Generally speaking, a thesis is a statement in an essay, or otherwise a chain of reasoning, which presents what is about to be discussed and perhaps defended. In what follows the thesis, we wish to have discussed and/or defended our thesis adequately enough that a minimum of criticism – ideally none, if that were possible – is submitted against it. Thus, there is resigned an important function in the thesis: it posits the main idea of what follows, suggesting itself to the reader as what is about to be considered. It is interesting to find, given this importance, that some textual and gnoseological traditions, like the Madhyamaka tradition of Buddhism, regard the goal of the Buddhist path to be the renunciation of all views. Here, I will consider the dialectic that brings Nāgārjuna, the founder of Madhyamaka, to announce that he himself has no thesis. Furthermore, two interpretations of this thesislessness will be discussed: that of Garfield and Westerhoff. Finally, I will make some comments of my own with respect to this issue, suggesting that these interpretations are not incompatible. In doing so, I will be led to briefly suggest that Nāgārjuna’s suggestion is not a form of nominalism nor quietism.
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