[Buddha-l] new translation Naagaarjuna

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Sat Dec 17 13:29:03 MST 2005

Richard P. Hayes schreef:

>On Sat, 2005-12-17 at 16:06 +0100, Erik Hoogcarspel wrote:
>> the English version of my translation of the Mulamadyamakakaarikaah has 
>>been recently made available on www.eloquenceweb.com, ISBN: 9077787054. 
>Congratulations. This new English translation is from the Dutch, you
>say. Was the Dutch translation made from Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese,
>Mongolian or all of the above? 
It's a translation from Sanskrit with a sideglance at the Chinese 
version of Kumarajiva

>>New is that I try to see Naagaarjuna as a philosopher.
>In what way is this new? The first scholar to bring Nagarjuna in a major
>way to the attention of the West was Shcherbatskoi, who presented the
>thought in a neo-Kantian framework. Murti followed suit with comparisons
>of Nagarjuna to Hegel and Kant. Fred Streng compared Nagarjuna with
>Wittgenstein. Magliola compares Nagarjuna with Derrida. Mervyn Sprung
>produced a superb translation of parts of the MMK and Candrakirti's
>commentary in which his explicit agenda was to produce a philosophical
>rendering. Kalupahana translates Nagarjuna as a Logical Positivist. I
>dealt with him as being akin to a Pyrrhonian Skeptic. Mark Siderits has
>an extensive philosophical treatment of great subtlety and complexity.
>Indeed, of all the many translations of Nagarjuna, perhaps the only one
>NOT to see Nagarjuna as a philosopher is Stephen Batchelor, who sees
>Nagarjuna more as a poet. Batchelor's prose summary of Nagarjuna is the
>very best I have ever read; his translation is the very worst I can
All true, but I've tried not to reduce N to any of the above. N had a 
beef with the sarvaastivaadins of his time in the first place, but I 
think the line of many his arguments can be compared with similar 
arguments used by Western philosophers. I show that some of his 
arguments are also found with Sextus Empiricus, but there's always a 
difference of context. I think also that the book itself can be divided 
into 2 parts, a former and a later one and that two chapters are 
inserted later on. Of what I hear my translation and commentary is a bit 
more clear and down to the earth than others, sometimes I've choosen 
clearity over literacy.



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