Shilpa Sumant on critical editions and role models

Shilpa Sumant has been so nice to come to Vienna for two lectures and for some additional hours of chatting. For the ones among you who have not yet encountered her work, Shilpa has published important studies and critical editions in the field of the Paippalāda school of the Atharvaveda, but her command of Sanskrit and her activity at the Pune “Encyclopedic Dictionary of Sanskrit on Historical Principles” makes her approach broad and particularly rich in cross-references and unheard-of materials.

Do we need phonemes to be permanent? —UPDATED

Did Mīmāṃsakas really need to claim that phonemes are permanent (nitya)? Erich Frauwallner argued that the chapter on this topic in the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra (PMS 1.1.6–1.1.23) had been interpolated and most contemporary scholars*** agree that the Mīmāṃsā argumentation only needs the relation between signifier and signified to be fixed (nitya), not also the signifiers.

On the universality of ethics (Rahul Peter Das 2012 and Hindu bioethics)

In a previous post I had discussed the importance of making the discussions on global ethics more inclusive. Now, while reading Rahul Peter Das’ On “Hindu” Bioethics (in Saṁskṛta-sādhutā, the Festschrift for Ashok Aklujkar) I found however a possible objection to this claim. In fact, as Das, shows, not all cultures have elaborated a distinct system of, e.g., bioethics, so that what is presented as “Hindu” or “Buddhist bioethics” is often an arbitrary construction.

Position in “Religion, Nature, and Culture in South Asia” at the University of Virginia

The position may be filled at the assistant (tenure-track) or associate (tenured) rank.

Note also that the Search Committee particularly welcomes applicants with expertise in Hinduism, though the search leaves open the successful candidate’s area of research focus as regards religious tradition, language expertise, and historical period of study.

On table of contents in alphabetic order

I am reading Saṃskṛta-sādhutā, the Festschrift for Ashok Aklujkar, a book which contains many interesting essays on various topics, several of which are dedicated to Grammar. Luckily enough, three of them have been authored by Johannes BRONKHORST, Maria Piera CANDOTTI and George CARDONA and come, therefore, one after the other in the alphabetic order which has been used for determining the sequence of the essays in the book.

A possible narrative on the history of linguistics in India

In classical Indian philosophy, linguistics and philosophy of language are of central importance and inform further fields, such as epistemology and poetics. Thus, looking at the debates on linguistics and philosophy of language offers one a snapshot on the lively philosophical arena of classical India.

The duty to do philosophy interculturally

“Is the debate on global justice a global one?”—asks Anke Graness at the beginning of an article (available OA here) in which she analyses the more common positions on global justice held in Western academia and confronts them with the perspective on justice of two contemporary African philosophers (the Kenyan Henry Odera Oruka and the Ethiopian Theodros Kiros) and with the reinterpretation of the traditional African concept of ubuntu (yes, it is not only an IT system!).

Substances according to the Vātsīputrīyas

Little is known about the Vātsīputrīyas who are an ancient (3rd c.) group of Buddhists mostly known because of their pudgalavāda ‘doctrine about the [existence of] persons’. Since they seem to be referred to only in connection with this teaching, I was surprised to find them mentioned by Veṅkaṭanātha in 14th c. South India.