Eliot Deutsch (1931-2020)

Professor Eliot Deutsch, distinguished scholar of Indian philosophy, comparative philosophy, and aesthetics, has died. From an obituary by Roger Ames posted on the University of Hawai’i Department of Philosophy website. The life of Eliot Deutsch lies at the center of Continue reading Eliot Deutsch (1931-2020)

Vedānta commentators on the Bhagavadgītā 2.46

The three main schools of Vedānta in South India—Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and Dvaita all center themselves around a similar canon of sacred texts, including the Vedas, Upaniṣads, Purāṇas, etc. Of such canonical scriptures, the Bhagavadgītā (BG) is regarded as authoritative in all three Continue reading Vedānta commentators on the Bhagavadgītā 2.46

Women and Adhikāra in Dvaita Vedānta

The term adhikāra has multiple connotations in Sanskrit intellectual disciplines. It may be loosely translated as eligibility, but it includes within its scope questions of whether a person has a) the capacity to do something and b) the legitimate authority to do Continue reading Women and Adhikāra in Dvaita Vedānta

Vādirājatīrtha’s Use of Mīmāṃsā Principles

In this post, I will look at two instances in The Jasmine Vine of Reasoning (Yuktimallikā) where Vādirājatīrtha, a prominent 16th Cent. CE scholar of Dvaita Vedānta, uses principles from Mīmāṃsā to bolster his arguments. Mīmāṃsā, one of the six traditional darśanas in Indian Continue reading Vādirājatīrtha’s Use of Mīmāṃsā Principles

Is karma about why bad things happen to good people?

Continuing my reply to Evan Thompson, I will focus next on karma, because the reinterpretation of karma is central to my own eudaimonist Buddhism, and therefore it forms a focal point in Thompson’s critique. Karma is Thompson’s example of how Continue reading Is karma about why bad things happen to good people?

Indian Philosophy During the Pandemic: A Call for Examples and Ideas

During the current pandemic almost all academic conferences have been canceled or postponed. In my own case, for instance, I was planning to have a busy April and May. I was supposed to present on women philosophers in ancient India Continue reading Indian Philosophy During the Pandemic: A Call for Examples and Ideas

The theology of Vaikuṇṭha: Why should you want to be in heaven?

We all know so many clever jokes about how hell should be preferred “because of the good company” and about how boring should heaven be. Let me take the chance to focus on the Śrīvaiṣṇava heaven, i.e., Vaikuṇṭha, and see Continue reading The theology of Vaikuṇṭha: Why should you want to be in heaven?

Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

In the Nyāyasiddhāñjana and the Nyāyapariśuddhi, Veṅkaṭanātha discusses some fundamental ontological topics in order to distinguish his positions from the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika position. The Nyāyasūtra proposes a fundamental division of realities into dravya ‘substances’, guṇa ‘qualities’, and karman ‘actions’,1 with the Continue reading Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

Learning from Gārgī’s Silence

“Thereupon, Gārgī Vācaknavī fell silent.” (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 3.6) I’m currently teaching a class called “Ancient Women Philosophers: India and Greece,” which is interesting for many reasons. I’ll get to some of those reasons in another post. In this post I want Continue reading Learning from Gārgī’s Silence