Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 507–527 | Cite as

Turning a Madhyamaka Trick: Reply to Huntington

  • Jay L. Garfield


Huntington (2007); argues that recent commentators (Robinson, 1957; Hayes, 1994; Tillemans, 1999; Garfield and Priest, 2002) err in attributing to Nāgārjuna and Candrakīrti a commitment to rationality and to the use of argument, and that these commentators do violence to the Madhyamaka project by using rational reconstruction in their interpretation of Nāgārjuna’s and Candrakīrti’s texts. Huntington argues instead that mādhyamikas reject reasoning, distrust logic and do not offer arguments. He also argues that interpreters ought to recuse themselves from argument in order to be faithful to these texts. I demonstrate that he is wrong in all respects: Nāgārjuna and Candrakīrti deploy arguments, take themselves to do so, and even if they did not, we would be wise to do so in commenting on their texts.


Madhyamaka Nāgārjuna Candrakīrti Huntington Positionlessness Mūlamadhyamakakārikā Madhyamakāvatāra Vigrahavyāvartanī 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia
  3. 3.Central Institute of Higher Tibetan StudiesSarnath, VaranasiIndia

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