A short work by the second-century Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna.
In this text, which is written in a lively question-and-answer style he addresses a number of objections (coming both from Buddhists and from non-Buddhists) which have been put forward against his theory of emptiness discussed in his main work - the Mulamadhyamakakarika.
It is especially noteworthy for its treatment of topics which Nagarjuna does not much discuss elsewhere, in particular questions of epistemology and the philosophy of language.
This is an essential work of Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophical literature. It contains Nagarjuna's replies to criticisms of his philosophy of the Middle Way.
The Vigrahavyavartani has been widely cited both in canonical literature and in recent scholarship. It has remained a central text in India, Tibet, China, and Japan, and has attracted the interest of greater and greater numbers of Western readers.
In The Dispeller of Disputes, Jan Westerhoff offers a clear new translation of the Vigrahavyavartani, taking current philological research and all available editions into account, and adding his own insightful philosophical commentary on the text.
Crucial manuscript material has been discovered since the earlier translations were written, and Westerhoff draws on this material to produce a study reflecting the most up-to-date research on this text.
In his nuanced and incisive commentary, he explains Nagarjuna's arguments, grounds them in historical and textual scholarship, and explicitly connects them to contemporary philosophical concerns.