February 11, 2014, by Tom Harding

CCT Visiting Speaker Series: Dr. Cohen Tan

The Philosophy of Emptiness: On Buddhist Two-Truths. Dr. Cohen Tan, Assistant Professor at the School of International Communications (UNNC). 17:00 Wednesday 12th Feb., Room A39, Clive Granger Building.


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 Mulamadhvamakakarika – 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 a radical restatement of the historical Buddha’s teachings, and he remains to this day the most widely studied Buddhist philosopher in both East and West.


K. Cohen Tan is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Communications (UNNC). He has taught on both campuses in Nottingham and Ningbo, and is an alumni with MA and PhD in Critical Theory from the University of Nottingham. Research interests include deconstruction, post-structuralism, Buddhist and comparative philosophies; 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.

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