What happens when commands clash? A standard devise to deal with the topic is the idea of taking one as a general rule and the other as a specific one. In Sanskrit, these are called, respectively, utsarga and apavāda. Mīmāṃsā Continue reading General and specific rules in Mīmāṃsā?
Within chapter 11 of his masterpiece, the Vidhiviveka `Discernment about prescription’, Maṇḍana identifies the core element which causes people to undertake actions. Maṇḍana expands on Kumārila’s intuition about human behaviour being always goal-oriented by offering a radical reductionist hypothesis. According Continue reading A preliminary understanding of Maṇḍana’s pratibhā
Mīmāṃsā authors distinguish broadly between prescriptions (vidhi) and prohibitions (niṣedha). The first ones are linked with a result, so that if one has fulfilled them, they get a reward. The latter, if respected, don’t lead to any result, whereas they Continue reading Reparations, expiations and prāyaścittas
Mīmāṃsā authors deal with conflicting commands according to a decreasing scale of preferences, which seems to me comparable to the scale of preferences according to which one deals with legal conflicts. Starting from below, 4) The least preferred option is Continue reading Four ways to deal with deontic conflicts
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 The Mīmāṃsā approach to the sentence meaning as something to be done
Let us take the abstract form of a Vedic prescription: (A.) Whoever desires to achieve something should sacrifice It is easy for an objector to go on and argue as follows: A Śūdra (i.e., a member of the lowest class) Continue reading Deontic rules at work: A case of conflict
I am currently working with some amazing colleagues at the Vienna University of Technology on the formalisation of Mīmāṃsā deontic logic (for further information, read this post). One of the problems we are facing is that duties prescribed in Vedic Continue reading Do Mīmāṃsakas think that one “Ought to sacrifice”, or that one “Ought to sacrifice, given the condition x applies”?
In the case of the Śyena and the Agnīṣomīya rituals, violence is once condemned and once allowed, causing long discussions among Mīmāṃsā authors. Similarly, the prohibition to eat kalañja, onion and garlic is interpreted differently than the prohibition to look Continue reading What do I obtain if I refrain from eating onion (and so on)?
The Mīmāṃsā school of Indian philosophy has at its primary focus the exegesis of Sacred Texts (called Vedas), and more specifically of their prescriptive portions, the Brāhmaṇas. This means that the epistemic content conveyed by the Vedas is, primarily, what Continue reading Conveying prescriptions: The Mīmāṃsā understanding of how prescriptive texts function
There are fields in which the contribution of applied ethics and deontics are more than needed, such as that of the programming of artificial intelligence connected to robots which might interact with human beings. Chaudhuri and Vardi (their article can Continue reading Possible applications of Mīmāṃsā deontics: on Chaudhuri and Vardi