19 December 2007
Fantastic book for those studying Nagarjuna, as well as for comparative philosophical endeavors in general
Comparative Philosophy and the Philosophy of Scholarship: On the Western Interpretation of Nāgārjuna
Andrew P. Tuck
Oxford University Press, 1990
This slim volume comprises an overview of the ways in which Nagarjuna's main text, the Mulamadhyamakakarika, has been interpreted by Western philosophers. Tuck covers the major phases of interpretation, from the earliest period in the 19th century, when Nagarjuna was primarily understood as a mystical Idealist, to the more contemporary reading of Prof. Robert Thurman, who sees Nagarjuna as providing a Wittgensteinian remedy to the linguistic malady we call philosophy.
This book, surprisingly accessible given that its topic is so esoteric and specialized, not only provides a historical overview of how Nagarjua has been understood by his Western readers, but also more generally attempts to provide a theoretical approach to the heremeneutics of comparative philosophy. An excellent and essential read for any students of comparative philosophy and religion.
(This review was originally written on July 25, 2006.)