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.

However, DESHPANDE’s essay, dedicated to Bhaṭṭoji Dīkṣita, just like Bronkhorst’s and Candotti’s, is further away. Similarly, the two essays on the Pratyabhijñā school (one by Yohei Kawajiri and the other by Raffaele Torella) are several hundreds of pages apart. Why so? A Festschrift, like the proceedings of a conference, might include many different topics, nonetheless, is not it always possible to structure them along some leitmotivs? Is not it always possible to detect an order? A (IMHO) “virtuous” example in this sense is the sequence of articles in the volume in honour of Wilhelm Halbfass edited by F. Squarcini in 2002, since Squarcini managed to find a rational sequence for diverse articles. The same applies to another volume dedicated to Halbfass, namely Expanding and Merging Horizons, edited by Karin Preisendanz (you can download the TOC free of charge here).

What is the advantage of the alphabetic order in the sequence of essays of a book? Do the editors think that in this way they are not deciding that X is more important than Y and should therefore come before Y? Or are there other reasons I am overlooking?

Comments and discussions are welcome. Be sure you are making a point and contributing to the discussion.

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