University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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The Philosophy of Emptiness: On Buddhist Two-Truths

27 November 2013 (15:30-17:00)

The School of International Communications is pleased to invite you to our talk by K. Cohen Tan, as part of our research seminar series.

About the talk

What is emptiness and its relevance to our daily lives? How can we make sense of emptiness, and more importantly, can it affirm life instead of nihilism? This research seminar will address these questions by focusing on the buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (2nd century C.E.), whose seminal work – the Mulamadhyamakakarika – had a profound influence on the later emergence of Ch'an/Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. Nagarjuna's articulation of emptiness (Skt. sunyata) as a philosophical (non)position was at once a radical restatement inasmuch as it was a restitution of the historical Buddha's teachings. He remains to this day the most studied buddhist philosopher both east and west, and is widely venerated as the second Buddha.

Speaker biography

K. Cohen Tan is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Communications, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China. He holds both MA and PhD in Critical Theory from The University of Nottingham, and BA in Literature and Philosophy from National University of Singapore. His research interests include deconstruction, post-structuralism, Buddhist and comparative philosophies. He has taught on both campuses in Nottingham and Ningbo. He is currently editing a book on the Victorian Marxist writer/artist, William Morris. Future research intends to explore the philosophy of war by looking at Deleuze and Guattari's "Nomadology: The War Machine" in relation with Sun Tzu's "The Art of War".