A variety of crucial and still most relevant ideas about nothingness or emptiness have gained profound philosophical prominence in the history and development of a number of South and East Asian traditions—including in Buddhism, Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, Hinduism, Korean philosophy, and the Japanese Kyoto School. These traditions share the insight that in order to explain both the great mysteries and mundane facts about our experience, ideas of "nothingness" must play a primary role.
This collection of essays brings together the work of twenty of the world’s prominent scholars of Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, Neo-Confucian, Japanese and Korean thought to illuminate fascinating philosophical conceptualizations of "nothingness" in both classical and modern Asian traditions. The unique collection offers new work from accomplished scholars and provides a coherent, panoramic view of the most significant ways that "nothingness" plays crucial roles in Asian philosophy. It includes both traditional and contemporary formulations, sometimes putting Asian traditions into dialogue with one another and sometimes with classical and modern Western thought. The result is a book of immense value for students and researchers in Asian and comparative philosophy.
PART I Emptiness in Brāhminical and Early Buddhist Traditions Chapter 1 The Unavoidable Void: Non-Existence, Absence, and Emptiness Arindam Chakrabarti Chapter 2Semantics of Nothingess: Bhartrhari’s Philosophy of Negation Sthaneshwar Timalsina Chapter 3 Madhyamaka, Nihilism and the Emptiness of Emptiness Jay L. Garfield Chapter 4 In Search of the Semantics of Emptiness Koji Tanaka Chapter 5 Madhyamaka Emptiness and Buddhist Ethics Mark Siderits Chapter 6Emptiness and Violence: An Unexpected Encounter of Nāgārjuna with Derrida and Levinas Chen-kuo Lin Chapter 7 Speaking of the Ineffable Graham Priest Chapter 8 Emptiness as Subject-Object Unity: Sengzhao on the Way Things Truly Are Chien-hsing Ho Chapter 9 On Nothing in Particular: Delimiting Not-Being for Knowing’s Sake Rajam Raghunathan Chapter 10 The Cognition of Nonexistent Objects: Five Yogācāra Arguments Zhihua Yao PART II Nothingness in Early Modern and Modern East Asian Traditions Chapter 11 The Notion of Wu or Non-being as the Root of the Universe and a Guide for Life Xiaogan Liu Chapter 12 The Relation Of Nothing And Something: Two Classical Chinese Readings Of Dao De Jing 11 Douglas L. Berger Chapter 13 Was There Something in Nothingness? The Debate on the Primordial State between Daoism and Neo-Confucianism JeeLoo Liu Chapter 14 Heart-Fasting, Forgetting, and Using the Heart Like a Mirror: Applied Emptiness in the Zhuangzi Chris Fraser Chapter 15 Embodying Nothingness and the Ideal of the Affectless Sage in Daoist Philosophy Alan K. L. Chan Chapter 16 Nothingness in Korean Buddhism: The Struggle against Nihilism Halla Kim Chapter 17 Zen, Philosophy, and Emptiness: Dōgen and the deconstruction of concepts Gereon Kopf Chapter 18 Anontology and the Issue of Being and Nothing in Kitarō Nishida John W.M. Krummel Chapter 19 Tanabe’s Dialectic of Species as Absolute Nothingness Makoto Ozaki Chapter 20 Nishitani on Emptiness and Nothingness Yasuo Deguchi