I should have met Stephan Kloos because we both work at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, but in fact we met at a common friend’s party and only later realised we had seen each other quite often before in the Academy. After that, I started having a look at his work. Departing from his wonderful website, all his work is dedicated to the anthropology of Tibetan medicine, especially of Tibetan medicine in exile. Kloos 2013, for instance, investigates on how it ended up being recognised, in India, in the West and in the Tibetan community as a “medical system” and how this concept involves a strategy and the self-construction of a new “Tibetan” identity —once the Tibetan identity could no longer be determined on a geographical basis— as related to Buddhist ethics, i.e., to one’s altruistic attitude towards the others.
Finally a conference on South Asia which focuses on a philosophical topic!
प्रचीनजैनदर्शने प्रमाणे द्विविधे, प्रत्यक्षम् परोक्षं च ।
प्रत्यक्षमित्युक्ते किम् ? अन्यदर्शनेषु इन्द्रियसम्यज्ज्ञानमिति । केषुचिद् योगिप्रत्यक्षं स्वसंवेदनं मनसाप्रत्यक्षमपि प्रत्यक्षेऽङ्गीक्रियन्ते । जैनदर्शने
How do reason and authority interact and trace each other’s boundaries? Which one is the first to be allowed to delimit its territory and, by means of that, also the other one’s one?
Every year the same! I plan to organise panels on Indian Philosophy at regular conferences, in order to “fertilise” them, and fail… Volunteers for next year? If, instead, you have already something ready, keep on reading.
Should we try to periodise Indian philosophy or shall we give up any attempt, since each one will be criticised and is in some respect flawed? Periodisation, as recently highlighted by Julius Lipner, is a form of classification and as such also a form of controlling (Lipner 2013).
We discussed already on this blog about how our conception of “classical Indian philosophy” is contingent and historically determined. For instance, if you were to ask me what “classical Indian philosophy” for me means, I would at first answer with “debate between Nyāya, Mīmāṃsā and Buddhist Pramāṇavāda”. However, as soon as one throws a closer look at the texts, one sees how this balance was precarious and how the debate had different protagonists at different times.