Comparative Philosophy and the Philosophy of Scholarship: On by Andrew P. Tuck

By Andrew P. Tuck

This learn in cross-cultural hermeneutics examines the position that glossy, Western philosophy has performed within the interpretation of Nagarjuna's Madhyamikakarika, a second-century Indian-Buddhist textual content. Tuck locates a constitution of specified levels or "styles" in smooth, philosophical historical past. those levels, Tuck exhibits, show discontinuous interpretive biases, in addition to continuity of hermeneutic purpose. learning in every one philosophical period a chaacteristic angle in the direction of the text--whether privilege, objectivity, or neutrality--Tuck argues that the continuous reinterpretation of past scholarly readings is in truth on the middle of fruitful hermeneutic pursuit.

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The Brahmasutras stated that "those who have realized the Brahman have realized it as their own atman . "45 And in his commentary to those sutras , S arpkara asserted that "Brahman is a state of being wherein all distinctions between self, world, and God are transcended and are oblit­ erated . "46 The Vedantic doctrine of Brahman/atman identity convinced European scholars that Vedanta was identical with German transcen­ dental idealism, especially when combined with consistent denial of the reality or reliability of perceptual experience (the concept of Maya) .

It was not difficult for the Sarpkhya viewpoint to be interpreted by Western scholars as a facsimile of familiar Platonic and Cartesian con­ cerns . It appeared to offer versions of the traditional Western philosoph- The Philosophy oj Scholarship 23 ical distinctions between appearance/reality , mind/body , and subject/ object. khya school was characterized as a primitive and unsuccessful attempt to solve dilemmas that could be properly treated only by a more mature , less "dualistic" philosophy .

60 (Fifty years ago , Nagarjuna would not have been mentioned at all . ) The post-Wittgensteinian climate obviously encourages appreciation of the Madhyamika texts , and it encourages the same degree of isogetic enthusiasm that was evident in Muller ' s taste for Vedanta and in Karl Potter' s for the Nyaya. Though the study of Indian philosophy has gone through several distinct interpretive fashions since its inception over a century ago , the basic tendency to project Western philosophical con­ cerns into S anskrit texts has never been discarded .

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