A Tale of Two Empties: the philosophy of emptiness in Buddhism and Daoism

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A Tale of Two Empties: the philosophy of emptiness in Buddhism and Daoism

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: A Tale of Two Empties: the philosophy of emptiness in Buddhism and Daoism
Author: Eenink, Bram
Issue Date: 2018-08-30
Keywords: Daoism
Buddhism
Emptiness
Abstract: A comparative analysis between the concept of emptiness in the Buddhist and Daoist tradition. A general introduction of the Buddhist tradition was given, followed by a specific discussion of the Madhyamaka school and its concept of śūnyatā. Śūnyatā designates the absence of an intrinsic essence to any aspect of existence and can thus be considered a form of philosophical emptiness. This was followed by an analysis of the Daoist tradition, which deals with emptiness in multiple forms: its central concept of ‘way-making’, the notion of spatiality, and the ethically relevant wu-forms. Finally, a comparison between Daoist and Buddhist forms of emptiness was offered. Both philosophies consider the meaning of emptiness to involve the ambiguity of linguistic definition, the utility of spatial or causal receptivity, and the ethics of selflessness. In the conclusion, emptiness was offered up as a philosophical through-line that can unite disparate schools of thought and provide the foundation for a more global philosophy.
Supervisor: Harris, Stephen
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Wijsbegeerte (Bachelor)
Specialisation: Filosofie van mens, techniek en cultuur
ECTS Credits: 10
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/64711
 

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