chapter  VIII
19 Pages

The Mādhyamika Conception of Philosophy as Prajñā-Pāramitā

I CRITICISM OR DIALECTIC ITSELF IS PHILOSOPHY I T is usual to ask of a system of philosophy to give us its views about ultimate existences-God, soul and matter. Systems are labelled Monism, Dualism, Idealism, Realism, etc., according to the nature of the answers given. The Madhyamika philosophy is

no system in this sense. Nowhere is there any attempt to raise such problems on its own initiative. The Dialectic is not a body of doctrines, but their criticism. Philosophy, for the Madhyamika, is not an explanation of things through conceptual patterns. That is the way of dogmatic speculation ( d:r!?ti); but this does not give us the truth. The Dialectic is intended as an effective antidote for this dogmatic procedure of reason; it is the criticism of theories (siinyata sarva-d:r~tinam). The Dialectic itself is philosophy.