Thursday, February 09, 2006

Placeholder: Plato and Nāgārjuna

A couple of thoughts about Nāgārjuna and Plato. Plato believes that there are no causal powers in the merely apparent realm of things. Insofar as Plato's world of things corresponds to Nāgārjuna's conventional reality, this agrees with Nāgārjuna when he says that no powers of causation can be found in conventional reality, only correlation of phenomena. They would also agree that in conventional reality things have no inherent existence. There would be no argument that Essences cannot themselves be subject to causation because they are immutable and that only Essences can provide a generative cause of phenomena. Nor would they disagree that Being can only be ascribed to Essence.

Where they depart, and it is a fundamental departure, is that Nāgārjuna completely denies Plato's Essences and hence the possibility of generative causality and the question of Being/Non-Being. The basis of this denial will come later.

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