Ontology of relations in Analytical Philosophy of Religion

Wednesday and Thursday there will be a conference entitled Relatio Subsistens in Verona (Italy). I am looking forward for the chance of discussing the Viśiṣṭādvaita concept of apṛthaksiddhatā ‘indissolubility’ between God and knowledge in Analytical terms.

Dialog between Science and Philosophy: a new event

The event, sponsored by the Indian council of Philosophical Research, Delhi,  is scheduled to be held as a Discussion meeting  in the Poornaprajna Institute of Scientific Research, Bangalore from 25th Oct to 27th October.

The event is an outgrowth  of the ongoing Dialog between Science and Philosophy started  nearly a decade back in Nava Nalanda Mahavihara ‘Nalanda’ Bihar (for the past Nalanda Dialogs, please visit this link).

This Bangalore Event is actually a part of a current  project  motivated by  the lessons of the Nalanda Dialogs — a project entitled “Dialog across Traditions – Modern science and traditional Indian insight about Reality”.


In this event the organisers will  try to engage Indian philosophers of different schools  in a Dialog with science, will try to get the philosophers response to questions pertaining to different areas of difficulties related to foundation of science issues. Sample questions are already being distributed among the  philosophers after locating them mainly in places of traditional importance like Mithila, Varanasi and places in South India .

The process of locating scholars interested to respond to the issues are still going on.

For almost all details related to this Project as well as many events prior to the October Dialog, check this link. This site is being regularly updated to help keep track of the prior events that will lead to the Bangalore Dialog. The organisers will really appreciate suggestions  from readers about Areas of Indian Philosophy which can be better extended to meet the epistemological criteria of modern science (particularly Physical science, since the organisers come themselves from Physics).

Patterns of Bravery. The Figure of the Hero in Indian Literature, Art and Thought

Cagliari, 14th--16th May 2015

Tiziana Pontillo signalled me the conference mentioned in the title. You can download the flyer here.
From the point of view of methodology, let me praise T. Pontillo for the fact that she will give two joint papers. Let us all learn from each other and dare more cooperative work (if we enjoy it)!

Workshop “Language as an independent means of knowledge in Kumārila’s Ślokavārttika


Language as an independent means of knowledge in Kumārila’s Ślokavārttika

Time: Mo., 1. Juni 2015–5. Juni 2015 09:00-17:00
Venue: Institut für Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens, Seminarraum 2
Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien
Organisation: Elisa Freschi


During the workshop, we will translate and analyse the section dedicated to Linguistic Communication as an instrument of knowledge of Kumārila Bhaṭṭa’s (6th c.?) Ślokavārttika. The text offers the uncommon advantage of discussing the topic from the point of view of several philosophical schools, whose philosopical positions will also be analysed and debated. Particular attention will be dedicated to the topic of the independent validity of Linguistic Communication as an instrument of knowledge, both as worldly communication and as Sacred Texts.

Detailed Contents

Ślokavārttika, śabdapariccheda,

v. 1 (Introduction)

v. 3–4 (Definition of Linguistic Communication)

v. 15 (Introduction to the position of Sāṅkhya philosophers)

vv. 35–56 (Dissussion of Buddhist and Inner-Mīmāṃsā Objections)

vv. 57ab, 62cd (Content communicated by words and sentences) [we will not read vv. 57cd–62ab, since they discuss a linguistic issue]

vv. 63–111 (Discussion of Buddhist Objections)

Commentaries to be read: Pārthasārathi’s one (as basis) and Uṃveka’s one (for further thoughts on the topic)

X-copies of the texts will be distributed during the workshop. Please email the organiser if you want to receive them in advance.

For organisative purposes, you are kindly invited to announce your partecipation with an email at elisa.freschi@oeaw.ac.at.

The present workshop is the ideal continuation of this one. For a pathway in the Śabdapariccheda see this post.

EAAA on reuse in visual arts

As you migh already know, I am leaving tomorrow for Olomouc where I will host on Friday the 26th with Julia Hegewald and Cristina Bignami a panel on reuse in visual arts. Here is the program of our panel:

Title: Re-use at the Borders of South Asia: Himalayas and South India
9-9:30 Elisa FRESCHI “Reuse in Texts and the Arts: The case of Hayagrīva’s Descriptions”
9:30-10 Julia HEGEWALD “The Theory of Re-use as a Method in Art-historical Research”
10-10:30 Gerald KOZICZ “The re-use of the nidhi iconography in the Tibetan context”
10:30-11 Verena WIDORN “The use and re-use of aesthetic concepts in the Himalayan area”
11:30-12 Cristina BIGNAMI “The re-use of the iconography of the lion/tiger in the Karṇataka Medieval sovereignty
12-12:30 Tiziana LORENZETTI “Appropriation and re-interpretation of symbolic and architectural elements in the Lingayat religiosity”
12:30-13: Mallica KUMBERA LANDRUS “Sharing and reshaping collective memories in Portuguese Goa”
17-17:30 Elena MUCCIARELLI “The Plucking of different flowers: Re-use in Kerala theatrical tradition”
17:30-18 concluding session: DISCUSSION

Should you come to the conference, don’t forget to join the discussion (or to join me for a coffee break).

CfP: Language as a tools for acquiring Knowledge (Atiner conference)

If you have been following this blog or my previous one you will know that I have been looking for chances for cross-cultural philosophy since many years. You will also know that I have been thinking at the Atiner Conference as a good chance to discuss about Indian themes as part of Philosophy tout court and not within the small ghetto of Indian Philosophy for Indologists.

This year, Malcolm C. Keating (University of Texas, Austin) and I will be hosting a panel at the next Atiner conference in Athens, 25–28 May 2015. If you are interested to join, read the following CfP and drop a line either in the comments or at my personal address. (more…)

Comparison and Comparative Method —The sixth Coffee Break Conference: CfP

The Coffee Break Conference began as an attempt to encourage the kind of critical and open-ended discussions that have unfortunately been confined to short coffee breaks at most academic conferences. Coffee Break Conferences give scholars the opportunity to critically discuss their work, especially new work, in an interdisciplinary setting. Discussions at these conferences have tended to focus on scholarly methodology and all types of comparisons: between areas of study, between the approaches of different disciplines, between the concepts and vocabulary of different traditions of scholarship.

The next Coffee Break Conference, to be held in Venice on September 10-12 2015, will directly take up the theme of comparison. In a series of panels, including a conference-wide roundtable session, we will discuss the form that comparison takes in scholarly work, what its advantages and liabilities are, and the philosophical and political issues that comparison raises. Scholars are invited to submit papers to one of the proposed panels, listed below, or to propose a panel on the theme of comparison. Younger scholars are encouraged to participate.

The current plan of the conference, subject to modification, is as follows:

1) Linguistic Selves: Language and Identity in the Premodern World (contact person: Andrew Ollett, andrew.ollett@gmail.com)

2) 1) From cross-cultural comparison to shared epistemic spaces: educating desire in the “medieval” epistemic space (contact person: Marco Lauri, marco.f.lauri@gmail.com)

3) The “Religion” Challenge: Comparative Religious Studies and the Trouble to Transfer Conceptional Terms from Europe to Asia (contact person: Ann-Kathrin Wolff, ann-kathrin.wolf@rub.de; Madlen Krüger, madlen.krueger@rub.de)

4) Is Theology comparable? Comparison applied to “Theology” and “God” (contact person: Elisa Freschi, elisa.freschi@gmail.com)

5) Knowing the unknown: extra-ordinary cognitions in a comparative perspective (contact person: Marco Ferrante, marco.ferrante@oeaw.ac.at)

6) The trans-cultural reshaping of psychoanalysis, or the perks of comparative psychodynamics (contact person: Daniele Cuneo, danielecuneo@hotmail.it)

Further infos on the CBCs in general and on the 2015 edition in particular can be found here: http://asiaticacoffeebreak.wordpress.com/
and here:

(The conference will most probably take place in Rome, September the 17th to 19th 2015.)

Chief of the Organizing Committee: E. Freschi, A. Ollett

One God, one Śāstra — A panel for the WSC 2015

One God, one śāstra: philosophical developments towards and within Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta between Nāthamuni and Veṅkaṭanātha

In the case of the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta school, one has the advantage of having some basic historical elements to judge about the development of the theological and philosophical thought of the school. We have, in fact, at least some historical data about the time, place and personality of key figures such as Yāmuna, Rāmānuja and Veṅkaṭanātha and a good amount of works from them has survived and can be accessed. Some attempts have been made (e.g., by Oberhammer, Neevel, Mesquita) to offer a general interpretation of this early development, but many problems have remained open, and not only because of the lack of materials (regarding, e.g., Śrīvatsaṅka Miśra, Nāthamuni, important parts of Yāmuna’s work, etc.).
This panels aims at joining scholars working on the early Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta, and making them discuss the development of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta from its forerunners to a full-fledged philosophical and theological phenomenon. Possible leit-motivs in the analysis of this development can be topics such as (the list does not aim to be exhaustive):

  • the increasing importance of the topic of aikaśāstrya, possibly paralleling the emphasis on the existence of just one God
  • the adaptation of other schools to one’s theistic approach (from Nyāya and Yoga in the case of Nāthamuni to Uttara Mīmāṃsā in the case of Rāmānuja, to Pūrva Mīmāṃsā and again Nyāya for Veṅkaṭanātha)

Organisers: Elisa Freschi, Marcus Schmücker

Participants at July the 1st 2014: Francis X. Clooney, Elisa Freschi, Robert Leach, Halina Marlewicz, Erin McCann, Lawrence McCrea, Srilata Raman, Marion Rastelli, Marcus Schmücker

If you are interested in participating, or in knowing further details, please drop a comment here or send a line at my email address (my name dot my surname at gmail dot com).

The 16th World Sanskrit Conference will take place from the 28th of June to the 2nd of July in Bangkok. Further infos can be found here.