Advertisement

Po: Jizang’s Negations in the Four Levels of the Twofold Truth

  • Ellen Y. ZhangEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy book series (DCCP, volume 9)

Abstract

As a synthesizer of the Māhayānic Prajñāpāramitā tradition in the early development of Chinese Buddhism, Jizang (549–623 CE) was one of the most important representatives of the Sunlun School (aka. The Three-Treatises School), whose doctrine centers on emptiness. This paper concerns the unfolding of the deconstructive strategies in Jizang’s rendering of the four levels of twofold truth, demonstrating how Jizang’s method of negation as a form of “critical philosophy” is utilized to correspond to the Sanlun appropriation of the Madhyāmikan understanding of emptiness. According to Jizang, the doctrine of the twofold truth functions as a pedagogical means, aiming to achieve two major purposes: (1) to put forth a critique of both nihilist and absolutist interpretations of emptiness; and (2) to resolve certain obscurities and inconsistencies in the teachings within the Buddhist tradition.

The author submits the idea that the Sanlun philosophy exhibits a more positive attitude toward the conventional through Sinicized conceptualization of the Middle-Way-as-Buddha-Nature, and that the Sanlun thought is more dependence upon affirmative expressions (i.e. kataphasis) than negative ones (i.e. apophasis) to promulgate its thesis. The paper concludes by pointing out that the Jizang’s method of negation has a significant impact on the later development of Chinese Buddhism, such as the Tiantai school’s doctrine of Emptiness-Provision-Middle and the Chan Buddhist teaching of non-abiding.

Keywords

The Sunlun School Jizang Madhyāmika Twofold truth Emptiness Negation 

References

  1. Blyth, R. H. 1966. Zen and Zen Classics, 4. Tokyo: Hokuseido.Google Scholar
  2. Cai, Zongqi. 1993. “Derrida and Seng-Zhao: Linguistic and Philosophical Deconstructions,.” Philosophy East and West 43.3: 389–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caputo, John D. 1997. The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion without Religion. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan, Wing-Tsit, ed. and trans. 1973 (Fourth edition). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Cheng, Hsueh-Li. 1981. “The Root of Zen Buddhism,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 8.4: 451–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coward, Harold and Toby Foshay, eds. 1992. Derrida and Negative Theology. Albany: State University Press.Google Scholar
  7. De Bary, Theodore, and Irene Bloom, eds. 1999. Sources of Chinese Tradition (I), second edition. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
  8. Fang, Dongmei 方東美. 1986. Zhongguo Dashengxue 中國大乘學 (Māhayānic Buddhism in China), 2nd edition. Taibei: Liming Culture Enterprise, Limited.Google Scholar
  9. Fox, Alan. 1992. “Self-reflection in the Sanlun Tradition: Madhyāmika as the Deconstructive Conscience.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 19.1: 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Herman, A. L. 1976. Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.Google Scholar
  11. Ho, Chien-hsing. 2012. “The Non-duality of Speech and Silence: A comparative Analysis of Jizang’s Thought on Language and Beyond.” Dao: A Comparative Philosophy 11.1: 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hong Xu 弘學. 2009. 中觀學概論 (A Short Introduction to Mādhyamika). Chengdu: Sichuan Chuban Jituan.Google Scholar
  13. Kalupahana, David. J. 1986. Nāgārjuna: The Philosophy of the Middle Way. Albany: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  14. Koseki, Aaron K. 1982. “ ‘Later Mādhyamika’ in China: Some Current Perspectives on the History of Chinese Prajñāpāramitā Thought.” The Journal of International Association of Buddhist Studies 5.2: 53–62.Google Scholar
  15. Jizang. Dasheng xuanlun 大乘玄論 (Profound Exposition of Māhayāna). T 45, 1853.Google Scholar
  16. Jizang. Erdi yi 二諦義 (On the Twofold Truth). T 45, 1854.Google Scholar
  17. Jizang. Sanlun xuanyi 三論玄義 (Profound Meaning of Three Treatises). T 45, 1852.Google Scholar
  18. Katz, Stephen. 1978. “Language, Epistemology, and Mysticism.” In Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis, edited by Stephen Katz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 22–74.Google Scholar
  19. Lai, Whalen. 1983. “Once More on the Two Truths: What Does Chi-tsang [Jizang] Mean by the Two Truths as ‘Yueh-chiao [Juejiao]’?” Religious Studies 19.4: 505–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li Shijie 李世傑. 1999. “Jizang 吉藏.” in Zhongguo Lidai Sixianjia 中國歷代思想家 (Great Thinkers in Chinese History). Taibei: Taiwan Shangwu Yinshuguan.Google Scholar
  21. Liebenthal, Walter. 1968 (Second edition). Chao Lun (Book of Chao). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Liu, Ming-wood. 1994. Madhyāmika Thought in China. Leiden: Brill Academic Publisher.Google Scholar
  23. Magliola, Robert. 1984. Derrida on the Mend. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Murti, T.R.V. 1955. The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  25. Nagao, Gagjin. 1989. The Foundational Standpoint of Mādhyamika. Trans. by John P. Keenan. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  26. Ng, Yu-kuan. 1993, Tien T’ai Buddhism and Early Mādhyamika. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  27. Robinson, Richard H. 1967. Early Mādhyamika in India and China, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  28. Shih Chang-Wing. 2004. The Two Truths in Chinese Buddhism. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publisher (Buddhist Tradition Series, Vol. 55).Google Scholar
  29. Swanson, Paul L. 1985. The Two Truths Controversy in China and Chih-I’s Threefold Truth Concept. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  30. Tuck, Andrew P. 1990. Comparative Philosophy and the Philosophy of Scholarship. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Wang, Youru. 2003. Linguistic Strategies in Daoist Zhuangzi and Chan Buddhism. London andNew York: RoutledgeCurzon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yang Huinan 楊惠南. 1991. “Jizang de Zhenliguan yu Fangfalun 吉藏的真理觀與方法論” (On Jizang’s View of Twofold Truth and His Method). Zhexue Pinglun 哲學評論 (The Philosophical Review) 14: 196–209.Google Scholar
  33. Yang Huinan 楊惠南. 2007. “Jizang de Foxinlun yu Xinxingshuo zhi Yanjiu 吉藏的佛性論與心性說之研究” (On Jizang’s Concept of Buddha Nature and the Doctrine of Xin-Xing). Foxue Yanjiu Zhongxin Xuebao 佛學研究中心學報 (Journal of the Center for Buddhist Studies) 12: 257–280.Google Scholar
  34. Yang Huinan 楊惠南. 2008. Fojiao Sixing Fazhan Shilun 佛教思想發展史論 (The Development History of Buddhist Thought), Taibei: Dongda Tushugongsi.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Religion and PhilosophyHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong Kong, PRCChina

Personalised recommendations