When philosophers and translators approached Ferdinand de Saussure’s theory of langue vs parole, they initially thought of translating parole with ‘word’ or its various synonyms in many languages. The problem is that parole can mean ‘word’, but that in French Continue reading How to translate śabda?
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
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
The next CBC will take place in Oxford, Wolfson College, 4–6.12.2018. You can learn the names of the speakers and everything else here and in this flyer. General title: Science and Technology in Premodern Asia
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
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
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)?
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
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
One image I’ve encountered in Sanskrit texts on language is that of the arrow standing in for the capacity of words. I think the first time (in secondary literature) I saw this was in K.K. Raja’s Indian Theories of Meaning, Continue reading Words are arrows