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Epistemology, Logic, and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis

Epistemology, Logic, and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis
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Item Code: IDE283
Author: Bimal Krishna Matilal
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 0195666585
Pages: 166
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.8" X 5.8"
From the Jacket:

The popular approach to the study of Indian Philosophy was born out of the assumption that critical thinking was unknown to the East. Thus, all philosophical endeavour was thought of fundamentally as a manifestation of religious doctrine, or a form of mysticism. In a climate of growth interest in Indian philosophy, Matilal successfully dispels some of these assumptions, and opens up the rich traditional of Indian philosophical analysis to the modern reader.

This book points to the urgent need for understanding the continuities between analytical and critical traditions of the East and West. Sanskrit has been the language most commonly used in treatises in Indian philosophy. Matilal acknowledges that it is difficult to master it in a way that enables the reader to understand the philosophical content in more familiar terminologies of analytical philosophy in the West. Locating his analysis in the central debate of whether reality is actually knowable and therefore expressible in language, Matilal brings texts hitherto thought of as esoteric, to open up as absolutely central, canonical statements of epistemological and methodological relevance.

This book has not only challenged the way Indian philosophy was perceived, it is also a significant contribution to the creativity and comprehensiveness of philosophical endeavour, making Indian Philosophy one of its building blocks.

The new edition incorporates additions and changes made by Matilal in his personal copy. It will be useful not just for the professional philosopher engaged in mapping various analytical traditions beyond linguistic boundaries, but also for the historian of ideas and for the Sanskrit - all of whom approach canonical texts with different epistemic concerns. Edited and with a preface by Jonardon Ganeri, this volume is a lucid introduction to the varied legacy of Indian philosophical analysis.

About the Author:

Bimal Krishna Matilal (1935-91) was Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics, All Souls College, Oxford. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1991.

Jonardon Ganeri is Reader in Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool.


Preface to the New Edition: J.Ganeriix
Preface to the First Editionxi
Chronological Table of Philosophersxvii
1. Perception and Language1
1.1 General remarks on the problem2
1.2 Early Nyaya theory of perception3
1.3 The rise of idealism5
1.4 Bhartrhari's theory of knowledge: 'Construction' (vikalpa)8
1.5 Dinnaga's theory of perception12
1.6 Word-meaning as 'exclusion' (apoha)17
1.7 Dinnaga and modern reductionism23
2. Individuals, Universals, and Perception27
2.1 A critique of the Dinnaga school27
2.2 Material bodies and their atomic constituents29
2.3 'Inseparable' relation (samavaya)32
2.4 The law of contradiction and the 'delimitors'36
2.5 Universals as meanings of general terms37
2.6 Uses of articles and quantifiers: 'Modes' of reference40
2.7 The problem of 'real' universal (jati)45
2.8 The notion of 'propositional' perception50
2.9 Non-qualificative perception in Navya-nyaya: 'Simple' properties55
2.10 Terms and prepositional assertions63
3. Early Grammarians on Philosophical Semantics68
3.1 Preliminary remarks68
3.2 The notion of 'substance': Panini's rule 1.2.6469
3.3 'Substance' and 'quality': Panini's rule 5.1.11971
3.4 Two aspects of meaning: Vyadi and Vajapyayana76
3.5 Bhartrhari's definition of 'substance'79
3.6 Vyadi's theory of meaning82
3.7 An analysis of Vyadi's theory in modern terminology89
4. Empty Subject Terms in Logic92
4.1 Non-referring expressions in language92
4.2 The riddle of 'non-being'93
4.3 The status of 'example' in Indian logic95
4.4 The Nyaya-Buddhist controversy99
4.5 The epistemological significance of the controversy102
4.6 The implicit Nyaya semantic principle105
4.7 Interpretation of existence and negation107
4.8 The pan-fictional approach of Buddhism111
5. Negation and the Madhyamika Dialectic113
5.1 The Madhyamika attitude - 'emptiness'113
5.2 Two levels of truth118
5.3 The indeterminacy of the phenomenal world121
5.4 The paradox of 'emptiness'123
5.5 Sophistry and the semantical paradoxes124
5.6 Two aspects of negation128
5.7 'Mysticism' and the Madhyamika School130
Bibliographical References133

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