BERGGRUEN RESEARCH FELLOW in Indian Philosophy
Length of contract: 2 years
Full time / part time: Full time
Application deadline: Tuesday 18 April
A non-intelligible entity cannot be conceived to exist. But, if the world needs to be known in order to exist, we need to postulate a non-partial perspective out of which it can be known. Since the perspectives of all human beings (as well as those of other animals, I would add) are necessarily partial and cannot be reconciled (how could one reconcile our perspective of the world with that of a bat?), this perspective needs to be God.
Basically, I would say no, since there are topics for which it is meaningful and rational to resort to arguments from authority. To name an example, if I want to know how you feel, the best thing to do is to ask you.
But even if you don’t agree, let me point to the distinction between
- the use of such arguments as a way to close a discussion (e.g., “It is the case that X, because an authoritative source said it”)
- the use of such arguments as part of a discussion or as opening a discussion (e.g., “An authoritative source tells us that X, how shall we understand it?”)
I am trying to figure out how to best translate one of my projects into Sanskrit. What would you understand if I were to tell you any of the following?
१ तर्कयुक्तयो वेदमीमांसायां तद्विनियोगश्च ।
२ कार्यविषयान्विक्षिकी वेदमीमांसायां तद्विनियोगश्च ।
३ कार्यविषययुक्तिर्वेदमीमांसायां तद्विनियोगश्च ।
४ कार्यविषयकर्ममीमांसोपकारकाः न्यायाः वेदनिर्णयार्थं तद्विनियोगश्च । (adapted from a suggestion by Sudipta Munsi)
५ कार्यार्थविषये युक्तिन्यायाः वेदमीमांसायां तद्विनियोगश्च ।
६ कर्त्तव्यविषयान्विक्षिकी वेदमीमांसायां तद्विनियोगश्च । (adapted from a suggestion by Robert Zydenbos)
३ कर्त्तव्यविषययुक्तिर्वेदमीमांसायां च तद्विनियोग: । (adapted from a suggestion by Robert Zydenbos)
Many thanks for your help!
According to Mīmāṃsā authors, and unlike Nyāya ones, Vedic sentences do not convey the existence of something, but rather that something should be done. This means that the entire Veda is an instrument of knowledge only as regards duties and cannot be falsified through sense-perception, inference, etc. No Mīmāṃsā author, for instance, could ever blame a scientist for reaching a conclusion that clashes with data found in the Veda.
Could we all agree about the fact that a criticism needs to be motivated in order to be accepted? I see, in some cases we think that there is no point in engaging with someone, because he or she is not worthy of our attention. But then, it is perhaps better not to engage in criticisms either.
The latest issue of the Buddhist Studies Review (33.1—2, 2016) has been published online. The printed issue will follow soon.
The core of the issue is constituted by a collection of articles on the topic of “Reuse and Intertextuality in the Context of Buddhist Texts” and edited by Elisa Freschi together with Cathy Cantwell and Jowita Kramer. Please scroll down for the table of contents.
I would be happy to receive any feedback on the project of dealing with reuse and intertextuality within the specific subfield of Buddhist texts. The Introduction is available OA on Academia.edu.
P.S. the TOC below replaces the wrong one which was erroneously sent out on Monday the 23rd.
Intrinsic validity means that each cognition is in itself valid, unless and until the opposite is proven. I do not need to prove that I am typing in order to know that I am. I know that I am typing unless and until something shows me that I am wrong (e.g., I wake up and realise I was only dreaming of typing).
The topic is not explicitly discussed, as far as I know, in European or American epistemologists (who all seem to assume that it obviously is), whereas it is relevant in South Asian epistemology of language.
Both Śabara’s and Veṅkaṭanātha’s commentary on the Mīmāṃsā Sūtra insist that mantras are not important only insofar as they are pronounced, but rather that they convey a meaning (technically: they are vivakṣitārtha `they have intended meanings’).
One of the evidences for the meaningfulness of mantras is the fact that mantras are modified (ūh-) in the ectype rituals. If, for instance, the archetype ritual is for Agni and the ectype ritual is offered to Indra, the mantra will be accordingly changed (e.g., from Agnaye juṣṭam to Indrāya juṣṭam). If the mantras had no meaning, there would be no scope for modifying them. If the pronunciation were enough to achieve some unseen potency (apūrva), one would just repeat the mantras in the same form.