Well, yes… isn’t it?
The problem is less easy than it may look like and amounts to the problem of non-committal understanding. Is it the normal attitude while listening to a speaker or just an exception or an a posteriori withdrawal of belief once one notices that the speaker is in any way non reliable?
Are words an instrument of knowledge? And, if so, what sort of? Are they an instance of inference insofar as one infers the meaning on the basis of the words used? Or are they are an independent instrument of knowledge, since the connection between words and meanings is not of inferential nature?
Scholars of Sanskrit philosophy are familiar with translations oscillating between the following two extremes:
- A translation which closely follows the original and is chiefly meant as an aid to understand the Sanskrit text (as in Kataoka 2011)
- A translation which smooths the text, so that it sounds as if it had been originally written in the target language (Dominik Wujastyk’s and Ch. Ram-Prasad’s ones)
I am fond of group work —I am just too ambitious to be satisfied with what I can achieve alone and I am therefore always keen to work with other people on bigger projects. I have discussed in several other posts my experience as an editor and as a co-editor. But is it possible to publish a unitary book if different people translate different parts of it?
F.X. D’Sa Sabdapramanyam in Sabara and Kumarila (Vienna 1980) is one of the very first books on Mimamsa I read and I am thus very grateful to its author. Further, it is a fascinating book, one that —I thought— shows intriguing hypotheses (e.g., that Sabara meant “Significance” by dharma) which cannot be confounded with a scholarly philological enquire in the texts themselves.
Is the plurality of subjects compatible with the idea of a Vedāntic kind of liberation (in which there seems to be no distinction among different souls)? And can there be an absolute brahman if there are still distinct subjects?