David Seyfort Ruegg
David Seyfort Ruegg (1931-2021) was born in New York. His university education was primarily in Paris, where he studied Indology under Jean Filliozat and Louis Renou and Tibetology under Marcelle Lalou and Rolf Stein. Seyfort Ruegg’s work has ranged over most aspects of Indian and Tibetan Studies. However, two interests come back repeatedly: the philosophy of the buddha-nature (tathāgatagarbha) and the philosophy of the middle (madhyamaka). Seyfort Ruegg has held professorial positions in several major universities—Leiden, Seattle, Hamburg, and now the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. A Sanskritist and a Tibetologist, he has at one time or another held chairs in Indian Philosophy, Buddhist Studies, and Tibetan.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
The Buddhist Philosophy of the Middle
Madhyamaka, the “philosophy of the middle,” systematized the Buddha’s fundamental teaching on no-self with its profound non-essentialist reading of reality. Founded in India by Nāgārjuna in about the second century CE, Madhyamaka philosophy went on to become the dominant strain of Buddhist thought in Tibet and exerted a profound influence on all the cultures of East Asia. Within the extensive Western scholarship inspired by this school of thought, David Seyfort Ruegg’s work is unparalleled in its incisiveness, diligence, and scope. The Buddhist Philosophy of the Middle brings together Ruegg’s greatest essays on Madhyamaka, expert writings which have and will continue to contribute to our progressing understanding of this rich tradition.
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