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

The role of convention in signification

In his Seśvaramīmāṃsā ad 1.1.12, Veṅkaṭanātha explains that the example of proper names does not prove that language in general depends on convention. He writes that the case of proper names is not a dahanadṛṣṭānta, possibly ‘an example which sets Continue reading The role of convention in signification

3AM Interview with Malcolm Keating

Malcolm has kindly alerted the Blog about the spate of recent 3AM Magazine interviews with philosophers who focus on India. But humility has likely prevented him from noting his own. So I am happy to do so. Please find the interview here: https://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/indian-philosophy-of-language/ There Continue reading 3AM Interview with Malcolm Keating

Insults, Slurs, and Other Pejorative Speech

Anyone who is familiar with premodern Indian philosophy written in Sanskrit knows that philosophers were not above using insults in their work. J.M. Verpoorten (2002) has a paper collecting these insults, which include akṛta-buddhi (having an unformed mind), paśu (animal, Continue reading Insults, Slurs, and Other Pejorative Speech

Is there a Sanskrit word for “intelligence” (or any other word)?

A reader wrote me: I would like to know whether there is a similar term in Indian philosophy (sanskrit) for ‘Intelligence’. Can we equate it with the term prajñānam? The problem with such questions (I do not know about you, Continue reading Is there a Sanskrit word for “intelligence” (or any other word)?

A contemporary Prābhākara contextualism

In her recent post on theories of sentence meaning in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā, Elisa talked about a possible “contemporary Prābhākara” viewpoint about sentence meaning: …a contemporary Prābhākara might suggest that some preliminary understanding of word-meaning is immediately denoted by each word, Continue reading A contemporary Prābhākara contextualism

Proximity, semantic fitness and syntactic expectancy as criteria for the sentence meaning

Words (for the Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā authors) get connected into a complex sentence meaning through proximity (sannidhi), semantic fitness (yogyatā) and syntactic expectancy (ākāṅkṣā). These three criteria correspond to the requirement of being uttered one after the other with no intervening Continue reading Proximity, semantic fitness and syntactic expectancy as criteria for the sentence meaning