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Lectures on Philosophy

Person as an intellectual category in the West, and as applied to India

Jan Olof Bengtsson
30 Apr 2004

Related: Philosophy

Continental philosophy and Hindu devotion: Towards a metaphysics of passion

Dr Jessica Frazier
3 Jun 2004

Related: Comparative Philosophy, Philosophy

Semantic history of Vedanta and its implications for the study of Indian philosophy

Shivdasani Seminar
Professor Ashok Aklujkar
28 Apr 2005

Related: Philosophy, Upanisads, Vedanta

Yoga and vyaakarana

Shivdasani Seminar
Professor Ashok Aklujkar
12 May 2005

Related: Grammarians, Philosophy, Yoga

Philosophy's linguistic turn

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor Ashok Aklujkar
12 May 2005

Related: Buddhism, Grammarians, Philosophy

Rationalism, atheism and Hinduism in dravidian India, c.1920-90

Majewski Lecture
Dr David Washbrook
16 Nov 2005

Dr. David Washbrook (St Antony's College, University of Oxford.)

Related: Modern India, Philosophy

Baladeva vidyabhusana's Premeya-ratnavali and the issue of lineage

Graduate Seminar
Kiyokazu Okita
12 Oct 2006

This seminar will present an account of the Vaishnava philosopher Baladeva Vidyabhusana and his place in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. The paper will address the problem of lineage and raise questions about authenticity, authority, and the legitimacy of practice claimed by tradition. Kiyokazu Okita is a graduate student in the Theology Faculty at Oxford, pursuing research for his DPhil on Baladeva. He has degrees from Japan and the USA.

Related: Hindu Theology, Philosophy, Vaisnava

What did Ramakantha contribute to the Buddhist-Brahmanical atman debate?

Dr Alex Watson
8 Feb 2007

In attempting to refute the Buddhist doctrine of no-Self, Ramakantha absorbed many features of Buddhism. For example, he sided with Buddhism against Nyaya and Vaisesika in denying the existence of property-possessors (dharmins) over and above properties (dharmas), and in denying a Self as something that exists over and above cognition. For him the Self simply is cognition (jnana, prakasa, samvit) and so he has to prove that cognition is constant and unchanging. I will present those arguments of Ramakantha's that strike me as his strongest and most original. I will spend at least the first 10 minutes of the talk introducing, and giving an overview of, the Buddhist-Brahmanical atman debate.

Related: Buddhism, Philosophy, Saiva

Consciousness and cognition in Vaisesika

Shivdasani Seminar
Dr Shashiprabha Kumar
26 Apr 2007

The seminar intends to discuss the nature of consciousness as expounded in the early system of Vaisesika, which deals with the problem of consciousness in relation to the process of cognition in general. In other words, knowledge is an adventitious attribute which inheres in the substance called atman (soul) only when it is embodied. During this seminar, the various implications and formulations of this view in Vaisesika sources will be examined.

Related: Philosophy, Vaisesika

The concept of dharma in Vaisesika

Shivdasani Seminar
Dr Shashiprabha Kumar
30 Apr 2007

This lecture will examine various aspects of dharma as suggested in the Vaisesika system, namely its historical, metaphysical, and moral aspects. The concept of dharma is so central in Vaisesika philosophy that Kanada begins his discourse with an aim of explaining dharma.

Related: Philosophy, Vaisesika

Sabda as pramana in Vaisesika

Shivdasani Seminar
Dr Shashiprabha Kumar
10 May 2007

The seminar examines the nature of sabda in the Vaisesika system which has been discussed there both as a guna of akasha, and as a pramana. The former is expressed in the ancient Vaisesika tradition, from Kanada up to Udayana, whereas the latter is explored in the later tradition, starting from its amalgamation with Nyaya and opposition to Buddhism. This seminar will cover both these aspects, with an emphasis on the role of sabda as a pramana.

Related: Philosophy, Vaisesika

The concept of Hindu philosophy

Shivdasani Lecture
Dr Sangeetha Menon
14 May 2007

This seminar will discuss the concept of philosophy in the Hindu context and will examine foundational concepts as well as explore their psychological and spiritual import.

Dr Sangeetha Menon graduated in Zoology, and then took her postgraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Kerala, with a thesis entitled ‘The Concept of Consciousness in the Bhagavad Gita. A gold-medalist and first rank holder for postgraduate studies, she has been a fellow at the National Institute of Advanced Studies since 1996.

Related: Philosophy

Twentieth-century Sanskrit commentaries on the Vaisesikasutras

Shivdasani Lecture
Dr Shashiprabha Kumar
14 May 2007

This lecture highlights five Sanskrit commentaries on the Vaisesikasutras that have been written and published in the last century. The commentaries are: (i) Vaidikavritih, by Pt. Hariprasada, Nirnayasagar, 1951; (ii) Rasayana, by Sri Uttamur Viraraghavacharya, Madras, 1958; (iii) Brahmamunibhasyam, by Swami Brahmamuni, Baroda, 1962; (iv) Vedabhaskarabhasyam, by Pt. Kashinath Sharma, Himachal, 1972; (v) Sugama, by Desika Tirumalai Tatacharya, Allahabad, 1979.

 
Dr Shashiprabha Kumar is Professor in Sanskrit Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University and specialises in Nyaya-Vaisesika. She has published widely in this field over the past thirty years and has particular interest in the idea of consciousness in Nyaya, as well as the early history of the school.
 

Related: Philosophy, Vaisesika

Readings in Phenomenology 1

Professor Gavin Flood
24 Jan 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 2

Professor Gavin Flood
31 Jan 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 3

Professor Gavin Flood
7 Feb 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 4

Professor Gavin Flood
14 Feb 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 5

Professor Gavin Flood
21 Feb 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 6

Professor Gavin Flood
28 Feb 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 7

Professor Gavin Flood
6 Mar 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 1

Professor Gavin Flood
24 Apr 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 2

Professor Gavin Flood
1 May 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 3

Professor Gavin Flood
8 May 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 4

Professor Gavin Flood
15 May 2008

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 1

Professor Gavin Flood
23 Oct 2008

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences. The series carries on from last year and will begin again with a reading from the ‘father of phenomenology’, Edmund Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy (Evanson: Northwestern University Press, 1970).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Navya Nyaya language and methodology: Padartha

Shivdasani Lecture
Dr Piyali Palit
23 Oct 2008

The Indian model of philosophical analysis, technically devised by the Neo-Logicians, known as the Navya Nyaya school, places forth a PRAMA-oriented picture of the World (visva). This world features four basic constituents stated as (i) pramata, the knower, (ii) prameya, the knowables, (iii) pramana, the process of knowing, and, (iv) pramiti, the knowledge achieved by the pramana. Nothing in this world is left out of these broad categories, i.e., each and every entity in this world must find its place in any of those characters noted above. To speak more specifically, all worldly entities must fall either under the category of prameya, the knowables or under pramana, the process of knowing; in fact while we speak or even think about the process of knowing, pramana also happens to fall under the character of prameya. Hence, to take a definite look into this character – prameya, was of utmost importance for the Indian philosophers to get a clear picture of this world. Neo-logicians adopted the Vaisesika theory of padartha and developed it through linguistic elaboration since for them this world appeared to be not only a prameya but also as abhidheya – verbalisable – which was accepted by all the philosophical schools. Practically, knowability and verbalisability are two basic properties of this world of our experience, and, virtually our experiences tell us how we know and how we express our experiences through language or try to communicate with others. The neo-logicians marked the process of knowing as ‘encoding’, i.e., internalization of the external world, while the process of expressing verbally was marked as ‘decoding’ or ‘sabda-vyavahara’. Before we go into details of these two processes, a holistic picture of this world as ‘padartha’ following the Neo-logicians will be discussed.

 
Dr. Piyali Palit, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, did her Ph.D. thesis on ‘The Role of Syncategorimaticity as the Principle instrument in Linguistic behaviour in Vedic and Popular Usages’. She did her MA in Sanskrit from Visva Bharati, Santiniketan and Acharya in Advaita Vedanta from Rashtriya Sanskrita Sansthan, New Delhi. She was awarded a fellowship for the project on ‘Influence of Indian Tradition on Rabindranath Tagore’ at the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. She is also associated with the Centre of Advanced Studies in Philosophy at Jadavpur University. Presently she holds the chair of Principal Investigator, Major Research Project in Indian Philosophy and Research Methodology, sponsored by University Grants Commission, Govt. of India. Her recent research works extend in the areas: Analytic Research and Theory Development, Ontological Issues in Ayurveda, Advaita Vedanta, Vaisesika, Purva Mimamsa and Panini-Vyakarana. Apart from a number of articles published in various National and International journals, proceedings, and anthologies, she has authored titles including Basic Principles of Indian Philosophy of Language, A Treatise on Arthasamgraha, Samksepa-Sariraka (Trans. & Comm.), Panchikarana-Varttika, Vedanta-Sanja-Prakarana (both are transcribed from rare original manuscripts).

Related: Nyaya, Philosophy

Readings in Phenomenology 2

Professor Gavin Flood
30 Oct 2008

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences. The series carries on from last year and will begin again with a reading from the ‘father of phenomenology’, Edmund Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy (Evanson: Northwestern University Press, 1970).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 4

Professor Gavin Flood
6 Nov 2008

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences. The series carries on from last year and will begin again with a reading from the ‘father of phenomenology’, Edmund Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy (Evanson: Northwestern University Press, 1970).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 3

Professor Gavin Flood
6 Nov 2008

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences. The series carries on from last year and will begin again with a reading from the ‘father of phenomenology’, Edmund Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy (Evanson: Northwestern University Press, 1970).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Cognition and Knowledge

Shivdasani Lecture
Dr Piyali Palit
6 Nov 2008

This lecture will continue the themes of the first. Here we will focus on the process of encoding/decoding (sabda-vyavahara) following Navya Nyaya language and methodology

Related: Nyaya, Philosophy

Ontological Issues in Samhita

Shivdasani Seminar
Dr Piyali Palit
13 Nov 2008

In Indian tradition, oral transmission of the Veda unfolds the mystery of perfect linguistic behaviour, i.e., maintaining formal contiguity of syllabic structures or ‘ekavakyata’ and thereby avoiding possibilities of ‘arthabheda’ or misunderstanding. Reasons for such linguistic structure have been well expressed in Taittiriya Aranyaka followed by the vedangas, namely, siksa, pratisakhya, vyakarana and nirukta. Illustrations in these texts reveal the fact that well-formed syllabic structures, learnt and pronounced in a fixed order, traditionally known as ‘krama’ or ‘anupurvi’ delivers the intended meaning as well as maintain the sanctity or authenticity of the Veda. Varna-s or aksara-s happen to be the micro units. On pronunciation in contiguity they form a string known as vakya, which also encases pada-s or short strings of varna-s. Formation of such syllabic strings has been noted as samhita, sandhi or santana in Taittiriiya Aaranyaka followed by Rk-pratisakhya and nirukta. In this context we may also quote the Panini-sutra– ‘parah sannikarsah samhita’. Paninian grammar expresses an algorithm of these syllabic forms in about 4000 sutra-s or operative rules composed as short strings. Narration of Mahesvara-sutra-s and discussions in Paspasha-kanda of the Mahabhasya distinctly expresses the motive and analytic mode of scanning sabda available in the Bhasa. While the Mahesvara-sutras display formal conjugation of varna-s, the vartika – ‘siddhe sabdarthasambandhe’ – brings forth nature of sabda, artha and their sambandha in contguity, which was presumably taken up by Bhartrhari on exposition of Paniniiya-darsana at a later stage (ref. Sad-darshanasamuccaya by Haribhadra Suri).

Related: Grammarians, Philosophy, Veda

Readings in Phenomenology 5

Professor Gavin Flood
20 Nov 2008

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences. The series carries on from last year and will begin again with a reading from the ‘father of phenomenology’, Edmund Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy (Evanson: Northwestern University Press, 1970).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Ontology of Bhartrhari

Shivdasani Seminar
Dr Piyali Palit
20 Nov 2008

In Bhartrhari, we find the only exception who delves into explaining nature of mantra-s. He formalizes the Mantrabhaga through his unique theory of aksara-brahman or Sabdadvaita without violating the cardinal form of ekavakyata in tune with the traditionalists view. He spells this ‘linguistic contiguity’ through statements like ‘anadi-nidhanam brahma sabdadvaitam yadaksaram’ etc. The concept of aksara unfolded in Paniniya-Varttika and Mahabhasya is also found to be very much relevant in the context of Bhartrhari’s Sabdadvaitavada.

 
In the Brahmakanda of Vakyapadiya, he illustrates the algorithm of mantras lying in eternity as Para Vak, revealed to the Rsi-s through Yogaja pratyaksa or supersensory perception. At the pasyanti level their experience consumed (sphutya/sphota-bhava; while at the madhyama level these were stuffed in forms as grahya/grahaka which was considered to be transformation or parinama of Para Vak. These cognitive forms, while articulated through physical verbal organ, gained the status of vaikhari. The word ‘Veda’ itself reveals the truth as stated. The empirical world, both internal and external, are wrapped up in this form and remain to be identical with sabda, although referred to as padartha or artha in terms of their jnana-visayata and vyavahara-visayata. Asara-Brahma in assistance with Kalashakti presents them as real entities though padarthas are nothing but vivarta, illusory perception of shell-silver or rope-snake.

Related: Grammarians, Philosophy

Readings in phenomenology 1

Professor Gavin Flood
29 Jan 2009

This seminar series continues. This term we will focus on reading Paul Ricoeur's Tme and Narrative. This three volume work covers a great deal and raises questions about the nature of text, action, history, fiction, memory and the very nature of existence itself. These volumes provide a critical engagement with issues in historiography and theories of the text.

 
Bibliography
Ricoeur, Paul Time and Narrative vols 1-2. Trans by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 1984-88.

 

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in phenomenology 2

Professor Gavin Flood
5 Feb 2009

This seminar series continues. This term we will focus on reading Paul Ricoeu's Tme and Narrative. This three volume work covers a great deal and raises questions about the nature of text, action, history, fiction, memory and the very nature of existence itself. These volumes provide a critical engagement with issues in historiography and theories of the text.

 
Bibliography
Ricoeur, Paul Time and Narrative vols 1-2. Trans by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 1984-88.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in phenomenology 3

Professor Gavin Flood
12 Feb 2009

This seminar series continues. This term we will focus on reading Paul Ricoeur's Tme and Narrative. This three volume work covers a great deal and raises questions about the nature of text, action, history, fiction, memory and the very nature of existence itself. These volumes provide a critical engagement with issues in historiography and theories of the text.

 
Bibliography
Ricoeur, Paul Time and Narrative vols 1‚-2. Trans by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 1984-88.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in phenomenology 4

Professor Gavin Flood
19 Feb 2009

This seminar series continues. This term we will focus on reading Paul Ricoeur's Tme and Narrative. This three volume work covers a great deal and raises questions about the nature of text, action, history, fiction, memory and the very nature of existence itself. These volumes provide a critical engagement with issues in historiography and theories of the text.

 
Bibliography
Ricoeur, Paul Time and Narrative vols 1-2. Trans by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 1984-88.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in phenomenology 5

Professor Gavin Flood
26 Feb 2009

This seminar series continues. This term we will focus on reading Paul Ricoeur's Tme and Narrative. This three volume work covers a great deal and raises questions about the nature of text, action, history, fiction, memory and the very nature of existence itself. These volumes provide a critical engagement with issues in historiography and theories of the text.

 
Bibliography
Ricoeur, Paul Time and Narrative vols 1-2. Trans by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 1984-88.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in phenomenology 6

Professor Gavin Flood
5 Mar 2009

This seminar series continues. This term we will focus on reading Paul Ricoeur's Tme and Narrative. This three volume work covers a great deal and raises questions about the nature of text, action, history, fiction, memory and the very nature of existence itself. These volumes provide a critical engagement with issues in historiography and theories of the text.

 
Bibliography
Ricoeur, Paul Time and Narrative vols 1-2. Trans by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 1984-88.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in phenomenology 7

Professor Gavin Flood
12 Mar 2009

This seminar series continues. This term we will focus on reading Paul Ricoeur's Tme and Narrative. This three volume work covers a great deal and raises questions about the nature of text, action, history, fiction, memory and the very nature of existence itself. These volumes provide a critical engagement with issues in historiography and theories of the text.

 
Bibliography
Ricoeur, Paul Time and Narrative vols 1-2. Trans by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 1984-88.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 1

Professor Gavin Flood
7 May 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 2

Professor Gavin Flood
14 May 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 3

Professor Gavin Flood
21 May 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 4

Professor Gavin Flood
28 May 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 5

Professor Gavin Flood
4 Jun 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 6

Professor Gavin Flood
11 Jun 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 7

Professor Gavin Flood
18 Jun 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

The Seven Category Ontology Reaffirmed

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Jonardon Ganeri
10 Oct 2009

Keynote Respondent: Ramprasad Chakravarthi

 
The six categories of being of Prastapada (substance, quality, motion, differentiator, universal, inherence), together with the category of non-being, constitute the ontology of classical Vaisesika metaphysics. Raghunatha Siromani, the sixteenth century peer of Caitanya in Navadvipa, put pressure on the classical system, arguing in favour of a radical expansion to include eight new categories: power (Sakti), ownedness (svatva), moment (ksana), causehood (karanatva), effecthood (karyatva), number (samkhya), the qualifying relation pertaining to absence (vaisistya), and contentness (visayata). In the seventeenth century, however, there was a reaffirmation of the seven category ontology in the work of thinkers like Madhavadeva Bhatta and Jayarama Pancanana. I will examine the philosophical significance of this reaffirmation. I will argue that Raghunatha’s expansion is based on a commitment to a form of non-reductive realism. What the seventeenth century philosophers introduce is a new concept of realism, one which defends the compossibility of reduction and realism with respect to some type of entity. This ‘sophisticated realism’ (Dummett) is what makes it possible for the reality of entities in Raghunatha’s new categories to be acknowledged, but combined with an affirmation of the seven category metaphysics. I will ask whether it is nevertheless the case that Raghunatha was right to think that there are types of property irreducible to those admitted in the traditional system.

Related: Categories, Philosophy

Ontological Categories in Early Indian Philosophy

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Johannes Bronkhorst
10 Oct 2009

This paper will address the question whether and to what extent the ontological categories of early Indian philosophies can be looked upon as what might be called ‘natural categories’, categories that correspond in some way to the reality they intend to describe. It turns out that some of the Indian categories are of this kind, others are not. Examples will be discussed.

Related: Categories, Philosophy

On bhava - the ultimate category

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Eivind Kahrs
10 Oct 2009

Whereas some categories clearly are the outcome of mental deliberations, such as the dharma-taxonomies of the Buddhists, the padarthas of the Vaisesikas, or the tattvas of the Samkhyas, others seem to arise from within the cognitive models of Indian culture. This paper explores the concept of bhava as one of the categories arising from within the Sanskrit linguistic and philosophical traditions and traces its transformation into one of the core categories of Sanskritic thought.

Related: Categories, Philosophy

Nyaya's pramana (Knowledge-Generators) as Natural Kinds

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Stephen Phillips
10 Oct 2009

This paper examines Nyaya's understanding of the sources of knowledge, especially perception and inference, as generating genuine subkinds of cognition that are discernible by introspection as well as through our own and others' behaviour, and addresses how typological resources are used by the school in its epistemological theory. By being able to recognize a cognition as perceptual, inferential, analogical, or testimonial in character, we have access to our knowledge such that doubt and controversy can be resolved. The hinge premise is that we may assume such cognition to be veridical. Like contemporary disjunctivists, Naiyayikas see pramana as natural processes and their results as falling into natural kinds, with close imitators, illusions, incorrect inferences, false testimonial comprehension, and so on, as something else altogether, not the same at all, though a wider uniting kind may be identified, being-a-property, being-a-psychological-property, and so on up through the categorial system. This facet of Nyaya's epistemology helps to solve an issue facing modern reliabilist externalism, which is the position that beliefs receive a default positive epistemic status in virtue of being the results of reliable processes of belief-formation. The issue is how to differentiate doxastic processes in an epistemically relevant fashion. Nyaya has a straightforward answer--identify candidates by the highest standard, one-hundred percent reliability, and correlating marks (jati-vyanjana)--an answer that this paper in the end says a word or two to defend.

Related: Categories, Nyaya, Philosophy

The Analysis of Experience in Classical Samkhya

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Mikel Burley
11 Oct 2009

This paper argues for an interpretation of classical SƒÅ·pÉkhya according to which its schema of twenty-five categories constitutes the result of an analysis of experience as opposed to a speculative cosmogony or imaginative account of how our psychological faculties come into existence. Problems with prevalent interpretations are highlighted, notably the difficulty of understanding how physical elements can ‘evolve’ from psychological ones and that of understanding the relevance of the categorial schema to SƒÅ·pÉkhya’s overall soteriological goal. An experience-oriented interpretation is then proposed, drawing analogies with aspects of Kantian and phenomenological philosophy. It is contended that the manifest categories be understood as constituents of possible experience (or experience-in-general) rather than as material entities, and the relations between them be understood in terms of synchronic conditionality rather than diachronic material causality. The proposed interpretation, it is argued, shows the SƒÅ·pÉkhya system to be more internally coherent and soteriologically relevant than do alternative interpretations.

Related: Categories, Philosophy, Samkhya

Madhyamakas and Ontological Categories

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Jan Westerhoff
11 Oct 2009

The status of categories within Madhyamaka philosophy is a curious one. On the one hand there is a strong tendency to reject philosophically refined analyses of the constituents which make up the world, thereby rejecting systems of categories as well. The Madhyamika, it seems, accepts whatever conventions the world accepts at the merely conventional level but does not propose any conventions of his own. In fact there appear to be good reasons for such a view. Given that the membership of an object in a category is generally taken to be a clear example of a property an object has intrinsically, and since the Madhyamikas reject intrinsic properties (properties which exist by svabhava) they should reject categories as well.

 
On the other hand, however, Madhyamakas make use of the very sophisticated and intricate categorial frameworks found in traditional Indian grammar and in the Abhidharma. Furthermore they also vehemently argue against the use of other frameworks, such as that of the Naiyayikas.
 
This paper will explore ways of resolving this tension and investigate more generally what role categories play in the Madhyamaka system of philosophy.

Related: Buddhism, Categories, Philosophy

The Concept of a Category in Vaisesika Philosophy

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Dr Shashiprabha Kumar
11 Oct 2009

The present paper proposes to put forth a general outline of categories (=padarthas) as available in the Vaisesika system of Indian philosophy. Vaisesika is usually held to be a pluralistic realism in the sense that it propounds six categories as divisions of reality and claims that all the existent, knowable and nameable entities can be covered under these six padarthas: dravya (substance), guna (quality), karma (action or motion), samanya (universal), visesa (ultimate particularity) and samavaya (inherence). Kanada, the founder of Vaisesika system, has himself declared in the beginning of his discourse that a proper knowledge of the six padarthas through twin methods of sadharmya (similarities) and vaidharmya (dissimilarities) among them, will enable one to accomplish the final goal. Accordingly, several sets of similarities among different groups of padarthas have been elucidated which definitely help in a better and clearer understanding of the Vaisesika categories. In brief, the Vaisesika concept of categories is very comprehensive since it presents an exhaustive enumeration of reals.

Related: Categories, Philosophy, Vaisesika

From Ontology to Taxonomy: the Jaina Colonisation of the Universe

Shivdasani Conference 2009
Will Johnson
11 Oct 2009

This paper explores the shift in Jaina thought from categorization (the ontological dualism of jiva and ajiva) to classification (the universe as a map of the Jina's mind), and reflects on a corresponding alteration in soteriological and sociological concerns.

Related: Categories, Jainism, Philosophy

Readings in Phenomenology 1

Professor Gavin Flood
22 Oct 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the phenomenology of religion, in order to understand it, we need to address these fundamental ideas and raise the basic questions of phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence theology, the phenomenology of religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 2

Professor Gavin Flood
29 Oct 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the phenomenology of religion, in order to understand it, we need to address these fundamental ideas and raise the basic questions of phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence theology, the phenomenology of religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 3

Professor Gavin Flood
5 Nov 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the phenomenology of religion, in order to understand it, we need to address these fundamental ideas and raise the basic questions of phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence theology, the phenomenology of religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 4

Professor Gavin Flood
12 Nov 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the phenomenology of religion, in order to understand it, we need to address these fundamental ideas and raise the basic questions of phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence theology, the phenomenology of religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Hinduism I: Themes and Textual Sources Lecture 6: Philosophical Traditions I

Professor Gavin Flood
18 Nov 2009

This course offers a thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism for students of theology and religious studies. Focusing on the brahmanical tradition we will explore the textual sources, categories, practices and social institutions that formed that tradition. Primary texts in translation will provide the basis for reflection on issues such as dharma, renunciation, caste, and concepts of deity. We then move on to some of the major philosophical developments of the tradition, with particular emphasis on the Vedanta. The course will raise theological and cultural questions about the relation between reason and practice, person and world, and society and gender. We will conclude with a consideration of Hinduism and modernity.

Related: General, Philosophy

Readings in Phenomenology 5

Professor Gavin Flood
19 Nov 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the phenomenology of religion, in order to understand it, we need to address these fundamental ideas and raise the basic questions of phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence theology, the phenomenology of religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 6

Professor Gavin Flood
26 Nov 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the phenomenology of religion, in order to understand it, we need to address these fundamental ideas and raise the basic questions of phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence theology, the phenomenology of religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology 7

Professor Gavin Flood
3 Dec 2009

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on theology and religious studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in theology and the phenomenology of religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the phenomenology of religion, in order to understand it, we need to address these fundamental ideas and raise the basic questions of phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence theology, the phenomenology of religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session One

Professor Gavin Flood
28 Jan 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Two

Professor Gavin Flood
4 Feb 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Three

Professor Gavin Flood
11 Feb 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Four

Professor Gavin Flood
18 Feb 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Five

Professor Gavin Flood
25 Feb 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Six

Professor Gavin Flood
4 Mar 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Seven

Professor Gavin Flood
11 Mar 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session One

Professor Gavin Flood
29 Apr 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Two

Professor Gavin Flood
6 May 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Three

Professor Gavin Flood
13 May 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Four

Professor Gavin Flood
20 May 2010

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session One

Professor Gavin Flood
14 Oct 2010

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

 
This term we will be reading Gabriel Marcel The Mystery of Being (Le mystère de l’être).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Two

Professor Gavin Flood
21 Oct 2010

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

 
This term we will be reading Gabriel Marcel The Mystery of Being (Le mystère de l’être).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Three

Professor Gavin Flood
28 Oct 2010

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

 
This term we will be reading Gabriel Marcel The Mystery of Being (Le mystère de l’être).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Four

Professor Gavin Flood
4 Nov 2010

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

 
This term we will be reading Gabriel Marcel The Mystery of Being (Le mystère de l’être).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Five

Professor Gavin Flood
11 Nov 2010

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

 
This term we will be reading Gabriel Marcel The Mystery of Being (Le mystère de l’être).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Session Six

Professor Gavin Flood
18 Nov 2010

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century that has had a deep impact on Theology and Religious Studies. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the literature and fundamental concepts of phenomenology which underlie much work in Theology and the Phenomenology of Religion. While the readings themselves are not directly about the Phenomenology of Religion, in order to understand the Phenomenology of Religion we need to address these fundamental ideas and to raise the basic questions of Phenomenology. The aim is not so much a comprehensive overview of the phenomenological movement, but rather an attempt to come to grips with key phenomenological ideas that influence Theology, the Phenomenology of Religion, and other areas in the human sciences.

 
This term we will be reading Gabriel Marcel The Mystery of Being (Le mystère de l’être).

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Gadamer's ‘Truth and Method’, Session One

Professor Gavin Flood
24 Jan 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Gadamer's ‘Truth and Method’, Session Two

Professor Gavin Flood
31 Jan 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Gadamer's ‘Truth and Method’, Session Three

Professor Gavin Flood
7 Feb 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Gadamer's ‘Truth and Method’, Session Four

Professor Gavin Flood
14 Feb 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Gadamer's ‘Truth and Method’, Session Five

Professor Gavin Flood
21 Feb 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Gadamer's ‘Truth and Method’, Session Six

Professor Gavin Flood
28 Feb 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology: Gadamer's ‘Truth and Method’, Session Seven

Professor Gavin Flood
7 Mar 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology Session 1

Professor Gavin Flood
5 May 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology Session 2

Professor Gavin Flood
12 May 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology Session 3

Professor Gavin Flood
19 May 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Readings in Phenomenology Session 4

Professor Gavin Flood
26 May 2011

Related: Philosophy, Religious Studies

Theories of the Text: Week Two

Professor Gavin Flood
20 Oct 2011

Related: General, Philosophy

The Logical Illumination of Mīmāṃsā and Nyāya (to Navyanyāya)

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor Purushottama Bilimoria
14 Nov 2011

Evolution of thinking, metaphysics and theology  (apauruṣeya, apūrva, padārthas, Īśvara, vādavivāda, hetutarka)

Purushottama Bilimoria, PhD is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Studies at Deakin University in Australia and Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne. Visiting Professor and Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley and Dominican University, San Anselmo, and Shivadasani Fellow of  Oxford University. His areas of specialist research and publications cover classical Indian philosophy and comparative ethics; Continental thought; cross-cultural philosophy of religion, diaspora studies; bioethics, and personal law in India. He is an Editor-in-Chief of Sophia, Journal of Philosophy of Religion, Springer. He also edits a book series with Springer on Sophia: cross-cultural studies in Culture and Traditions, Recent publication is Indian Ethics I, Ashgate 2007; OUP 2008, and Sabdapramana: Word and Knowledge (Testimony) in Indian Philosophy (revised reprint), Delhi: DK PrintWorld 2008; ‘Nietzsche as ‘Europe’s Buddha’ and Asia’s Superman, Sophia, vol 47/3 2008; Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion (with Andrew Irvine, Ken Surin et al) Springer 2009. Teaches and publishes on Hindu religious philosophies. Also works on political philosophy, pertaining to ethics of rights, theories of justice, capabilities, education and gender issues in third world, particularly South Asian, contexts.

Related: Philosophy

Hinduism I: Themes and Textual Sources Lecture 7: Philosophical Traditions II

Professor Gavin Flood
25 Nov 2011

This course offers a thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism for students of theology and religious studies. Focusing on the brahmanical tradition we will explore the textual sources, categories, practices and social institutions that formed that tradition. Primary texts in translation will provide the basis for reflection on issues such as dharma, renunciation, caste, and concepts of deity. We then move on to some of the major philosophical developments of the tradition, with particular emphasis on the Vedanta. The course will raise theological and cultural questions about the relation between reason and practice, person and world, and society and gender. We will conclude with a consideration of Hinduism and modernity.

Related: General, Philosophy

Buddhists and Brahmins at Vikramaśīla

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor Parimal Patil
28 May 2012

 It is so well-known that Buddhist philosophers in India argued with their non-Buddhist opponents that it is hardly worth mentioning. Yet, despite the centuries-long history of such polemics, Buddhist philosophers in India rarely explained what they hoped to gain in critically engaging their opponents through such arguments. In this lecture, I discuss why Buddhist epistemologists at Vikramaśīla thought it was important to argue with their Brahmanical opponents. 

Related: Buddhism, Philosophy

On How To Argue with a Buddhist

Shivdasani Seminar
Professor Parimal Patil
30 May 2012

In this seminar, we will explore what was at stake, both philosophically and otherwise, for Brahmanical philosophers in debates with Buddhist opponents. We will focus, in particular, on Nyāya arguments for the existence of Īśvara and Buddhist counterarguments. 

Related: Buddhism, Nyaya, Philosophy

Consuming Scripture

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor Parimal Patil
4 Jun 2012
What counts as "scripture"?
Wherein lies its authority?
What has been said about dharma on the basis of it?
How has what has been said been justified through exegesis (and other commentarial and "quasi-commentarial" practices)?

Related: Hindu Theology, Mimāṃsā, Philosophy

Motivation to the Means in the Philosopher’s Stone

Shivdasani Seminar
Professor Parimal Patil
6 Jun 2012

This seminar is an exploration of theories of religious action and meta-ethics in late pre-modern Indian philosophy of religion. We will focus on these theories as they are introduced by the Nyāya philosopher Gaṅgēśa in his Tattvacintāmaṇi. 

 
Parimal G. Patil is Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy at Harvard University, where is Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies. His primary academic interests are in Sanskrit philosophy and the intellectual history of religion in India. In his first two books, Against a Hindu God and Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India, he focused on interreligious debates between Buddhists and non-Buddhist philosophers in the final phase of Buddhism in India. Currently, he is working on early modern Sanskrit philosophy, especially the work of the New Epistemologists.

Related: Nyaya, Philosophy