Dan Arnold examines how the Brahmanical tradition of Purva Mimamsa and the writings of the seventh-century Buddhist Madhyamika philosopher Candrakirti challenged dominant Indian Buddhist views of epistemology. Arnold’s analysis—developed in conversation with modern Western philosophers like William Alston and J. L. Austin—offers an innovative reinterpretation of the Indian philosophical tradition and the ways in which premodern Indian thinkers can contribute to contemporary philosophical debates.
Arnold argues that Mimamsa constructed a theory of epistemology that has affinities to important works of twentieth-century philosophy of religion. He shows that Candrakirti’s philosophy subverted epistemological discourse by employing transcendental arguments. Arnold’s conclusion that Candrakrti’s arguments support a metaphysical claim presents a bold interpretation of Madhyamika Buddhism—a school of thought that has long fascinated Western readers.