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Western exploration into Eastern spiritual world

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by Chizuko Yoshimizu (Tsukuba, Japan)



1. Kapstein, Matthew T., Reason's Traces. Identity and Interpretation in Indian & Tibetan Buddhist Thought [Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism]. Wisdom Publication, Boston 2001, pp. XVIII+473. ISBN 0-86171-239-0.

2. Birgit Kellner / Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik (Hg.), Denkt Asien anders? Reflexionen zu Buddhismus und Konfuzianismus in Indien, Tibet, China und Japan. Vienna University Press bei V & R unipress, Göttingen, 2009, S. 1-165. ISBN 978-3-89971-713-6.


The present review deals with the above two books. The first section will give general consideration to what the authors of the two books have aimed at with a brief survey of each single article contributed to the second book. The focus of the second section should be on some substantial discussions made by Kapstein in the first book.


Section 1: The project of "Buddhist philosophy" and the question of whether Asia thinks differently

The Milindapañha1 (Questions of the King Milinda) reproduces philosophical dialogues between the Buddhist sage Nāgasena and the Greek King Menander (Menandros), who ruled the northwestern India in the last half of the second century B.C.E. This record of the oldest encounter between the East and the West is supposed to have been composed in Pāli language by the middle of the first century. The King from the intellectual sphere in which "philosophy" originated shared and argued with Nāgasena several philosophical problems. Did the King learn from the Buddhist sage some insightful thought to be called "Eastern philosophy" or

The title is given with both feminine singular ending as Milindapañhā and masculine singular ending as Milindapañho.

"Buddhist philosophy"? Two millennia later, the West has still been seeking a way to estimate the value of Eastern spiritual traditions as its counterculture. German romanticists from the eighteenth century believed that they could find in ancient India a genuine origin of their spirituality. Some modern European thinkers, in contrast, seem to be unhappy to accept the idea that a thought deserving the title "philosophy" exists somewhere in Asia. Both of these positive and negative evaluations of Asian thought are, however, to a large extent, due to the limited or wrong knowledge of it. The question of whether Asia or Buddhism can offer an alternative to the system of the Western philosophy is to be clarified solely by means of correct understanding of Eastern spiritual world without any prejudgment. The author of the first book under review, M. T. Kapstein (Professor of l'École Pratique des Hautes Études / Chicago University), undertook this task by proceeding with the project of "Buddhist philosophy." Nine years have passed since he published this illuminating book. Nevertheless, the present reviewer believes, not in excuse for the delay of the review, that the book still acquires new readers and that it is even a good time to reintroduce it because its impact is now clearly observed. His introduction, What is "Buddhist Philosophy"? (pp.3-26), has indeed evoked further stimulating discussion among scholars in the field of Buddhist philosophy or Buddhist logic and epistemology. There Kapstein first indicates the fact that Western philosophical circles have often deployed "problems and arguments" approach to the study of philosophy in order to exclude from the domain of philosophy non-Western discourses (p.5). Reexamining the positions articulated in the writings of Western philosophers such as Antony Flew (1971),2 Martin Heidegger (1958)3 and Pierre Hadot (1995),4 Kapstein searches for "alternatives to the problems and arguments approach to our understanding of philosophy" (p.6). What drew the scholars' attention is Kapstein's proposal to apply P. Hadot's view of ancient and early medieval philosophy as a way of life entailing spiritual exercises to the understanding of Buddhist theoretical and practical approaches as philosophy. Following this Kapstein's proposal as well as Sara McClintock's (2002), who also appeals to Hadot's model of philosophia when elucidating Śāntarakṣita's (8c.)

2 Antony Flew, An Introduction to Western Philosophy. Indianapolis/New York 1971. 3 Martin Heidegger, What is philosophy? William Kluback and Jean T. Wilde, trans. New York 1958. 4 Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life. Arnold I. Davidson, ed., Michael Chase, trans., Oxford 1995.

Tattvasaṃgraha and its Pañjikā by his disciple Kamalaśīla (8c.), 5 Vincent Eltschinger (2008) 6 has exhaustively investigated Hadot's interpretation of philosophy and how it works as a fruitful model for Buddhist philosophy. Eltschinger's elaborate discussion has provided on this comparison more proper perspective. Moreover, one sees a good deal of reflection on the possibility of "Buddhist philosophy" or "Eastern philosophy" in the latest publications; one remarkable result is the second book under review here, Denkt Asien anders?, from Vienna. One of its editors, Birgit Kellner, has explicitly referred to both Kapstein's book and Eltschinger's article (2008) in her own contribution to the book (p.56, n.1). This second book was born as the result of the symposium conducted by the Austrian research community (die Österreichische Forscgungsgemeinschaft) on the occasion of the awarding of the Wittgenstein prize to Ernst Steinkellner (Professor emeritus, Vienna University, former Director of the Austrian academy of sciences), a prominent scholar of the field of Buddhist philosophy, in October 2008. As Kellner states in her preface, the theme, "Denkt Asien anders?," was the proposal by Steinkellner himself, under which the following seven authors addressed textual and theoretical problems from Brahmanism, Buddhism and Confucianism in India, Tibet, China and Japan: 1) Ernst Steinkellner, "Erkenntnistheorie im Buddhismus: Zur Erkenntnis des Denkens von anderen" (pp.13-29); 2) Lambert Schmithausen, "Pflanzenreich und Buddha-Natur" (pp.31-44); 3) Johannes Bronkhorst, "Does India think differently?" (pp.45-54); 4) Birgit Kellner, "Buddhistische Theorien des Geistes: Intentionalität und Selbstbewusstsein" (pp.55-75): 5) Tom J.F. Tillemans, "Wie denken Mādhyamikas? Bemerkungen zu Jay Garfield, Graham Priest und parakonsistenter Logik (pp.77-98); 6) Gregor Paul, "Logik in Ostasien — Allegemeingültigkeit und Besonderheiten" (pp.99-120); 7) Christian Uhl, "Der Buddhismus und die Moderne am Beispiel der Philosophie Nishida Kitarōs" (pp.121-157). The brief descriptions of the content of each contribution are given in Kellner's preface (Vorwort, pp.7-11). The book includes in the end "Laudatio" to Ernst Steinkellner presented by the editor of the book, Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik (pp.159-165). A glance at the titles of these articles shows that "Asia" dealt in this book is confined to South- and East Asia, where Buddhism has spread. In fact, most articles

Sara McClintock, Omnisceince and the Rhetoric of Reason in the Tattvasaṃgraha and the Tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā. Dissertation. Harvard University 2002. 6 Vincent Eltschinger, "Pierre Hadot et les "exercices spirituels": quel modele pour la philosophie bouddhique tardive?" Asiatische Studien / Études asiatiques LXII-2 (2008), pp.485-544.

handle Buddhist teachings as their main subject; solely Bronkhorst extends his scope to Indian non-Buddhist philosophy and Paul takes some Chinese indigenous treatises by Laozi(老子), Kongzi(孔夫子), Sunzi(孫子)and Zhuangzi(荘子) into consideration; Uhl's article reveals the role of Buddhism in the philosophy of Nishida Kitarō's, who was a prominent Japanese philosopher in modern era. Accordingly, it may not be wrong to say that this book is a succession to and a reconsideration as well as development of the project of "Buddhist philosophy," which Kapstein has launched in the first book. This is the reason for introducing the two books together in the present review.


As a scholar who encountered Indian and Buddhist intellectual and spiritual world while being educated in the Western academic background, Kapstein suggests the way of how to face this strange tradition outside of his own: "Our problem is not to discover, per impossible, how to think Buddhism while eliminating all reference to Western ways of thought; it is, rather, to determine an approach, given our field of reflection, whereby our encounter with Buddhist traditions may open a clearing in which those traditions begin in some measure to disclose themselves, not just ourselves" (p.3). Kapstein starts his inquiry about "Buddhist philosophy" by reconsidering the question of what it is that they (i.e., Western intellectuals) mean by "philosophy" (p.4). In this course, he discovers Hadot's view of philosophy as a way of life (p.7). Adducing some Buddhist texts such as Śāntideva's (7c.) Bodhicaryāvatāra (chap.2 vv. 35-36) (p.8), Śāntarakṣita's Tattvasaṃgraha (vv.1-6)7 (p.11f.), Kamalaśīla's Pañjikā (p.10, p.14) and Candrakīrti's (7c.) Madhyamakāvatāra (chap.6 vv.4-5) (p.14), the author shows that those Buddhist masters speak of theory and practice as an inseparable unit. "A clear program of

he author renders the first two verses as follows: "Movement devoid of prime matter, a divine creator, their conjunction, self and similar constructions; Ground for the deed and its fruit, their relationship, ascertainment and such; Empty with respect to quality, substance, function, genus, inherence and other superimposed categories, But within the scope of words and concepts relating to posited features." This translation is partly incorrect. It runs literally: "(Dependent origination, i.e., pratītyasamutpāda, is) free from operations [of] such [[[causes]]] as prime matter, the supreme god, both [of the prime matter and the god], self and so on (prakṛtīśobhayātmādivyāpārarahitaṃ); [it is that which is] transitory (calam);[it is] the ground of the postulation and the like with regard to action, its fruit and the connection between these [[[action]] and its fruit] (karmatatphalasambandhavyavasthādisamāśrayam); [it is] empty of such attributes as quality, substance, movement, generic property, inherence and so on (guṇadravyakriyājātisamavāyādyupādhibhiḥ śūnyam); [it is] the sphere of words and cognitions which have a superimposed form (āropitākāraśabdapratyayagocaram)." Cf. also G. Jha, tr., The Tattvasaṃgraha of Śāntarakṣita with the Commentary of Kamalaśīla, vol.1 (Baroda oriental Institute 1937), p.2.


spiritual exercise" is integrated even into the system of logic and epistemology established by Buddhist logicians, Dignāga (5-6c.) and Dharmakīrti (7c.), which the author evidences by a short account in a writing of a later Tibetan master, lCang skya rol pa'i rdo rje (1717-86) (pp.16-18). Finally, Kapstein characterizes the research project which he has just launched as follows: "In the work presented here, therefore, I wish to consider "Buddhist philosophy" not as an achievement, but as a still unrealized potentiality…. Thus, Buddhist philosophy, despite its great and ancient history, remains for us a project as yet unborn" (p.20). In the second book under review, Steinkellner starts his discussion by confirming the possibility of philosophy outside the West and defining what it is that he means by "philosophy" as follows: "... kann ich davon ausgehen, dass heute bereits weithin anerkannt ist, dass es auch außerhalb der griechisch-europäischen (»westlichen«) Tradition dasjenige kulturelle Phänomen tatsächlich gibt, das wir als »Philosophie« bezeichnen können. »Philosophie« verstanden als das Ergebnis von Reflexionen über die Wirklichkeit und das Leben, die sich in Form von rational vertretenen Ideen, Theorien und Systemen sprachlich manifestieren" (p.14). As for "Buddhist philosophy," he gives the following clarification: "Im rahmen der Religion des Buddhismus kann man als »buddhistische Philosophie« alle jene Theorien umfassen, die sich unterschiedlich und zu verschiedenen Epochen in der Analyse, Erklärung, argumentierenden Sicherung und Verteidigung der sogenannten Vier Edlen Wahrheiten entwickelt haben,8 die bis heute allen Buddhisten als Kernsätze der Lehre des Buddha gelten" (p.15).

The present reviewer, who is a native of Japan, views this project from the opposite eastern shore, which is precisely the place about which the possibility of philosophy has been questioned. Japan is indeed the country often regarded to be the poorest soil for "philosophy." In this country, the concept of philosophy was first introduced in 1865.9 Since then, Japanese philosophers made great endeavor to

In addition to the four noble truths (caturāryasatya, viz., duḥkha-, samudaya-, nirodha-, and mārga-satya), one may enumerate the following essential teachings specific to the Buddhism, which gain full elaboration and variety in different eras and places: impermanence (anityatā) and painfulness (duḥkha) of all conditioning factors (saṃskāra) and selflessness (nairātman) of all phenomena (dharma). These three characteristics of all existents are repeatedly taught in early Buddhist treatises and the knowledge thereof is said to be indispensable to attain the state of nirvāṇa (cf., e.g., Dhammapada 277-279). 9 The word "philosophy" was first transliterated as hirosohi and later translated as tetsugaku in Japanese by Amane Nishi (1829-1897). Nowadays, the term tetsugaku (philosophy) still refers in its narrow sense to the Western type of philosophy alone. In our daily conversation, however, it means a set of ideas of how to live or do one's job, etc. As for the history of Japanese philosophy,


adopt the concepts and methods of Western philosophy. Their productions are mostly hybrid of the Eastern thought and the Western system. They philosophized in Japanese on the basis of their own Japanese ways of thinking in which Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and Eastern Asiatic world views were emerged. Modern Japanese philosophers could not rule out their heritage from the new domain of philosophy they committed to, as Kapstein properly states that "understanding must be ever constituted on the basis of prior understanding, and to step altogether out of our skins is an impossibility for us" (p.3). Japanese philosophers thus confronted various systems, new and traditional, of different values. In Denkt Asien anders?, Christian Uhl analyzes the case of Nishida Kitarō (西田幾多郎 1870-1945), revealing that Nishida's dilemma consists in the dichotomy between the East and the West and that between form and content, i.e., the western form of philosophy as science and the eastern content.10 What Nishida and other Japanese philosophers produced through their conflict with systems of others as well as their own is, however, by no means a simple mixture of the existent thoughts of the East and the West; despite of its hybrid character, what they brought about is a new thought neither occidental nor oriental but rather specific to this era. In the Meiji period (1868-1912), the Buddhism itself assumed the new role of an alternative to the Western thought centering on the individual. According to Uhl, Nishida makes use of the Buddhism as a support of his criticism of the modern (Moderne, 近代) and this criticism itself is based on a "modern" thinking which is neither Buddhist nor Japanese or eastern.11 The dichotomy between the East and the West is thus to be

cf., e.g., "Nihon tetsugaku shōshi" (日本哲学小史, A brief history of Japanese philosophy, by Sumihiko Kumano et al., Tokyo 2009). The editor of this book explicitly states that he uses the term "philosophy" in its restricted sense referring solely to the philosophy that was conducted by Japanese in modern Japan after the importation of the Western philosophy, and yet that this does not mean to exclude the existence of philosophy in Japan before that (p.5ff.). See also Uhl's article in Denk Asien anders?, p.126. n.13. 10 Uhl writes: "Zunächst ist da die bereits bekannte Dichotomie Osten/Westen, die hier allerdings von einer weiteren Dichotomie überlagert wird, die Form und Inhalt bilden, nachdem sie auseinandergetreten sind. Auseinandertreten müssen sie, insofern Nishida die anzustrebende Form der Philosophie als wissenschaftlich, die Wissenschaft aber als Errungenschaft des Westens definiert. Wenn nun diese Form mit einem eigenen, »östlichen« Inhalt sich soll füllen lassen, muss die Wissenschaft aber zugleich auch als das Leere, Abstrakte, Universelle erscheinen, dem der Inhalt als das Besondere und Partikulare gegenübersteht" (p.126). 11 In Uhl's own words: "Nishidas Bezugnahmen auf den Buddhismus dienen letztlich der Unterstützung einer wesentlich romantischen Kritik der Moderne. Diese Kritik lässt sich schließlich aus marxistischer Perspektive als eine Kritik der Tauschwertseite (d.h. der »farblosen Nachtansicht der Naturwissenschaften«, der Reflexion, des »Standpunkts der Gegenstandslogik«, des Rationalismus, des evolutionistischen Geschichtsdenkens samt Fortschrittsideologie, des abstrakten Zeitbegriffs etc.) vom Standpunkt des Gebrauchswerts beschreiben (d.h., vom


overcome by producing a new thought. One may properly describe this movement as a "project of philosophy" and confirm therein the possibility of a "new born philosophy." In our classical Japanese literature, in turn, philosophical reflections on the reality of our life are either manifested in religious and ethical teachings, or scattered in literary writings without being elaborated as a theory. We are not unhappy if they cannot bear the title "philosophy." But if the term "philosophy" refers to insightful ideas of how to live our lives, we would easily believe that even one shortest poem haiku (俳句) can entail a crystal of philosophy. In other words, if we may conceive our own ways of manifesting a thought as philosophy, this philosophy would not be necessarily embodied in a systematic articulation of problems and arguments. Although it is apparently outside the range of philosophy in Western terms, we would be happy to offer from the Far East an alternative model of philosophy, which, to a certain degree, has an affinity with Hadot's model of philosophy. In this perspective, if the present reviewer may allow herself to pose a question from the eastern shore to the West, she would like to ask: What significant contribution to making our life better can philosophy make?

Indian tradition definitely provides rich examples of philosophy, which are much closer to Western originals than other Asians.12 Indian doctrinal system called darśana is often considered to correspond to what is termed "philosophy" in the


Standpinkt der »Mittagsansicht, in der es Farben und Töne gibt«, der Kunst und Religion, der Intuition, der »Logik des Herzens«, der geschichtlichen poiesis, des konkreten, »individuellen Augenblicks« etc.). Das auseinanderhalten dieser beiden Dimensionen als den »unterschiedlichen Polen der Welt« ... ist die Voraussetzung aller solcher Kritik, die zunächst, wie gesagt, weder buddhistisch, noch japanisch oder »östlich«, sondern vor allem selbst modern ist" (p.150). 12 In comparison with other Asian traditions, resemblance between Indian and Western philosophical approaches is obvious. Apart from the linguistic affinity of Sanskrit with Greek and other European languages, both Indian and Western thinkers construct their theories largely based on metaphysical analyses and rational arguments. Kapstein makes a similar remark: "Any time we find, as we do with respect to personal identity, strong resemblance between India and Western philosophical problems and arguments, ...." (p.45); "In general I believe that Indian philosophy is rather more akin to Western philosophy than is the third great, original philosophical tradition, that of China" (p.49, n.11). Bronkhorst also notes in his contribution to Denkt Asien anders? the resemblance: "there are Indian sciences (e.g. medicine, mathematics, astronomy, linguistics, etc.) and Indian philosophies. We can call these disciplines »sciences« and »philosophies«, because they resemble to at least some extent the Western disciplines we call thus" (p.45). In this single aspect, one could parenthetically say that Asians think differently from each other or that Indo-Europeans think differently from non Indo-Europeans.


West.13 Insofar as Buddhism is concerned, it is strongly advised at least in its earliest phase to avoid adhering to a particular philosophical view (dṛṣṭi, Pāli diṭṭhi) or asserting it in a debate (vāda), for any kind of adherence is nothing but an obstacle on the path to liberation (nirvāṇa). For instance, one sees repeated warnings against disputation in the oldest part of the Suttanipāta. This suggests, in turn, that at that time Buddhist monks had opportunities to take part in public or private debates and actually involved themselves in the debates.14 Considering the historical facts that the Suttanipāta was composed before the time of the King Aśoka (268-232 B.C.) and that Alexander the Great invaded northern India later in 327 B.C., Johannes Bronkhorst's hypothesis that Buddhists acquired habit of debate under the influence of Greek culture would no longer be supported. Under the premise that the Buddhists who resided in Northwest India where Greeks remained and continued their own traditions established a coherent system in order to conquer their opponents in a public debates, Bronkhorst draws the conclusion that "the first coherent system of thought in India was a Buddhist system, created in Northwest India under the influence of Greek culture," in other words, under the influence of a "Greek habit of debate, often public debate" (p.49 in Denkt Asien anders?). "The first coherent system" seemingly refers to the Abhidharma scholastic system of the Sarvāstivādin, although what kind of system is qualified as a "coherent system" is unstated. For the detailed discussion, one should refer to his previous and forthcoming articles mentioned in his Bibliography (p.53). The fact is, however, highly likely that Indians had the habit of debate before Greeks came. From the standpoint of the earliest Buddhists that they must distance themselves from demonstrating own view and debating for it, one may justly say that Buddhists experienced a drastic change when they started founding schools, forming theories, advocating their respective views, debating each other, and producing doxographic


13 Cf. W. Halbfass, India and Europe, an Essay in Understanding (State University of New York Press 1988), 15. Darśana, ānvīkṣikī, philosophy (pp.263-286). 14 Cf., e.g., Suttanipāta (Aṭṭhakavagga: D. Anderson and H. Smith, eds., Sutta-nipāta, the Pāli Text Society, Oxford 1997) 787: upayo hi dhammesu upeti vādaṃ, anūpayaṃ kena kathaṃ vadeyya, attaṃ nirattaṃ na hi tassa atthi: adhosi so diṭṭhi-m-idh' eva sabbā. "A person who clings [to a view] indeed clings to a dispute with regard to doctrines. By what [means] and how could one dispute with one who does not cling [to a view]? For he has taken up or laid down nothing. He has shaken off all views in this very world." 832: ye diṭṭhim uggayha vivādiyanti idam eva saccan ti ca vādiyanti, te tvaṃ vadassu, na hi te 'dha atthi vādamhi jāte paṭisenikattā. "If people take up a view and dispute, and say, 'only this is true,' tell them, 'there is no opponent for you here when a dispute has arisen." Cf. also K.R. Norman, tr., The Group of discourses (Sutta-nipāta), vol. II (The Pāli Text Society, Oxford 1995). As for the Buddhist concept of dṛṣṭi, cf. Halbfass, op. cit., p.266f.

treatises. Such an intensified scholastic tendency of Indian Buddhist society gave rise to a certain tension between soteriological practical approach and doctrine-oriented theoretical approach. Their philosophical investigation takes place, on one hand, inseparably from religious practice and soteriological goal; on the other hand, it develops into theories the framework of which can stand apart from its religious corpus. Such a religious-philosophical complex greatly characterizes late Buddhist compositions.15 And it is, moreover, inspiring modern scholars such as Kapstein to search for an applicable model among Western interpretations of philosophy. In her own article, Birgit Kellner also indicates that the questions such as "denkt asien anders?" stimulate the comparisons between the East and the West in the background of which scholars' interest underlies in the relationship between philosophically and religiously oriented discourses (p.56). What seems important in her remarks is that this kind of question should meaningfully lead to a careful differentiation between philosophical analysis and elaboration of spiritual practices in individual traditions ("wie sich innerhalb einzelner Denktraditionen Asiens philosophische Analyse und reflektierende Ausarbeitung spiritueller Ideale und Praktiken in Beziehung bringen lassen – anders gesagt, das Terrain verschiedener Arten von Reflexionsformen zu sondieren," p.56). It should also lead to a correct understanding of how the tradition has formed various theories and practices in its own cultural context, through which one goes beyond such a comparison as that which always has Europe as its reference point ("ein Verständnis von Theoriebildungen im kulturellen Kontext anzustreben, das über punktuelle und statistische, letztlich immer auf (das konstrukt) Europa als Referenzpunkt bezogene Vergleiche hinausgeht," p.56). Her article is the realization of this methodological direction of her own with the special focus on the theories of intentionality and self-consciousness as mental events in Yogācāra tradition and Dharmakīrti's system.16

15 Among latest publications, the aforementioned attempt by McClintok (2002) seems to be directed to clarifying this complex of religious philosophy by later Buddhist scholars of the logico-epistemological schools. In this regard, V. Eltschinger has also provided an interesting discussion in his article, "On 7th and 8th century Buddhist accounts of human action, practical rationality and soteriology" (Birgit Kellner, Helmut Krasser, Horst Lasic, Michael Torsten Much, Helmut Tauscher, eds., Pramāṇakīrti. Papers dedicated to Ernst Steinkellner on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Part 1. Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde 70, Arbeitskreis für tibetische und buddhistische Studien Universität Wien, Wien 2007, pp.135-162). 16 Concerning the problem of mental intentionality, Kellner contrasts the spiritual and practical theory the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra presents with Dharmakīrti's theory which is based on philosophical analysis and demonstration. She gives a consideration of the cultural context in


Clearing the hurdle which provisionally stands between the East and the West and attempting a cross-cultural interpretation, Tom Tillemans has made a stimulating contribution. It is indeed an interface between Western philosophy and Buddhist studies. Tillemans reevaluates the logic of Madhyamaka thinkers that sounds as if being "deviant" and violating the logical laws of "double negation elimination," "excluded middle" and "non-contradiction" in terms of Western logic (p.77/ p.83).17 As the title shows, Tillemans thereby provides an answer to and notes on the view previously advocated by the Australian logician G. Priest and the American philosopher J. Garfield that the statements by Nāgārjuna (2c.), the founder of the Madhyamaka school, are to be reconstructed in terms of a radical type of paraconsistent logic and dialetheism (p.78/ p.84).18 Tillemans' own position is articulated in the title of the second section (cited from the English original), "My own take: I can readily accept a limited type of paraconsistency/ dialetheism in the Prajñāpāramitā and Nāgārjuna, but Priest and Garfield's robust form of dialetheism seems to me unlikely" (p.79/ p.85).19 In other words, Tillemans maintains, Nāgārjuna admits in certain discussions that X is true ("for worldly, doctrinal, or even Abhidharmic reasons") and in other contexts that non-X is true ("for reasons involving the emptiness of intrinsic nature"), but yet he does not admit the truth of the conjunction X and non-X (p.93/ p.94). On a natural reading of Nāgārjuna's

which Dharmakīrti is situated, that is, in her own words: "Dharmakīrtis recht komplizierter und oszillierender Umgang mit der »Gleichförmigkeit« kann auch als Symtom einer sozialen und diskursiven Grundkonstellation gelten, in der sich buddhistische Denker argumentierend mit außerhalb des Buddhismus formulierten Gegenpositionen auseinandersetzen und dabei gewisse ihrer Grundanschauungen temporär aussetzen müssen" (p.71). 17 His article, "Wie denken Mādhyamika? Bemerkungen zu Jay Garfield, Graham Priest und parakonsistenter Logik," is the English translation by Birgit Kellner and Sascha Mundstein of the original version, "How do Mādhyamikas think?: Notes on Jay Garfield, Graham Priest, and Paraconsistency," in Pointing at the Moon, Buddhism, Logic, Analytic Philosophy, Mario D'Amato, Jay L. Garfield and Tom J.F. Tillemans (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp.83-100. In the present review, the citations are from the English original and the page numbers of both German and English versions are given. 18 Their interpretation is reflected in the third section ("Priest und Garfield zu Nāgārjuna," pp.82-88). Cf. also Garfield and Priest, "Nāgārjuna and the Limits of Thought," Philosophy East and West 53.1, pp.10-21; and "Mountains are just Moutains," Pointing at Moon, pp.71-82. 19 For those readers who are ignorant about Western logic (both classical and modern) like the present reviewer, Tillemans gives a brief description of what is weak and strong/ robust dialetheism/ contradictions: "we'll speak of endorsement of a weak contradiction as an acceptance of the truth of a statement φ at some point and an acceptance of the truth of not-φ at another; an endorsement of a strong contradiction, by contrast, means accepting the truth of a conjoined statement, φ and not-φ, i.e., φ & ¬φ" (p.81/ p.87). Paraconsistency is not treated independently from dialetheism in his discussion (p.78/ p.84).


writings as well as Prajñapāramitā literature without any additions and hedges, he says, "it is the whole system that suggests a type of paraconsistency/ dialetheism," and "in particular it is the use of the two truths, conventional (saṃvṛtisatya) and ultimate (paramārthasatya)" (p.88/ p.91).20 Tillemans' article is followed by Gregor Paul's investigation of the logic in Eastern Asia ("Logik in Ostasien"). Paul argues for the possibility of the universal validity ("Allgemeingültigkeit") of the aforementioned logical principles, in particular, the law of non-contradiction and the law of excluded middle ("TND: das Teritum non datur") in Chinese Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical compositions. While eliminating objections (III Widerlegung der gängigen Einwände gegen die Hypothese einer »universalen Logik«, p.102), Paul proves his hypothesis of a "universal logic" (IV Direkte Argumente für eine Allgemeingültigkeit bestimmter logicher Gesetze) on the basis of the variety of materials, among which the Chinese version of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (Zhonglun, 中論, Taishō no.1564)is referred to. In contrast to Tillemans, Paul explicitly states that Nāgārjuna upholds in his Zhonglun both the law of non-contradiction and the law of excluded middle (p.111, p.114f.). The fact is, however, that Paul's position is not greatly different from that of Tillemans according to which Nāgārjuna does not accept "any strong contradictions," for they consider that Nāgārjuna himself indicates a contradiction between two counter concepts.21 The sole difference lies in it that Paul does not

Tillemans tries throughout his discussion a natural and literal reading of the texts independently of commentaries. An exception is his interpretation of Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 18.8 (p.83, n.8/ p.88, n. 6, where the verse is mistakenly identified as XVII.8): sarvaṃ tathyaṃ na vā tathyaṃ tathyaṃ cātathyam eva ca / naivātathyaṃ naiva tathyam etad buddhānuśāsanam //). He points out that this verse could be a possible counterevidence to his view that Nāgārjuna does not endorse the truth of the conjunction, φ and not-φ. To rule out this possibility, Tillemans appeals to the reading by Candrakīrti and other commentators that the positive statements of the conjunction in this verse is to be seen as a "pedagogically useful transitional stage for certain individuals," and concludes that "it does not represent the dominant Nāgārjunian standpoint." Interestingly, Garfield and Priest cite and interpret the same verse in their article, "Mountains are just mountains" (Pointing at the Moon, pp.71-82) as follows: "something may be true (conventionally), false (ultimately), true and false (conventionally and ultimately, respectively), and neither true nor false (ultimately and conventionally, respectively). All this is said, of course, from the conventional perspective" (p.72). 21 Tillemans cites as an evidence of Nāgārjuna's banning of "true strong contradiction" Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 25.14 (bhaved abhāvo bhāvaś ca nirvāṇa ubhayaṃ katham / na tayor ekatrāstitvam ālokatamasor yathā //) (p.87/ p.90). Paul, in turn, cites from its Chinese version the followings: "Existieren die dharmas wirklich, so können sie nicht nicht existieren."; "Existenz und Nicht-Existenz bilden einen Widerspruch." The first phrase corresponds to Piṅgala's commentary on the introductory verse of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (法若實有則不應無), in which Paul also reads the law of double negation (p.111, n.13). The second sentence corresponds to Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 8.7c (有無相違故), that is 8.7cd in the Sanskrit


touch the two levels of truth, viz., conventional and ultimate. From the perspective of the two truths, Tillemans draws the conclusion that the Mādhyamika allows himself to use contradictory expressions such as "the buddhadharmas are buddhadharmas, and they are not buddhadharmas."22 The present reviewer is happy to accept Tillemans' as well as Paul's assumption that the general logical rules are more or less applicable to the Madhyamaka way of argumentation. One remaining problem, in her mind, concerns how to understand the negation in the fourth lemma of the tetralemma: If supposing that "neither X nor non-X" does not imply "X and non-X" because the negation is a non-implicative negation (prasajyapratiṣedha) and because the law of double negation elimination does not apply,23 what does it mean that something is neither X nor non-X? Does it mean absolute nothing and absurdity, or does it imply the supreme teaching of the Madhyamaka/ middle way? The fourth lemma in Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 1.1 (i.e., arising from no cause or neither self nor others), for instance, means undoubtedly an absurdity.24 However, insofar as 18.625 is concerned, the final position of neither X nor non-X is regarded by Candrakīrti (7c.) as the superior teaching to be exposed to the superior disciples who are ready to enter nirvāṇa.26 Citing the Ratnakūṭasūtra,

(parasparaviruddhaṃ hi saccāsaccaikataḥ). Moreover, Paul argues that Nāgārjuna never approves the truth of the conjunction X and non-X in his tetralemma: "Kein Fall impliziert, dass »B und Nicht-B« logisch gültig sein könnte" (p.115). The tetralemma has been one of Paul's focuses, about which he has discussed in his previous articles mentioned in n.6 (p.104). 22 Citation from the Vajracchedikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra (p.80/ p.86).This is the only example that Tillemans adduces for the Mādhyamika's actual use of contradictory expressions. 23 As Tillemans suggests (n.18, p.93/ n.16, p.99), although this interpretation is generally accepted by modern scholars, it is not stated at least in early Madhyamaka treatises. Paul does not seem to accept this supposition in his analysis of the first verse of the Zhonglun as will be seen below (n.24). 24 na svato nāpi parato na dvābhyāṃ nāpy ahetutaḥ / utpannā jātu vidyante bhāvāḥ kvacana kecana //. In his analysis of the same statement in the Zhonglun, Paul demonstrates that the law of excluded middle is adopted here. As for the fourth lemma, he seems to consent to the equivalence between "neither X nor non-X" and "both X and non-X" by saying: "Was weder aus sich selbst (B) noch aus anderen (Nicht-B) entsteht, das mag aus beidem, d.h. zur Hälfte aus sich selbst und zur Hälfte aus anderem entstehen. Fälle, in denen »B und Nicht-B« einen Selbstwiderspruch ausdrückt, sind selten. Sie werden im allgemeinen ohne viel Aufhebens als unhaltbar zurückgewiesen" (p.115). He distinguishes the idea of "neither X nor non-X" from that of "neither X nor non-X exists" and suggests the possibility that the latter is correct: "Und schließlich darf »weder B noch Nicht-B« nicht mit »weder B noch Nicht-B existiert« verwechselt werden. Die letzte Behauptung kann wahr sein. So existiert weder ein blauer noch ein nicht-blauer Pegasus" (loc. cit). 25 Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 18.6: ātmety api prajñapitam anātmety api deśitam / buddhair nātmā na cānātmā kaścid ity api deśitam //. The third alternative (both X and non-X) lacks here. 26Cf. Prasannapadā 358, 4f. (L. de La Vallée Poussin, ed., Mūlamadhyamakakārikās de Nāgārjuna avec la Prasannapadā, St. Pétersbourg 1903–1913): ye tu


Candrakīrti even suggests that this position free from two extreme views corresponds to an ineffable middle.27 This is also the idea which develops in Tibet into the theory of "neither existent nor non-existent" (yod min med min) or "the freedom from extremes as the middle way" (mtha' bral dbu ma).28 In this manner, there might be a certain room at least conceptually between two negations, i.e., non-X and non-non-X. Can it be a breaking of the law of excluded middle, or is it not more than a figurative expression? The reviewer sincerely expects further discussion on this issue.

Now we have learned a lot about logic. Let us take an example. How do we judge which is true and which is false of the following contradictory propositions? 1) A cherry tree is a living being, because it is a plant. 2) A cherry tree is not a living being, because it is a plant. The present reviewer naturally takes the first proposition to be true, since it holds true that whatever is a plant is a living being. For most Japanese people, it is self-evident and requires no explanation, since individual herbs and trees of various species are born, grow up, reproduce themselves, and die, even if they are insentient. However, certain Indian Buddhists are supposed to consent to the second proposition, because they maintain that whatever is insentient is not a living being.29 Hence both 1) and 2) are true and false according to the underlying ideas about what

pūrvābhyāsaviśeṣānugatagambhīradharmādhimokṣalabdhabījaparipākāḥ pratyāsannavartino nirvāṇe* teṣām utkṛṣtānāṃ vineyānāṃ vigatātmasnehānāṃ paramagambhīramaunīndrapravacanārthatattvāvagāhanasamarthānām adhimuktiviśeṣam avadhārya (*according to J.W. De Jong, "Textcritical Notes on the Prasannapadā," Indo-Iranian Journal 20, 1978, pp.25-59, p.227 : La Vallée Poussin, ed., pratyāsannavartininirvāṇe). 27 Prasannapadā 358, 10ff.: yathoktam āryaratnakūṭe / ātmeti kāśyapa ayam eko 'ntaḥ / nairātmyam ity ayaṃ dvitīyo 'ntaḥ / yad etad anayor antayor madhyaṃ tad arūpyam anirdaśanam apratiṣṭam anābhāsam avijñaptikam aniketam iyam ucyate kāśyapa madhyamā pratipad dharmāṇāṃ bhūtapratyavekṣeti //. 28 This theory is advocated mainly by Sa skya scholars. As Tillemans briefly discusses (p.91/ p.93f.), Go rams pa bSod nams seng ge (1429-1489) of the Sa skya school defends this theory against the criticism by the dGe lugs thinker Tsong kha pa Blo bzang grags pa (1357-1419), who is of the position that the negation of self (ātman, bdag) or self-nature (svabhāva, rang bzhin) is not to be negated. This theory of the freedom from extremes presumably derives from the early Tibetan Madhyamaka master Zhang Thang sag pa Ye shes 'byung gnas from the twelfth century. For the detailed information, cf. Chizuko Yoshimizu, "A Tibetan Buddhist Text from the Twelfth Century Unknown to Later Tibetans." Les Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 15 (2005), École française d'Extrême-Orient, pp.127-164. 29 According to Schmithausen, it is not the case in early Buddhism (p.34). Cf. further L. Schmithausen, On the problem of the Sentience of Plants in Earliest Buddhism, The International Institute for Buddhist Studies, Tokyo 1991. Some Hindu circles and Jainas in particular also classify the plants into sentient beings.


is a living being in different cultural backgrounds. Bringing out the contrast between these two ideas, Lambert Schmithausen first notes that in such Indian context "sentience" is the fundamental criterion for ethic and soteriology: "Werden die Pflanzen als empfindungslos angesehen, sind sie im Gegensatz zu Tieren nicht um ihrer selbst willen Gegenstand der Ethik des Nichtverletzens. Sie nehmen dann im Gegensatz zu den Tieren auch nicht am Saṃsāra, am Prozess des Immer-wieder-aufs-Neue-Geborenwerdens (sodass man also zwar als Tier, aber nicht als Pflanze wiedergeboren werden kann), teil, und sie haben (und brauchen) auch keine Erlösungsperspektive" (p.31f.). This criterion, however, does not work in Chinese and Japanese contexts, according to which such insentient beings as mountains, rivers, grasses and trees are granted Buddha-Nature(草木国土悉皆成仏) . This famous notion is, in our general view, to be interpreted in its figurative sense that one could equate them with Buddhas since the natural world is pure from all defilements. But sincere theoretical consideration of the same notion has also been given by T'ien-t'ai or Tendai (天台) masters in China and Japan. Among them, Schmithausen cites the analysis by the Japanese monk Shōshin(證真, ca.1153-1207). Schmithausen's investigation has revealed that there is no standardized idea of the nature of plants in Asian Buddhist circles. We should carefully feel how differently our neighbors think.

The question of whether Asia thinks differently thus finally emerges as the question of how differently others think: Others are those who are originated in different cultural spheres from yours, but others are also simply your neighbors who live next door to you. Our all historical, philological and philosophical approaches to others' thought including the project of "Buddhist philosophy" are to be devoted to the correct understanding of others or our neighbors. They reveal something new for you, as Steinkellner impressively states: "Dem einzelnen Geisteswissenschaftler steht aber das »Denken anderer« nicht als Objekt seiner eigenen Erinnerung zur Verfügung: Er hat es ja noch nicht erkannt, es ist für ihn etwas Neues. Er gräbt die Zeugnisse dafür z.B. aus der Erde oder aus einer Handschrift, genauso wie der Naturwissenschaftler aus den Gegebenheiten der Natur" (p.24).


Section 2: Remarks on Kapstein's interpretation of Buddhist texts


In the following, the present reviewer should like to introduce Kapstein's book in more detail and make some remarks on his discussion. a) Materials The book presents plenty of documentary evidences to prove the possibility of "Buddhist philosophy" as well as analogies of Buddhists' ideas and arguments to those of Western philosophers. The essays included in the body of the book are grouped according to their subjects under four heads: I. Situating the Self (p.27), II. Reality and Reason (p.179), III. The Study of Tantrism (p.231), and IV. Doctrinal Interpretation in Tibet (p.299). Several essays are revised reproductions of his previous independent articles (see p.XIIf.). The first six chapters (1-6) collected in the first part (I. Situating the Self) are undoubtedly a focus of the author, which entail the results of the investigations originally pursued in his dissertation (Self and Personal Identity in Indian Buddhist Scholasticism: A Philosophical Investigation. Ph.D. dissertation, Brown University 1986). The second part (II. Reality and Reason) consisting of two chapters (7-8) deal with two main Mahāyāna streams, Vasubandhu's (5c.) idealism (i.e., the theory of vijñaptimātratā) and the Madhyamaka teaching of the two truths. The author discusses these Mahāyāna theories within the same scope as that of the first part, the emphasis of which is on the problems and arguments the Buddhists employ for their investigations. Tantrism discussed in the third part (III. The Study of Tantrism: 9-11 chapters) is the field of Kapstein's great interest. His eyes are consistently fixed on the commitment of tantric practices to the project of Buddhist philosophy (p.21). The next two chapters (12-13) of the forth part (IV. Doctrinal Interpretation in Tibet) are devoted to the Tibetan doctrinal interpretation of the buddha-nature (tathāgatagarbha) and the theory of extrinsic emptiness (gzhan stong). As a complement to these main discussions, readers benefit from the translation of Sanskrit and Tibetan texts presented in the last part (chapters 14-15): Vasubandhu's Treatise on the Negation of the Person, i.e., the ninth chapter of his Abhidharmakośabhāṣya; selections from Vātsyāyana's (4-5c.) Nyāyabhāṣya and Uddyotakara's (7c.) Nyāyavārttika, which represent the opposition to the Buddhist idea of non-self from the Naiyāyika point of view; and the explanation of the two truths from the Tibetan version of the Munimatālaṃkāra by a great master of both Mahāyāna and Tantrism, Abhayākaragupta (12c.).30 In the end, the book presents extensive bibliography

In addition to these texts which the author has translated, one textual source frequently

(p.417)31 as well as indices of personal names (p.451), subjects, technical terms (p.455), and texts (p.471). A wide variety of materials are consulted: the Vedas, the Upaniṣads, the texts of non-Buddhist schools such as the Nyāya-Vaiśesika, Pāli canons of early Buddhist schools represented by the aforementioned Milindapañha, Mahāyāna treatises, Tantric literature and the writings by Tibetan masters. The author's broad knowledge of Indian and Tibetan religious literature thus serves to depict a comprehensive picture of Indian and Buddhist philosophy which the author has discovered. As its title (Reason's traces) shows, the book promises readers a fascinating voyage in search of the traces of Indian and Tibetan intellectual creations as well as in a comparative study of Western and Eastern thoughts. For those readers who are unfamiliar to Indian philosophy, the author precedes the book with a brief outline of the history and the chronology of persons, texts and schools (p.XV).32


b) Buddhist "problems and arguments" approach

Here the present reviewer should like to confine herself to retracing the author's discussion in the first part of the book with regard to the problem of personal

adduced by the author as evidence for Buddhists' making philosophical approach in combination with contemplative practice is Śāntarakṣita's Tattvasaṃgraha and its commentary by his disciple Kamalaśīla. 31 In the bibliography of primary literature, some generally used editions are not given: e.g., P. Pradhan, ed., Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam of Vasubandhu (Patna 1967: First edition, 1975: Second edition), which is mentioned by the author in the note on his translation in chapter 14, p.348; Y. Kajiyama, ed., An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy - an annotated translation of the Tarkabhāṣā of Mokṣākaragupta (Memoirs of the Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University, no.10, 1966, pp.1-173); L. de La Vallée Poussin, ed., Mūlamadhyamakakārikās de Nāgārjuna avec la Prasannapadā (St. Pétersbourg 1903–1913); V. Trenckner, ed., The Milindapañho: being dialogues between the King Milinda and the Buddhist sage Nāgasena (London 1880); S. Lévi, ed., Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra, exposé de la doctrine du grand véhicule (Paris 1907; repr. Kyoto 1983); B. Nanjo, ed., The Laṅkāvatārasūtra (Kyoto: The Otani University Press 1923). The reviewer would like to add the following two publications: K. Mimaki, M. Tachikawa and A. Yuyama, eds., Three Works of Vasubandhu in Sanskrit Manuscript, the Trisvabhāvanirdeśa, the Viṃśatikā with its Vṛtti, and the Triṃśikā with Sthiramati's Commentary (The Centre for East Abhidharmakośa of Vasubandhu, Chapter IX Asian Cultural Studies 1989); Jong Cheol Lee, ed., Ātmavādapratiṣedha (the Sankibo Press, Tokyo 2005). 32 As for the lineage of Vasubandhu, Dignāṅa and Dharmakīrti, Kapstein describes Dignāga as a direct disciple of Vasubandhu (p.XVIII). Although some Tibetan sources in fact record that Dignāga directly learned from Vasubandhu, the relationship of teacher and pupil between the two is doubtful. See M. Hattori, Dignāga, On Perception (Harvard University Press 1968), p.2f. In the chronology, the name of Bhāviveka should have been mentioned as the first Mādhyamika to have synthesized Nāgārjuna's dialectical approach with Dignāgean logical measure.


identity or the self (ātman). The author's stress is laid on the existence of sustained and systematic "problems and arguments" approach in Indian religious treatises, which can equal those in Western philosophical treatises. Kapstein attempts to clarify the following question he himself sets forth: "Is evidence to be found in classical Indian sources, as understood through the contemporary disciplines of textual-historical research, of sustained and systematic interest in problems closely resembling the modern Western philosophical problem of personal identity through time? Are the doctrines and arguments elaborated in such contexts apparently intelligible and coherent?" (p.35). Having shown that the problem of the self was the object of sustained philosophical interest in India, the author introduces the variety of arguments for and against the substantial existence of the self (ātman) according to their historical order from the Upaniṣads to Śāntarakṣita's Tattvasaṃgraha. In the third chapter (Missing Persons: The Inapprehensible "I", pp.77-111), the author focuses readers' attention on the use of the verb upa√labh ("to find" or "to apprehend") in early sources such as the nun Vajrā's famous verse in Saṃyuttanikāya V. 10,33 some passages from the Chāndogya- and Kaṭha-Upaniṣads (p.79ff.), the Kathāvatthu (pp.81-88) and the Milindapañha (p.88); whether it is apprehended or not is an original and crucial argument to determine the existence of the self. For the Buddhists, the non-apprehension of the persistent self continuously serves as a solid argument and, according to the author, it comes to develop into "two separate arguments, one epistemological and the other ontological" (p.92). The author ascribes the "epistemological version" to Vasubandhu and the "ontological" to the lineage of Madhyamaka philosophers. This classification of arguments into "epistemological" and "ontological" is possibly a good instrument for ensuring the presence of the Buddhist philosophical approach to the problem of the self. Yet the reviewer is confused by the author's treatment of Vasubandhu's position. The author says that the "epistemological" argument is given clear formulation in the introductory segment of the ninth chapter of Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośabhāṣya: The self is known neither by "immediate acquaintance" (i.e., direct perception, pratyakṣa) nor by inference (anumāna)34 (cited in p.93). The author elucidates the structure of this argument, contrasting it effectively with Uddyotakara's objection (pp.93-96). This brief argument is, however,

The Saṃyutta-nikāya of the Sutta-piṭaka, Part I, Sagātha-vagga (M.l. Feer ed., Pali Text Society, Oxford 1991) p.135. 34 Pradhan, ed., Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam of Vasubandhu (Patna 1975: Second edition): 461, 3-13; cf. Kapstein's translation depending primarily on Śāstrī's edition (Abhidharmakośam, vol.4, Varanasi 1973) in p.350.

followed by the main discussion, where Vasubandhu at length refutes the Vātsīputrīya's view that there exists an ineffable person (pudgala) that is neither identical with nor different from five aggregates (skandha). Vasubandhu's chief argument against the Vātsīputrīya can be summarized as follows: such an ineffable person cannot exist, because, if the person substantially existed, it follows that the person would be unconditioned, for it must have a different nature from that of the aggregates and therefore be distinct from them; hence, one must say that the person is conceptually constructed (prajñapti). 35 Vasubandhu further illustrates this argument by examining the relationship between fire and fuel, which is the example the Vātsīputrīya originally appeals to.36 It is curious that the author does not speak of this controversy between the Vātsīputrīya and Vasubandhu, while presenting it in his translation (Vasubandhu and the Nyāya Philosophers on Personal Identity, pp.347-391), for the fact is, as will be seen below, that Vasubandhu is arguing here in a way basically similar to another argument against the substantial self which the author describes as "ontological." In contrast, the author deals in detail with the controversy between Vasubandhu and the Nyāya thinkers in the fourth chapter (Synthetic Selves, pp.120-129), which forms another intense discussion in the ninth chapter of the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya. The aforementioned refutation of the pudgalavāda appearing in the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya is not peculiar to Vasubandhu but also generally adopted in the Yogācāra tradition with slight modifications.37 The Mādhyamika Nāgārjuna likewise investigates in the tenth chapter (agnīndhanaparīkṣā) of his Mūlamadhyamakakārikā the relationship between appropriator (upādātṛ), viz., the self, and that which is appropriated (upādāna), viz., the aggregates, by applying the example of fire and fuel. Nāgārjuna concludes that it is absurd to assume the self identical with or separate from, or dependent on things (viz., the aggregates).38 He


Ibid., 461, 14-19; Kapstein's translation in p.351. 36 Ibid., 461, 24-463,9; Kapstein's translation in p.351ff. 37 It is known that the similar refutation of the pudgalavāda occurs in the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra (S. Lévi, ed., op. cit., Tome I, repr. Kyoto 1983, chapter 18, vv.92-103) and the Yogātsāryabhūmi of the Yogācārabhūmi (Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya, ed., The Yogācārabhūmi of ācārya Asaṅga, Part 1, University of Calcutta 1957, 132f.). The reviewer owes this information to S. Kishi, "Pudgala to shoun no kankei wo meguru giron he no ichi kōsatsu – MSABh Ch. 18 k.93 wo chūshin to shite" (A consideration of the discussion regarding the relation between the person and the aggregates – focusing on MSABh Ch.18 k.93), Journal of Religious Studies and Comparative Thought (Shūkyō gaku hikaku shisō gaku ronshū) 11 (Tsukuba University, 2009) pp.97-110. 38 Nāgārjuna, Mūlamadhyamakakārikāḥ (J.W. de Jong, ed., Madras, Adyar Library and Research Center, 1977) 10.16: ātmānaś ca satattvaṃ ye bhāvānāṃ ca pṛthak pṛthak | nirdiśanti na tān


sums up the same idea in the first verse of the eighteenth chapter.39 In short, this way of refuting the self was shared by most influential Buddhist schools by the time of Vasubandhu. In Kapstein's view, this widely used way of refuting the self evolves into the "ontological version" of the argument. He cites the aforementioned Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 18.1 as such, making the following comment: "(Nāgārjuna) decided simply to provide the most generally accepted argument from the Buddhist perspective in the first verse" (p.100); "it was one more variation on precisely the same argument we have already seen in the Kathāvatthu and in Nāgasena's dialogue with the Greek king Menander" (p.99). Kapstein's focus then shifts to "the sevenfold revolution of the chariot" developed by Candrakīrti, which is no doubt "an obvious successor to Nāgasena's deconstruction of King Menander's carriage" (p.100) as well as Vajrā's example of chariot in the Saṃyuttanikāya. The author is thus fully aware of the fact that this sevenfold investigation of the self with the chariot-example is akin to "the ancient argument concerning the incoherence of the relationship between fire and fuel" (p.101). From this observation, it is more than clear that Vasubandhu as well demonstrates his theory of the non-self by the same "ancient argument" in the body of the ninth chapter of his Abhidharmakoṣabhāṣya, as we have seen above. Thus considered, the author's strategy to except Vasubandhu from the lineage of the "ontological version" of the argument is hardly understandable. The author reiterates his initial approach fairly near the end of the third chapter as follows (p.100f.): Earlier, I suggested that a single argument against the substantial reality of the self evolved into two distinct arguments, one epistemological and the other ontological, and that the original argument was one that concerned "finding" the self. The point of the epistemological version of the argument, as developed by Vasubandhu, was that the self is not apprehended by any valid epistemic operation, and so its existence is to be strongly doubted. By contrast, what I am calling the ontological version of the argument, as developed by Candrakīrti on

manye śāsanasyārthakovidān | |. "They are not considered by us to be wise instructors in the teachings [of the Buddha] who describe the self and the things [i.e., the aggregates] as identical with or distinct from each other." The commentator *Piṅgalākṣa (qīng ) indicates that it entails the criticism of the Vātsīputrīya who assumes the self neither identical with nor different from the aggregates. Cf. also M. Siderits & S. Katsura, tr., "Mūlamadhyamakakārikā I-X," Journal of Indian and Tibetan Studies (Indogaku chibettogaku kenkyu, Association for the Study of Indian Philosophy, Kyoto, No.9/10, 2005/2006), p.184. 39 Nāgārjuna, op.cit., 18.1 (cited and translated by the author in p.100): ātmā skandhā yadi bhaved udayavyayabhāg bhavet | skandhebhyo 'nyo yadi bhaved bhaved askandhalakṣaṇaḥ ||.

the basis of Nāgārjuna's work, moves from the presumed being of a persisting substantial self, to the absolute impossibility of such an entity's entering into any sort of coherent relationship with the world of our actual experience. If one takes account of the question as to why Vasubandhu opens his discussion with the epistemological statement that the self is known neither by direct perception (pratyakṣa) nor by inference (anumāna), i.e., two kinds of valid means of cognitions (pramāṇa), one may well note the increasing importance of the use of pramāṇas as a tool for verifying one's theory at that time.40 Yet Vasubandhu's real intention underlying this statement requires further elucidation.


c) The whole and its parts

In the following, the present reviewer would like to advise a reconsideration of the author's interpretation of the chariot-example and Vasubandhu's Viṃśatikā 11 and its vṛtti presented in the seventh chapter entitled Mereological Considerations in Vasubandhu's 'Proof of Idealism (pp.181-204). This chapter is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the popular but difficult portion of the Viṃśatikā, where Vasubandhu affirms the theory of cognition-only (vijñaptimātra) or idealism, having eliminated the hypothesized existence of atoms. In Kapstein's discussion, however, Vasubandhu's original picture seems to be attached insecurely to the Western frame the author sets forth under the concept "mereological." What the author means by this concept is apparent in his following inquiry: "how are we

Around the fourth century, Yogācāra treatises in particular frequently mention the three means of establishing an object, i.e., pratyakṣa, anumāna and āptāgama, which are subsumed under right reasoning (yukti) or identified as valid means of cognition (pramāṇa). Cf., e.g., Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra (É. Lamotte, ed., L'explication des mystères, Louvain 1935: 157, 19ff.), Śrāvakabhūmi (K. Shukla, ed., Śrāvakabhūmi of Ācārya Asaṅga, Patna 1973: 142, 14; 369, 15), Bodhisattvabhūmi (U. Wogihara, ed., A Statement of Whole Course of the Bodhisattva, Tokyo 1930-36: 37, 25f.), and Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkārabhāṣya (op. cit.: 168, 9f.). The Hetuvidyā of the Yogācārabhūmi and the Abhidharmasamuccayabhāṣya enumerate these three among a means of proof (sādhana) (H. Yaita, ed., Bukkyo chisikiron no genten kenkyū [Three Sanskrit Texts from the Buddhist Pramāṇa-Tradition – The Hetuvidyā Section in the Yogācārabhūmi, the Dharmottaraṭippanaka, and the Tarkarahasya -] Naritasan Shinshoji 2005: 4*, 15f.; N. Tatia, ed., Abhidharmasamuccayabhāṣyam, Patna 1976, 99, 12f.). The Vyākhyāyukti ascribed to Vasubandhu (D4061, P5562) as well says that pramāṇa is of these three kinds (III, D87b3): mdor na rigs pa ni 'dir tshad ma rnam pa gsum po mngon sum dang rjes su dpag pa dang yid ches pa'i gsung ngo ||. Vasubandhu appeals to the three pramāṇas in the second chapter of his Abhidharmakośabhāṣya too (Pradhan, ed., 76, 23ff.): na hy ete jātyādayo dharmā dravyataḥ saṃvidyante yathā 'bhivyajyante | kiṃ kāraṇam | pramāṇābhāvāt | na hy eṣāṃ dravyato 'statve kiṃcid api pramāṇam asti pratyakṣam anumānam āptāgamo vā yathā rūpādīnāṃ dharmāṇām iti |.

to understand the mereological structure of matter? What is the relation of the whole to its parts?" (p.182). First, the author quotes the dialog between Nāgasena and the King Menander on the example of chariot. He reduces the problem they are talking about to the question as to "what is the relation of the whole to its parts," which rightly receives the answer that "wholes are not entities that exist in addition to their parts; they are merely logical constructions" (p.181f.). After conducting a detailed logical analysis of the relation between the whole and its parts using the chariot-example (p.183ff.), the author then moves to the proof of idealism in Viṃśatikā 11-15 (pp.185-197), for which, according to the author, Vasubandhu adopts the same argument as Nāgasena in its more developed form in order to examine and refute possible alternative ideas to idealism (p.186). Kapstein's last focus is on Vasubandhu's criticism of atomism, which is comparable with that of Aristotle (pp.188-197). The author reinforces his preceding discussion with the translation of the text of Viṃśatikā 11-15 endowed with its vṛtti (pp.197-200). The reviewer's question is as follows: Are Nāgasena and Vasubandhu really arguing about what is the relation of the whole to its parts, as the author sums up? It is not entirely wrong to interpret their accounts in this way and expose the "mereological principles" implied there, but it results in missing some important points of their discussions. As for the chariot-example, the relation between a chariot and its pole, wheels, and so on is reducible to that between the whole and its parts. Nāgasena's conclusion is, however, that what the term "chariot" refers to is not a substantial existent, for it is mere designation which occurs in dependence on the pole and so on, as Kapstein correctly renders (p.181f.). In other words, according to the context of the Milindapañha, Nāgasena and the King Menander are not talking about the relation of the whole to its part, but rather they are discussing the relation of the designation "chariot" to its reference, which is presumed either as one material, many materials, or one material whole, i.e., what the term "chariot" refers to, one of its part, many (or all) parts, or the whole of the collected parts. Nāgasena thereby teaches the King that the "person" (pudgala) is a mere designation because it refers neither to one member nor to all members of the body, nor to the whole of the members or the five aggregates. Moreover, one should note that the person is, to the reviewer's knowledge, not assumed as a whole in relation to aggregates (skandha) in ancient Buddhist literature. It is rather regarded as the subject of appropriating or possessing the aggregates, as the reviewer has noted above. The King Menander describes it as the subject of various actions and deeds.41 Even if assuming that such Cf. V. Trenckner, ed., op. cit., p.25, 18-25: Sace bhante Nāgasena puggalo nupalabbhati, ko

a subject possesses the five aggregates as its parts, the possessor cannot necessarily be a whole. It is the later Mādhyamika master Candrakīrti to have explicitly applied to the chariot-example the concept "whole" (avayavin) in relation to its parts.42 His conclusion is that the whole and the parts are mere designations established in mutual dependence (parasparāpekṣā).43 Although this does not entail that the designations "chariot" and "pole," "wheels", etc., are established in mutual dependence,44 Candrakīrti's usage of the chariot-example is not deviating from its traditional usage, for what he thereby confirms is that the designation or concept "person" has no real object to refer to and therefore is mere designation, as the designation "chariot" has no real object to refer to and therefore is mere designation. In the same manner, the whole or the relation of the whole to its parts is not the subject of discussion in Viṃśatikā 11. The initial inquiry Vasubandhu addresses is how one can know the non-existence of the domains (āyatana) of visible matter (rūpa), etc., which would come to be the object of cognition (vijñapti). 45 Vasubandhu's answer in the verse runs as follows: "The [domain of visual matter] is (i) neither the object [in the form of] one (eka), (ii) nor [the object in the form of] many (aneka) [consisting of] each atom, (iii) nor [the object in the form of] aggregated [[[atoms]]], for the atom is not established."46 Since the domains come to be

carahi tumhākaṃ cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilānapaccayabhesajja-parikkhāraṃ deti, ko taṃ paribhuñjati, ko sīlaṃ rakkhati, ko bhāvanam anuyuñjati, ko magga-phala-nibbānāni sacchikaroti, ko pāṇaṃ hanati, ko adinnaṃ ādiyati, ko kāmesu micchā carati, ko musā bhaṇati, ko majjaṃ pivati, ko pañcānantariyakammaṃ karoti. 42 Madhyamakāvatārabhāṣya, chapter 6 (L. de La Vallée Poussin, ed., Bibliotheca Buddhica IX, 1907-1912) , 278, 5-9 (ad v.159): de la shing rta ni 'phang lo la sogs pa rang gi yan lag la bltos nas yan lag can (*aṅgin) nyid du 'gyur ro || 'phang lo la sogs pa cha shas la bltos nas ni cha shas can (*avayavin) nyid do || 'phang lo la sogs pa nye bar blang ba nye bar len pa'i bya ba la bltos nas ni byed pa po (*kartṛ) nyid do || rang gi nye bar len pa la bltos nas ni nye bar len pa po (*upādātṛ) nyid do ||. 43 Ibid., 289, 16-290, 3 (ad v.168): de la yan lag rgyr byas nas yan lag can du 'dogs la yan lag can la bltos nas yan lag 'dogs pas shing rta'i dpe dang mtshungs te | ... | yan lag la sogs pa rnams phan tshun bltos pa'i grub pa yin la 'ba' zhig tu ma zad kyi | rgyu dang 'bras bu gnyis kyang phan tshun bltos pa yin no zhes bshad pa |. 44 Namely, one cannot say that the person and the aggregates are established in mutual dependence. 45 Viṃśatikā (S. Lévi, ed., Vijñāptimātratāsiddhi, Paris 1925: (6) 22 infra; S. Anacker, ed., Seven Works of Vasubandhu, Delhi 1984: 416, 22 infra): kathaṃ punar idaṃ pratyetavyam anenābhiprāyeṇa bhagavatā rūpādyāyatanāstitvam uktaṃ na punaḥ santy eva tāni yāni rūpādivijñaptīnāṃ pratyekaṃ viṣayībhavantīti. Kapstein's translation of the sentence na ... viṣāyībhavanti as "and that no object of any particular perception of form, etc., does, in fact, exist" (p.197) is not entirely correct. This should literally say: "and yet that those which [would] come to be the respective object of the cognitions of visual matter, etc., do not exist at all." 46Viṃśatikā (loc. cit.): na tad ekaṃ na cānekaṃ viṣayaḥ paramāṇuśaḥ | na ca te saṃhatā yasmāt paramāṇur na sidhyati ||. The author renders it as follows, lacking the subject tad (p.197): "The

the object of cognition in none of these three possible alternative forms, they are defined as non-existent in reality. Vasubandhu is examining, namely, what can be the object of cognition, one single material or many atoms, or their aggregate. According to the vṛtti, the first view is ascribed to the Vaiśeṣika, who conceives of the existence of one single whole (avayavin) apart from its constituents (avayava) and identifies it as the object of cognition. The second view conforms to that of the Vaibhāṣika and the third view as well is, according to Vasubandhu himself, of the Vaibhāṣika, but it is also the tenet of the Sautrāntika.47 Among these three views, the first view alone handles the concept of the whole. In the second and the third views, on the contrary, any relation of the whole to atoms is suggested nowhere. Nevertheless, the author renders these three alternatives into the following three theses (p.186) and describes each in detail (p.187f.: (i) The "part-possessing form", (ii) The whole as mere sum, (iii) Wholes as unified collections of atoms): (i) the whole is a simple "part-possessing form" (avayavirūpa) (ii) it is a mere sum of atomic parts; and (iii) it is a unified collection of atomic parts. It is hardly understandable why the author thus replaces the epistemological question as to what is the object of cognition by the question of the whole and its parts. In Indian philosophical tradition, in fact, such an analysis of the relation of the whole to its parts has been conducted in response to the epistemological question as to what is the object of cognition. The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika maintains that a single whole is the object of direct perception, whereas the Buddhist Sautrāntika admits only atomic parts as the object of perception. Vasubandhu clearly articulates the Yogācāra position in his Viṃśatikā, as has been seen above, that neither the whole nor atoms is the object of cognition.48

object is not simple, nor is it atomically complex, neither is it an aggregation; For the atom cannot be proven." Cf. its vṛtti (loc. cit.): yad tad rūpādikam āyatanaṃ rūpādivijñaptīnāṃ pratyekaṃ viṣayaḥ syāt tad ekaṃ vā syād yathāvayavirūpaṃ kalpyate vaiśeṣikaiḥ | anekaṃ vā paramāṇuśaḥ | saṃhatā vā ta eva paramāṇavaḥ |. 47 Cf. ibid. (Lévi: (7) 10; Anacker: 417, 10f.): saṃhatās tu parasparaṃ saṃyujyanta iti kāśmīravaibhāṣikās ta idaṃ praṣṭavyāḥ |. Modern scholars ascribe the second view to the Vaibhāṣika's and the third view to the Sautrāntika (Y. Kajiyama, "Yuishiki nijū ron" [[[Viṃśatikā]]], Daijō butten 15 Seshin ronshū [[[Mahāyāna]] treatises 15 Vasubandhu], Tokyo 1976: 361 n.16; K. Mimaki, "Kyōryō-bu" [The Sautrāntika], Iwanami kōza tōyō shisō 8. Indo bukkyō 1, Tokyo 1988: 238ff.). 48 T. Funayama has closely discussed the historical development of this problem in his article, "Bubun to zentai" (The whole and its parts), Tōhō gakuhō 62 (1990), pp.607-635.


In concluding the present review, the reviewer should appreciate Kapstein's great contribution, which has evoked stimulating discussions among scholars and given the opportunity to reconsider what it is that we, both the West and the East, call philosophy. We expect that the discussion is continuing and bringing abundant fruit to the field of Buddhist studies as well as Western and Eastern philosophy.





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