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The Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika's dependent arising and a critique of essentialist causal theories


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Sangmo, T 2008 , 'The Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika's dependent arising and a critique of essentialist causal theories', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika philosophers claim that any causal theory that is bound up in the notion of essence (svabhāva / rang bzhin) cannot offer us any plausible causal explanation of how things come to be what they were in the past, what they are now and what they will become in the future. This is because any notion of essence, they assert, fundamentally contradicts the interdependent nature of the causal process. As an alternative the Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika proposes the doctrine of pratītyasamudpadā ("dependent co-arising") as its central causal theory. The doctrine of dependent co-arising enables the Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika to reject a causal metaphysics of essence (svabhava) and adopt the view based on the inherent emptiness (sūnyatā) of the essence of causality.
The objective of my dissertation is, therefore, to investigate how the Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika [non-essentialist] philosophy applies its twin concepts: emptiness (sūnyatā) and dependent arising (pratītyasamudpadā ) in the case of causality. To do this, first I demonstrate the incompatible nature of causality and essence (svabhāva) from the Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamika's point of view, demonstrate the grounds for rejecting the notion of essence by means of providing a detailed critique of the four traditional Indian essentialist causal theories. I, then offer a detailed discussion of the Prāsaṅgika's arguments in support of the doctrine of dependent arising as a plausible account of a causal explanation, and I achieve this by way of identifying emptiness with dependent arising

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Sangmo, T
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Copyright 2008 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

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Thesis (MA)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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