Jan Westerhoff: Nāgārjuna and Madhyamaka, Podcast


    Jan Westerhoff - a distinguished professor in Buddhist philosophy at Oxford University and expert on Madhyamaka philosophical tradition - visited the Wisdom Experience.

    Discover how his early studies into Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy led him towards achieving two PhDs; one focused on contemporary metaphysics while the other delved deeper into Nāgārjuna's teachings surrounding Madhyamaka.
    Jan shares insightful interpretations of key concepts such as svabhāva or intrinsic nature, which were initially defined during Abhidharma times but later reinterpreted by Nāgārjuna. He further explores causation and its relationship to intrinsic nature along with differing views between Abhidharma and Madhyamaka regarding human conceptualization.
    Moreover, you'll gain valuable insights from Jan about some central arguments made by Nāgārjuna concerning emptiness language that align perfectly with broader principles within Buddhism like cultivating wisdom & compassion through meditative practices- all whilst maintaining ethical standards.

    About the Interviewee:
    Jan Westerhoff, a philosopher by training, delves into the philosophical elements of ancient Indian religious traditions. Specifically, he focuses on Buddhist thought as preserved in Sanskrit and Tibetan sources with an emphasis on Madhyamaka. In addition to this area of expertise, Jan also has a keen interest in Classical Indian philosophy - particularly Nyāya.
    His research encompasses both theoretical aspects such as metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of language; along with normative aspects like ethics. Furthermore, his curiosity extends towards investigating meditative practices from the perspective of cognitive science and philosophy of mind within Buddhism.
    In summary: With extensive knowledge about various facets surrounding religion & spirituality throughout history- especially those pertaining specifically to India's past- Jan Westerhoff is well equipped for exploring these topics further through his unique approach that combines traditional wisdom alongside modern scientific methods.