PostDoc (2+3ys) on Yoga, Ayurveda Alchemy

I am posting the following announcement on behalf of Dagmar Wujastyk, who recently won an ERC project (that is, an amazingly competitive project funded by the EU, for which the chances of success are really low, lower than 10%, but which grants you up to six years of work with a team on the project you designed) and is looking for a member of her team:

Some common prejudices about Indian Philosophy: It is time to give them up

Is Indian Philosophy “caste-ish”? Yes and no, in the sense that each philosophy is also the result of its sociological milieu, but it is not only that.
Is Indian Philosophy only focused on “the Self”? Surely not.

A pathway through Kumārila’s Ślokavārttika, śabda-chapter, part 1

The chapter on śabda ‘language as instrument of knowledge’ within Kumārila’s Ślokavārttika is an elaborate defense of linguistic communication as an autonomous instrument of knowledge. Still, its philosophical impact runs the risk to go unnoticed because it is at the same time also a polemical work targeting rival theories which we either do not know enough or we might be less interested in, and a commentary on its root text, Śabara’s Bhāṣya on the Mīmāṃsā Sūtra. The chapter has also the further advantage that all three commentaries on it have been preserved. Thus, beside Pārthasārathi’s useful one, one can benefit also from Śālikanātha’s deeper one and from Uṃveka’s commentary, which is the most ancient, tends to preserve better readings of the text and is philosophically challenging.

The following is thus the first post in a series attempting a pathway through the chapter:

Ontology is a moot point if you are a theist

A philosopher might end up having a double affiliation, to the philosophical standpoints shared by one’s fellow philosophers, and to the religious program of one’s faith.
This can lead to difficult reinterpretations (such as that of Christ with the Neoplatonic Nous, or that of God with the Aristotelic primum movens immobile), or just to juxtapositions (the addition of angels to the list of possible living beings).

A Vaiṣṇava who starts doing philosophy after centuries of religious texts speaking of Viṣṇu’s manifestations (vibhūti), of His qualities and His spouse Lakṣmī (or Śrī or other names), is in a similar difficult situation.

What was Dignaga’s theory of apoha? On PS 5.41–42 SECOND UPDATE

The main point of departure for any inquiry into Dignāga’s theory of apoha is his Pramāṇasamuccaya, chapter 5. Unluckily enough, this text is only available as a reconstruction from the two (divergent) Tibetan translations and from Jinendrabuddhi’s commentary.

Before “Classical Indian Philosophy”: the influence of the Sāṅkhya logic UPDATED

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.

Is there really a single author of the Yogasūtra and Yogabhāṣya?

The idea that the Yogasūtra (henceforth YS) and the Yogabhāṣya (henceforth YBh) are not two distinct texts has been discussed for the first way in a systematic way by Johannes Bronkhorst in 1985 (“Patañjali and the Yoga Sūtras”, Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik). Philipp Maas in his published PhD thesis (Maas 2006) examined it again and Philipp Maas in his contribution to Eli Franco’s Periodization and Historiography of Indian Philosophy (2013) dealt with it again in greater detail.

किं स्वतः परतो वा प्रामाण्यम्?

किं प्रामाण्यं स्वतः, परतो वा उत्पद्यते, ज्ञायते च ?

सांख्यानां प्रामाण्याप्रामाण्यौ उभौ स्वतः । नैयायिकानां वैशेषिकानां च प्रामाण्याप्रामाण्यौ उभौ परतः । बौद्धप्रमाणवादिनां प्रामाण्यं परतः, अप्रमाण्यं तु स्वतः । मीमांसकानां तु प्रामाण्यं स्वतः, अप्रमाण्यं च परतः । इति चत्वारः पक्षाः ।