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

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

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

“Linguistics in the premodern world? Just nonsense!”

Patrick O’Donnell, who also contributed to this blog, recently published an interesting response to the above argument, as found in this article by Gaston Dorren. Dorren’s main claim is: While all disciplines attract the occasional eccentric, it seems that two Continue reading

Meanings of Words and Sentences in Mīmāṃsā

Mīmāṃsakas of both the Bhāṭṭa and the Prābhākara subschools refute the idea of a sphoṭa carrying the meaning and being different from what we experience, namely phonemes and words, since this contradicts the principle of parsimony and our common experience. Continue reading

Hermeneutics, “Ricoeurian” and “Jaiminīya,” and the Question of Writing

I am a big fan of Paul Ricoeur. It’s shame, I think, that he never learned Sanskrit, because he was deeply interested in a number of issues that were of critical importance to Indian thinkers: the production of meaning through Continue reading

Open access papers on philosophy of language etc.

For a lucky coincidence, two long term projects of mine reached completion almost at the same time. You can therefore read on the 2017 issue of the Journal of World Philosophies the (Open Access) papers on philosophy of language which Continue reading

The Mīmāṃsā approach to the sentence meaning as something to be done

According to Mīmāṃsā authors, and unlike Nyāya ones, Vedic sentences do not convey the existence of something, but rather that something should be done. This means that the entire Veda is an instrument of knowledge only as regards duties and Continue reading