Visiting Assistant Professor in Buddhist Studies at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

The Department of Religion at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, invites applications for a full-time, non-tenure-track position in Buddhist Studies during the 2014-2015 academic year. The position will be in a one-year, non-renewable contract.

Who invented the apoha theory? On Kunjunni Raja 1986 SECOND UPDATE

Who invented the apoha theory? If you, like me, are prone to answer “Dignāga” and to add that Dignāga (as shown by Hattori) was inspired by Bhartṛhari’s theory and that Dharmakīrti and Dharmottara later fine-tuned Dignāga’s one, you are ready to have your view challenged by K. Kunjunni Raja’s article in Buddhist Logic and Epistemology (ed. by B.K. Matilal and R.D. Evans, 1986, I am grateful to Sudipta Munsi who sent me a copy of it).

Using expressions like “it seems unlikely” or “I am not convinced” without specifying the reason for their use is a bane of historical research writing. Unfortunately this practice, which can mislead a reader into thinking that a counter-argument has been made when in fact no argument has been made, is not rare in Indology. The ultimate import of expressions of the specified kind is usually “I, the researcher, am not willing to change my view, even if your argument is sound” or “I, the researcher, am not going to be so adventurous as to differ from the majority or mainstream view, even when the erroneous nature of that view has been exposed”.

Who studied Mīmāṃsā deontics?

Since Mīmāṃsā (both in its Bhāṭṭa and in its Prābhākara subschools) focused primarily on the exegesis of the prescriptive portion of the Vedic Sacred Texts, the Mīmāṃsā texts offer richly developed discussions of deontic issues, both from a linguistic and from a logic point of view. Unfortunately, the lack of philosophically accessible translations has made most of such discussions remain confined to Sanskritists.

Possible applications of Mīmāṃsā deontics: on Chaudhuri and Vardi

There are fields in which the contribution of applied ethics and deontics are more than needed, such as that of the programming of artificial intelligence connected to robots which might interact with human beings. Chaudhuri and Vardi (their article can be downloaded here) quote the following case: