chapter  6
Three ways of looking at the un-arisen in French deconstruction: Derrida's conception of the Same
Pages 30

In the previous chapters I have been concerned with identifying a critical matrix in the Buddhist texts. My main argument is that we can read the 18-point and 3-step passages in the Dazhidu Lun as part of a theoretical formulation that makes the question of the sign thematic in the doctrine of emptiness. I find that this critical matrix not only explains the semiological concerns in Kumarajiva’s translations of Nagarjuna but also offers us a model for the study of Paramartha’s representation of Asanga and Xuanzang’s account of Dharmapala. This continuity among the three great translators indicates that, with respect to the question of the sign, there does not exist a rigid boundary between Madhyamika and Vijnanavada. However, in articulating the notion of the Same, Paramartha does not simply repeat Kumarajiva. The notion of the Same as encoun­ tered in the Madhyamaka system is developed through a critique of naive realism and Hlnayana analytic onto-epistemology. The notion of the Same as encountered in Paramartha’s texts is developed through a linguistic critique of the binary opposition of the name and the named. Xuanzang endorses Paramartha’s dialectic of con­ struction and de-construction, but he follows Dharmapala’s logical approach and brings out a notion of the Same as a repeatable mark that breaks free from its material embodiments.