Derridean and Madhyamika Buddhist theories of deconstruction

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Book chapter

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Buddhisms and deconstructions

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


In Derrida-Mādhyamika studies, there are still many other important parallels awaiting our discovery and exploration. Here, I propose to consider the relationship between linguistic deconstruction and onto-theological criticism in these two (anti)philosophical traditions. In the course of my inquiry, I will identify four important parallels in the Derridean and Mādhyamika theories. First, both Derrida and Mādhyamika thinkers develop deconstructive theories of meaning based on the similar ideas of difference and differentiam, and seek to nullify the logos and the Name of Non-Existence reified by Western idealists and Buddhist essentialists. Second, they both apply the same theories of meaning to deconstruct Matter and Existence reified by Western materialists and Buddhist realists, respectively. Third, they both conceive of their double negation as an exercise of neither/nor logic and set forth their deconstructive formulas in similar terms of “tetrapharmakon” and “tetralemma” (catuskoti). Forth, they both abolish their own tetrapharmakon and tetralemma and embark on their self-deconstructive course along an aimless “supernumerary” and along a linear “octolemma.” While I discuss these four parallels. I shall also pinpoint the fundamental differences between the Derridean and the Mādhyamika theories and consider how these two deconstructive traditions lead to the “end” of philosophy in their own fashions.

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Copyright © 2006 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9780742534186



Recommended Citation

Cai, Z.-q. (2006). Derridean and Madhyamika Buddhist theories of deconstruction. In J. Y. Park (Ed.), Buddhisms and deconstructions (pp. 47-62). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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