21. Candrakīrti on the Limits of Language and Logic

  1. Steven M. Emmanuel
  1. Karen C. Lang

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch21

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

How to Cite

Lang, K. C. (2013) Candrakīrti on the Limits of Language and Logic, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch21

Author Information

  1. University of Virginia, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658772

Online ISBN: 9781118324004

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Keywords:

  • Candrakīrti;
  • emptiness;
  • intrinsic nature;
  • language;
  • logic;
  • nihilism;
  • nirvana;
  • two truths

Summary

Candrakīrti is known for his commentaries on the major works of Nāgārjuna and Ä€ryadeva. This chapter examines how Candrakīrti uses language and logic to undermine people's confidence in cherished beliefs about a self and point them towards the Buddha's path and its goal the peace of nirvana that transcends the limitations of language and logic. Candrakīrti first sets out his view on the two truths in the Madhyamakāvatāra. He associates both truths with the soteriological goal of Nāgārjuna's path: the peaceful state of nirvana. Madhyamaka teaching amounts to nihilism. Candrakīrti responds that the charge of nihilism is wrong because there is no repudiation of moral actions. Emptiness is also related to the concept of intrinsic nature, and Candrakīrti uses this term in more than one sense.