John Schroeder, 'Nagarjuna and the Doctrine of "Skillful Means’
Philosophy East and West 50 (oktober2000), 559-583
The role of "skillful means" is examined in relation to the important Mahayana philosopher Nagarjuna, and it is argued that the doctrine of "emptiness" is best understood as a critical reflection on the nature of Buddhist praxis. Whereas traditional Western scholarship sees Nagarjuna as struggling with certain metaphysical problems, a "skillful means" reading situates his philosophy within a debate about the nature and efficacy of Buddhist practice. Thus, a "skillful means" reading of Nagarjuna does not ask what it means for causality, the self, or consciousness to be "empty" in a very general sense, but how "emptiness" relates to the soteriological practices of Buddhism and what it means for these practices to be "empty" of inherent nature. It is argued that this situates Nagarjuna's philosophy within a highly critical, self-reflective movement in the Buddhist tradition.
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