It has become popular to portray the Buddhist Nāgārjuna as an ontological nihilist, i.e., that he denies the reality of entities and does not postulate any further reality. A reading of his works does show that he rejects the self-existent reality of entities, but it also shows that he accepts a "that-ness" (tattva) to phenomenal reality that survives the denial of any distinct, self-contained entities. Thus, he is not a nihilist concerning what is real in the final analysis of things. How Nāgārjuna’s positions impact contemporary discussions of ontological nihilism and deflationism in Western philosophy is also discussed.
JONES, Richard H.
"On What is Real in Nāgārjuna’s “Middle Way”,"
Comparative Philosophy: Vol. 11
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/comparativephilosophy/vol11/iss1/5