Solipsism in Sanskrit philosophy: Preliminary thoughts
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by elisa freschi
2w ago
How do Sanskrit philosophers deal with solipsism? Some Buddhist epistemologists just accepted it, as a necessary consequence of their idealism. The example of Ratnakīrti’s “Rejection of the existence of other continuous sequences [of causes and effects leading to the illusion of a separate mind]” comes to mind. In my opinion, Ratnakīrti has a specially strong argument in favour of his view, namely: The Buddhist epistemological school denies the ultimate mind-independent existence of external objects. But once one accepts that, and thus accepts idealism, how can one safeguard intersubjectivity ..read more
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King’s improvement on Gandhi
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by Amod Lele
2w ago
Tomorrow the United States celebrates a holiday in honour of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boston University, where I work, is always eager to remind everyone that King got his doctorate there. They are not always as eager to remind you that King studied at the School of Theology – and clearly learned his lessons there well, for he was not merely a great activist but a great philosopher. I have come to know King’s thought through the courses I have taught in BU’s philosophy department – even though the courses were on Indian philosophy. I have nevertheless included King on the syllabus for that clas ..read more
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Honing in on a disagreement
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by Amod Lele
1M ago
I wanted to reflect a bit more on my debate with Charles Goodman at Princeton this November. (If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video of the debate and our handouts.) I don’t think either of us would consider the debate conclusive. Indeed, following the debate, our conversations that afternoon indicated that the issues we were really concerned about lay elsewhere. A brief summary of where the debate itself went: the Charles calls Śāntideva a utilitarian because Śāntideva is a universalist consequentialist; that means that he is concerned with bringing about the best overall consequences f ..read more
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Video debate: “Śāntideva: utilitarian or eudaimonist?”
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by Amod Lele
1M ago
This November, Charles Goodman and I had a wonderful debate at Princeton’s Center for Culture, Society and Religion, on the interpretation of Śāntideva’s ethics: Charles claims that Śāntideva is a utilitarian, I claim that he is a eudaimonist. You can now watch the video of the debate on the Center’s website; I hope you enjoy! Charles and I refer a lot in the debate to the handouts we created; I’m attaching them here. Lele handoutDownload Goodman handoutDownload ..read more
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Opening for a professor of “Indian Philosophy” at Oxford
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by elisa freschi
1M ago
The Faculty of Philosophy is seeking to appoint an Associate Professor (or Professor) in Indian Philosophy, in association with a Tutorial Fellowship at Lady Margaret Hall. This post is available from 1 September 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter. This is a permanent appointment (subject to an initial probation). Further particulars for the post, and information on how to apply, are available here (NB: The link does not work on Safari, but it works on Chrome). The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 16 January 2023 ..read more
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Are blogs back?
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by Amod Lele
2M ago
You’ve no doubt heard about the train wreck that is Twitter’s current state under Elon Musk. Even if you would prefer a Twitter with less content moderation, as Musk had said he wished to create, it’s hard to be optimistic about Twitter’s future amid Musk’s wave of haphazard sackings. So many of us are now starting to ask: what does the world after Twitter look like? And, well, do you remember the world before Twitter? It was full of blogs! A Substack post from Brad DeLong today linked to John Scalzi, who I remember best sixteen years ago for taping bacon to the cat. (I miss the ’00s in a numb ..read more
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Who cares about phenomenological similarities?
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by Amod Lele
2M ago
I think one often learns the most about a philosopher from those points where her views change. With that in mind, I’d like to highlight a way I think my own thought has changed recently. Ten years ago on this blog, I posted an essay that I had written ten years before that, for Robert M. Gimello’s graduate course on Buddhist meditation traditions. That paper critiques Ninian Smart’s chapter “What would Buddhaghosa have made of The Cloud of Unknowing?” (in Steven Katz’s Mysticism and Language). My now twenty-year-old essay tears Smart to pieces for his comparison between Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhi ..read more
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Ought entails can (and prohibitions imply possibility) in Kumārila (and Śabara)
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by elisa freschi
3M ago
Within TV ad 1.3.4, (Mimamsadarsana 1929-34, pp. 192–193), Kumārila discusses a seeming deontic conflict and solves it by appealing to the different responsibilities (adhikāra) of the various addressees. He explains that the prescription to learn the Vedas for 48 years does not conflict (virodhābhāva) with the duty to get married and have children, because it addresses people who suffer of disabilities and who therefore cannot become householders. This is a further evidence of how O(x/a) implies that a is actually able to perform x. If a is unable to perform x, the obligation is not incumbent ..read more
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Two South Asian approaches to gender ethics
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by Sandhya Lele
3M ago
(This post is cross-posted from Love of All Wisdom. If you regularly read the IPB but not that blog, you likely know me as Amod Lele. I explained there a little while ago.) I was recently invited to a recent Buddhist-ethics conference featuring a workshop discussion on gender. I decided to attend the workshop en femme – as Sandhya – because I thought it might be relevant, though I wasn’t sure how. It turned out it was. The workshop, hosted by Amy Langenberg and Antoinette DeNapoli, showcased the pair’s work on the welcome South Asian phenomenon of female renouncers. DeNapoli studied Mataji, a ..read more
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Review a Book for Philosophy East & West!
The Indian Philosophy Blog
by Ethan Mills
4M ago
I recently heard from Malcolm Keating, South Asia Book Review Editor for Philosophy East & West. He said they have the following books available to review. The journal can’t always promise complimentary hard copies, but free e-copies are certain. Please note that authors are welcome to have their publishers get in touch with the journal, too. For more information, contact Malcolm Keating at malcolm.keating@yale-nus.edu.sg. TITLE AUTHOR PUB DATE Buddhism, Meditation, and Free Will: A Theory of Mental Freedom Repetti, Rick Jan 2019 A Time of Novelty: Logic, Emotion, and Intellect ..read more
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