The present issue of Journal of World Philosophies will host a series of papers discussing the phenomenon of linguistic communication2 from a philosophical point of view and from a cross-cultural perspective. The papers’ authors discussed the topic together with some other scholars in a workshop in Athens, 2015. The contributions are organized around the following four issues: 1. What do we know? 2. How (through which instrument of knowledge) do we know it? 3. What is the role of language as (...) a medium? 4. What is the role of the social context? (shrink)
The authors make an attempt to comparatively analyse some stances of the Old Indian philosophy of language, exemplified by the Medieval Indian author Jayanta, along with the Western tradition of the analytical philosophy of language, and to highlight the differences as well as the similarities. The main focus is on Jayanta's discussion of the meaning vs. reference problem.
The Mīmā ṃ sā school of Indian philosophy elaborated complex ways of interpreting the prescriptive portions of the Vedic sacred texts. The present article is the result of the collaboration of a group of scholars of logic, computer science, European philosophy and Indian philosophy and aims at the individuation and analysis of the deontic system which is applied but never explicitly discussed in Mīmā ṃ sā texts. The article outlines the basic distinction between three sorts of principles —hermeneutic, linguistic and (...) deontic. It proposes a mathematical formalization of the deontic principles and uses it to discuss a well-known example of seemingly conflicting statements, namely the prescription to undertake the malefic Śyena sacrifice and the prohibition to perform any harm. (shrink)
The Purpose of the Mīmāṃsānyāyasaṅgraha and Its TranslationSome of the criticism frequently seen in book reviews is due to the reviewer's desire to have read something else. Indeed, I do not wish to judge James Benson's Mīmāṃsānyāyasaṅgraha: A Compendium on the Principles of Mīmāṃsā from the standpoint of what I would have written if I had been in his place. And thus, I will start by outlining his work and the goals he had in mind.The central part of this extensive (...) book consists in a critical edition of a previously unpublished Mīmāṃsā work together with its first English translation. All the other sections, including the introduction, summary of topics, and indexes, must be understood as subsidiary.The... (shrink)
Kumārila’s commitment to the explanation of cognitive experiences not confined to valid cognition alone, allows a detailed discussion of border-line cases (such as doubt and error) and the admittance of absent entities as separate instances of cognitive objects. Are such absent entities only the negative side of positive entities? Are they, hence, fully relative (since a cow could be said to be the absent side of a horse and vice versa)? Through the analysis of a debated passage of the Ślokavārttika (...) , the present article proposes a reconstruction of Kumārila’s view of the relation between erroneous cognitions and cognitions of absence ( abhāva ), and considers the philosophical problem of the ontological status of absence. (shrink)
The study of textual reuse is of fundamental importance in reconstructing lost or partially lost texts, passages of which can be partly recovered through other texts in which they have been embedded. Furthermore, the study of textual reuse also provides one with a deeper understanding of the modalities of the production of texts out of previous textual materials. Finally, it constitutes a unique chance to reconsider the historicity of concepts such as “author”, “originality” and “plagiarism”, which do not denote really (...) existing universals, but have rather evolved—and still evolve—in different ways in different cultural milieus. After a general introduction and an analysis of the historical background of textual reuse in India and Europe, the essay attempts some general conclusions regarding the formulas introducing instances of textual reuse in Classical South Asian texts. (shrink)
Rāmānujācārya’s Tantrarahasya, a philosophical treatise mainly dedicated to the hermeneutics and epistemology of the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā School, might be considered hardly more than a jigsaw of reused passages, since one third of it has a direct source, and a further third has its roots in interlanguage usage. It is thus a perfect case study for investigating the compositional habits of philosophical authors in pre-modern śāstra literature. The article analyses the formal aspects of textual reuse by Rāmānujācārya and draws some general (...) conclusions regarding the author’s intellectual affiliation to Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā on the basis of the way he reuses his school’s texts as compared to the reuse of other schools’ texts. A final section discusses the possibility of generalising these results to the approach to textual reuse of the whole Pūrva Mīmāṃsā. (shrink)