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

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

Who is the Īśvara of the Yogasūtra/Pātañjalayogaśāstra?

Is Īśvara in the Yogasūtra/Pātañjalayogaśāstra just the model of a puruṣa who has realised its being separated from nature? Or is He an omnipotent (and perhaps compassionate) God?

Śabara on sentences

The discussion on the epistemological validity of sentences starts in Jaimini’s Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra (PMS) and in Śabara’s commentary thereon when the opponent notes that, even if —as established in PMS 1.1.5— there were really an originary connection between words Continue reading

Are words an instrument of knowledge?

Are words an instrument of knowledge? And, if so, what sort of? Are they an instance of inference insofar as one infers the meaning on the basis of the words used? Or are they are an independent instrument of knowledge, Continue reading

Why are postulation (arthāpatti) and inference not the same thing?

Arthāpatti ‘postulation’ is the instrument of knowledge through which we know that Devadatta is out given that he is alive and not home. In Classical India, just like among contemporary scholars, several thinkers (especially of the Nyāya school) have tried Continue reading

Anand Venkatkrishnan on Vedānta, bhakti and Mīmāṃsā through the history of the family of Āpadeva and Anantadeva in 16th–17th c. Banaras

When, where and how did bhakti become acceptable within the Indian intellectual élites?

(Third day at the IABS:) Franco on the datation of Dharmakīrti and some further thoughts on Dharmakīrti, Dignāga, Kumārila

The datation of Dharmakīrti is a topic I am not competent enough to speak about, but I will nonetheless try to summarise other people’s arguments. The departing point is the traditionally accepted date of Dharmakīrti, namely 600–660, settled by Erich Continue reading

How exactly does one seize the meaning of a word? K. Yoshimizu 2011 (and Kataoka forthc.) on Dignāga and Kumārila

We all know that for Dignāga the meaning of a word is apoha ‘exclusion’. But how does one seize it and avoid the infinite regress of excluding non-cows because one has understood what “cow” means? Kataoka at the last IABS Continue reading