The Madhyamaka Concept of Svabhāva: Ontological and Cognitive Aspects

  title={The Madhyamaka Concept of Svabhāva: Ontological and Cognitive Aspects},
  author={Jan Westerhoff},
  journal={Asian Philosophy},
  pages={17 - 45}
This paper considers the philosophical interpretation of the concept of svabhāva, sometimes translated as ‘inherent existence’ or ‘own-being’, in the Madyamaka school of Buddhist philosophy. It is argued that svabhāva must be understood as having two different conceptual dimensions, an ontological and a cognitive one. The ontological dimension of svabhāva shows it to play a particular part in theories investigating the most fundamental constituents of the world. Three different understandings… 
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