Special issue of the Journal of Indian Philosophy: Mahābhārata

A new special issue of the Journal of Indian Philosophy is dedicated to “Locating Philosophy in the Mahābhārata.” James L. Fitzgerald introduces the articles in a paper available online without institutional access.

We’ve talked on the blog before (examples here and here) about locating Indian ethics and political thought in genres not traditionally identified as “philosophical.” Much work remains to be done on this topic, and Fitzgerald concludes his introductory essay reflecting on the next steps in the study of epic philosophy:

First, we all need to pay close attention to the narrative medium which the authorial agents of the MBh used for their philosophizing and in and against which they set and framed the philosophizing of others. Secondly, with much less sparkle on its surface, we need to add to the basic research of earlier generations of scholars on the contents of the text: systematic and methodical surveys of words and ideas and careful study of each textual construction for itself. The digital resources we have at our disposal today make this basic research and study much more convenient than it was in the past, but the fundamental requirement is still the meeting of human minds that must occur ‘in real time’ as sentence after sentence is read and argument upon argument is slowly pondered.
I would add to Fitzgerald’s last remarks that collaborative work seems especially important here, since to think about literature as philosophy involves a broad skillset: thinking philosophically, but also narratively, historically, text-critically, philologically.

About Malcolm Keating

Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Humanities Division at Yale-NUS College, Singapore.

One Reply to “Special issue of the Journal of Indian Philosophy: Mahābhārata”

  1. I completely agree with Fitzgerald and Keating that collaborative work on the Mahabharata is what is needed. I would be very happy to be part of such a project. Anybody interested?

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