The Svatantrika-Prasangika Distinction: What Difference Does a Difference Make? (review)

The Svatantrika-Prasangika Distinction: What Difference Does a Difference Make? (review) The Svatantrika-Prasangika Distinction: What Difference Does a Difference Make? ¯ ¯ Edited by Georges B. J. Dreyfus and Sara L. McClintock. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2003. Pp. viii þ 398. Reviewed by William Edelglass Emory University As early as Bhavaviveka (sixth century), Indian Buddhist doxographers situated im¯ portant philosophers in schools and sub-schools characterized by adherence to distinct views, thereby providing a coherent, hierarchical presentation of the Buddha's teaching. In Tibet this practice continued and gained considerable importance: the pedagogical and hermeneutical significance of ordering texts occasioned widespread doxographical literary production.1 The doxographical projects, in which the systematic understanding of unchanging `tenets' was privileged over the singular views of individual authors, were highly contested. Much of the disagreement was due to the multiplicity of interpretations bound to arise during a millennium of intellectual exchange. Doxographical hierarchy set the parameters of intellectual discourse, and thus the classification of tenets was not simply a matter of historical interest. Traditions were constructed in such a way that one's own thought would conform to an acceptable view, to say nothing of the complex relationship between political power and religious doctrine in Tibet. Despite the contested status of Tibetan doxographical categories, the classifications and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

The Svatantrika-Prasangika Distinction: What Difference Does a Difference Make? (review)

Philosophy East and West, Volume 54 (3)

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
Publisher site
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Abstract

The Svatantrika-Prasangika Distinction: What Difference Does a Difference Make? ¯ ¯ Edited by Georges B. J. Dreyfus and Sara L. McClintock. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2003. Pp. viii þ 398. Reviewed by William Edelglass Emory University As early as Bhavaviveka (sixth century), Indian Buddhist doxographers situated im¯ portant philosophers in schools and sub-schools characterized by adherence to distinct views, thereby providing a coherent, hierarchical presentation of the Buddha's teaching. In Tibet this practice continued and gained considerable importance: the pedagogical and hermeneutical significance of ordering texts occasioned widespread doxographical literary production.1 The doxographical projects, in which the systematic understanding of unchanging `tenets' was privileged over the singular views of individual authors, were highly contested. Much of the disagreement was due to the multiplicity of interpretations bound to arise during a millennium of intellectual exchange. Doxographical hierarchy set the parameters of intellectual discourse, and thus the classification of tenets was not simply a matter of historical interest. Traditions were constructed in such a way that one's own thought would conform to an acceptable view, to say nothing of the complex relationship between political power and religious doctrine in Tibet. Despite the contested status of Tibetan doxographical categories, the classifications and

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Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

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