We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more


Candrakīrti's Introduction to the Middle Way

A Guide

Jan Westerhoff

Publication Date - 04 August 2023

ISBN: 9780197612347

304 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches


Candrakīrti's Introduction to the Middle Way (Madhyamakāvatāra) is a central work of Buddhist philosophy for two reasons. First, it provides an introduction to Madhyamaka, one of the three major philosophical schools of Buddhist thought (the other two being Abhidharma and Yogācāra). Second, within Madhyamaka, Candrakīrti's text occupies a very prominent role. This is primarily due to its enormous influence in Tibet, where Candrakīrti's work became the main entry-point into the study of Madhyamaka thought. While the historical importance of the Introduction to the Middle Way for understanding a major section of Buddhist thought is evident, what makes it particularly interesting for students is the role it plays as an 'introduction'. It is one of Candrakīrti's earlier works and presents a comprehensive guide to the key philosophical ideas and problems of Madhyamaka thought.

This Oxford Guide is for the philosophically interested student or scholar reading the Introduction to the Middle Way. Westerhoff's commentary focuses on the philosophical content of the text, using Candrakīrti's auto-commentary as the main explicatory resource.


  • Offers a concise commentary on one of the key philosophical works on the Buddhist tradition
  • Accessible to readers without previous knowledge of Buddhist or Indian philosophy
  • Focuses on the philosophical dimensions of the text, analysing and assessing Candrakīrti's arguments in the context of Buddhist philosophy
  • Provides a good basis for further studies of the Buddhist intellectual tradition, and of Madhyamaka in particular, and is especially suited for readers encountering this difficult text for the first time

About the Author(s)

Jan Westerhoff is Professor of Buddhist Philosophy at the University of Oxford and a Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

    Structural outline of the text