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Speaking for BuddhasScriptural Commentary in Indian Buddhism$
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Richard Nance

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152303

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152303.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

Models of Argument

Models of Argument

Epistemology and Interpretation

(p.81) Three Models of Argument
Speaking for Buddhas

Richard F. Nance

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the accounts of two influential Buddhist thinkers of the late eighth century: Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla. Both of these thinkers theorized that the conceptual tools provided by Buddhist epistemological discourse can help in answering interpretive questions, such as what, and how, an individual can know from words. The chapter looks at Śāntarakṣita's and Kamalaśīla's understanding of Buddhist epistemological theory and how they used it to inform the work of textual interpretation, the implications of this relationship epistemology and interpretive practice, and the impact of this narrative on the normative assumptions that historically shaped commentarial practice among Indian Buddhists. The chapter concludes that the capacity to understand another's words is not simply a matter of inferential acumen; it is informed by other resources—philosophical, practical, dialogical, meditative, and hermeneutic.

Keywords:   Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, Buddhist epistemology, textual interpretation, Indian Buddhists

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