JOINTLY SUPERVISED BY: Dr Luca Castagnoli and Dr Jan Westerhoff
There has been a recent explosion of interest in two fields: Madhyamaka-Pyrrhonism parallels and Pyrrhonism itself, which seems to have been misunderstood and therefore neglected by the West for the same reasons and in the same ways that Madhyamaka traditionally has been by the West and the East. Among these recent studies are several demonstrating that grounding in Madhyamaka, for example, reveals and illuminates the import and insights of Pyrrhonean arguments.
1. What arguments are used in the pricipal treatises of Madhyamaka and what are the ways in which they have been interpreted within the Indo-Tibetan tradition and more recently in ‘western’ academia?
2. What arguments in Sextus Empiricus’ Outlines of Pyrrhonism and Against Dogmatists (i.e. Against Logicians, Against Ethicists and Against Physicists) are to be found in (a) the Madhyamaka treatises, (b) the Prajnaparamita sutras, and (c) the Buddhist Pramana treatises?
3. What conclusions can be drawn from the doctrinal, linguistic and (Greek-language and Indo-Tibetan) historical evidence for interactions between the Pyrrhonean school and the Madhyamaka (and other Buddhist) schools?