Home > Uncategorized > Eric S. Nelson – Emptiness, Negation, and Skepticism in the Mādhyamaka of Nāgārjuna and Sengzhao

Eric S. Nelson – Emptiness, Negation, and Skepticism in the Mādhyamaka of Nāgārjuna and Sengzhao

December 15, 2022 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Department of Philosophy at Concordia University is pleased to present Eric S. Nelson on Friday, January 13, 2023, as part of our Speaker Series.

Speaker: Eric S. Nelson is Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Science and Professor of Philosophy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He works on Chinese, German, and Jewish philosophy. He is the author of Daoism and Environmental Philosophy (2020), Levinas, Adorno, and the Ethics of the Material Other (2020), and Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought (2017). He has published over seventy-five articles and book chapters and is the editor of Interpreting Dilthey: Critical Essays (2019).

Time: Friday, January 13, 2023, 3 to 5 p.m.

Title: Emptiness, Negation, and Skepticism in the Mādhyamaka of Nāgārjuna and Sengzhao

Location: Webster Library LB-362

Abstract: This lecture examines the practice-oriented background and philosophical significance of emptiness, negation, and skepticism in the Mādhyamaka Buddhism of Nāgārjuna and Sengzhao. It reconstructs several strands in the transition from Indian to early Chinese Mādhyamaka discourses, illustrating the centrality of diagnostic and therapeutic practices of linguistic and experiential emptying, non-implicative negation, and the “skeptical” suspension of assertion.



Emptiness and negation achieved prominence in early Mādhyamaka as ways of overcoming by pausing ontological and meontological propositions and perspectives. Eric S. Nelson will examine how negation, non-assertion, and withholding assent have distinctive functions in these two forms of Mādhyamaka in contrast with paradigmatic varieties of skepticism and the uses of nothingness in Daoist meontology and earlier Chinese appropriations of Buddhism.



The lecture is free and open to all. We look forward to seeing you there!

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