Fixed duties require less care in their performance than optional ones (Maṇḍana’s view)

Maṇḍana reforms Mīmāṃsā philosophy of action and deontic by saying that one undertakes actions only because one believes them to be the means to a desired output. A problem Maṇḍana needs to face is the following: If the performance of Continue reading Fixed duties require less care in their performance than optional ones (Maṇḍana’s view)

Post-Doc Fellowships in Global Philosophy of Religion

We received from Yujin Nagasawa (via Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad): I am starting a new Templeton-funded project called the Global Philosophy of Religion (https://www.global-philosophy.org/). The aim of the project is to promote research involving philosophers of religion from all religious traditions and Continue reading Post-Doc Fellowships in Global Philosophy of Religion

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

Does the kammatic/nibbanic distinction fit the facts?

How helpful is Melford Spiro’s kammatic/nibbanic distinction in describing Buddhism? It can be tempting to line it up too closely with other dichotomies – to say that kammatic Buddhism is practised by householders and nibbanic Buddhism by monks, for example. Damien Continue reading Does the kammatic/nibbanic distinction fit the facts?

Words are arrows piercing lotus leaves

I recently received a thoughtful email from Satyanarayana Hegde, who is a Civil Attorney by profession and characterizes himself as an autodidact interested in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Persian and Urdu languages and literary cultures who ccasionally perpetrates random acts of Continue reading Words are arrows piercing lotus leaves

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