Textual Pragmatics in Early Chinese Madhyamaka

Textual Pragmatics in Early Chinese Madhyamaka Abstract: Academic studies of Chinese Buddhist views of language generally focus on issues such as paradox, contradiction, and the limits of expression and thought. However, such studies seldom seem to focus on the fact that many Buddhist texts deliberately use an ambiguous mode of linguistic expression, one that actually constitutes their compositional patterns and is designed to enhance and promote the Mahāyāna Buddhist soteriological goal, namely liberation from suffering via detachment from falseness. In fact, many of the treatises and exegetical commentaries of the Chinese masters develop a textual pragmatics rooted in the ambiguous and paradoxical rhetoric of early Madhyamaka scriptures translated by Kumārajīva (344–413). This essay discusses the philosophical and soteriological significance of such a linguistic-textual pragmatics as we find it in the early Chinese Madhyamaka scriptures. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Textual Pragmatics in Early Chinese Madhyamaka

Philosophy East and West, Volume 64 (3)

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Academic studies of Chinese Buddhist views of language generally focus on issues such as paradox, contradiction, and the limits of expression and thought. However, such studies seldom seem to focus on the fact that many Buddhist texts deliberately use an ambiguous mode of linguistic expression, one that actually constitutes their compositional patterns and is designed to enhance and promote the Mahāyāna Buddhist soteriological goal, namely liberation from suffering via detachment from falseness. In fact, many of the treatises and exegetical commentaries of the Chinese masters develop a textual pragmatics rooted in the ambiguous and paradoxical rhetoric of early Madhyamaka scriptures translated by Kumārajīva (344–413). This essay discusses the philosophical and soteriological significance of such a linguistic-textual pragmatics as we find it in the early Chinese Madhyamaka scriptures.

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

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