
The Sanskrit original of the Vaidalyaprakarana long lost, the author translates the text from Tibetan, giving it an extensive analytical commentary. The aim is twofold: to investigate the interaction of the founder of the Madhyamika school with this influential school of Hindu thought; and to make sense of how Nagarjuna’s arguments that refute the Naiyayika categories are essential to the Madhyamika path in general.