Overview of project Published articles Panel presentations
OverviewThe Sanskrit Knowledge-Systems Project investigates the structure and social context of Sanskrit science and knowledge from 1550 to 1750. The period witnessed a flowering of scholarship lasting until the coming of colonialism, when a decline set in that ended the age-old power of Sanskrit thought to shape Indian intellectual history. Ten scholars will inventory, collect, and analyze this scholarship in selected disciplines from four regional complexes (the disciplines include: language philosophy, logic-epistemology, law, astral science, medicine). Social-historical data on the intellectuals will be collected in a prosopographical archive. The outcome will be a volume of essays, the first of its kind, on forms of knowledge in India on the threshold of colonialism, examining at once the discourse of scholarship, its social life, and regional character. The bio-bibliographical archive, along with manuscripts of important unpublished works, will also be made available on a website. The project will contribute to future comparative histories of Indo-Persian and vernacular science of the period and, more broadly, of early-modern Indian and European thought.
- Bronkhorst, Johannes. 'Bhattoji Diksita and the revival of the philosophy of grammar.' In Yohichika Honda, Michele Desmarais, Chikafumi Watanabe, eds. Samskrta-sadhuta ‘Goodness of Sanskrit’. Studies in Honour of Professor Ashok Aklujkar, forthcoming.
- Bronkhorst, Johannes. 'Innovation in seventeenth century grammatical philosophy: appearance or reality?' Journal of Indian Philosophy 36(5-6), 2008, pp. 543-550.
- Bronkhorst, Johannes. 'Bhattoji Diksita on Sphota.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 33(1), 2005, pp. 3-41.
- Bronner, Yigal. 'Singing to God, Educating the People: Appayya Diksita and the Function of Stotras.' Journal of the American Oriental Society 127(2), 2007, pp. 1-18.
- Bronner, Yigal. 'Back to the Future Appayya Diksita’s Kuvalayananda and the Rewriting of Sanskrit Poetics.' Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens 48, 2004, pp. 47-79.
- Bronner, Yigal. 'What is New and What is Navya: Sanskrit Poetics on the Eve of Colonialism.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 30(5), 2002, pp. 441-62.
- Bronner, Yigal and Gary Tubb. 'Blaming the Messenger: A controversy in late Sanskrit poetics and its implications.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 71(1), 2008, pp. 75-91.
- Bronner, Yigal and Gary Tubb. 'Vastutas tu: Methodology and the New School of Sanskrit Poetics.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 36, 2008, pp. 619-632.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Sanskrit Philosophical Commentary.' In Festchrift in memory of Daya Krishna, edited by G. Mishra and M. Miri (forthcoming); also to be published in the Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'The defence of realism in Vaisesika.' In Partha Ghose, ed. Materialism and Immaterialism in India and Europe, PHISPC 12(5), forthcoming, Centre for Studies in Civilizations (Delhi).
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Navya-nyaya: Analytical Philosophy in Early Modern India.' In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2009.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Dara Shukoh and the transmission of the Upanisads to Islam.' In William Sweet, ed. Migrating Texts and Traditions, University of Ottawa Press, 2009.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Towards a formal regimentation of the Navya-Nyaya technical language.' In Mihir Chakraborti and Benedikt Loewe, eds. Logic, Navya-Nyaya and Applications, College Press, 2008.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Contextualism in the Study of Indian Intellectual Cultures.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 36(5-6), special volume Sheldon Pollock, ed. Theory and Method in Indian Intellectual History, 2008, pp. 551-562.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Worlds in conflict: Yasovijaya Gani's cosmopolitan vision.' International Journal of Jaina Studies (Online), 4(1), 2008, pp. 1-11.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Review of Stephen Phillips and Ramanuja Tatacharya, Epistemology Of Perception: Gangesa's Tattvacinta-mani, Jewel Of Reflection On The Truth (About Epistemology): The Perception Chapter (Pratyaksa-khanda).' Journal of the American Oriental Society, 127(3), 2007.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Universals and other generalities.' In Peter F. Strawson and Arindam Chakrabarti, eds. Universals, Concepts and Qualities: New Essays on the Meaning of Predicates, Ashgate 2006, pp. 51–66.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'Traditions of truth: Gangesa on svatah-pramanya.' Journal of Indian Philosophy , 33(1), 2005, pp. 43-54.
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 'On the logic of public reason: Jaina logic and the philosophical basis of pluralism.' History and Philosophy of Logic 23 (2002), pp. 267-281.
- Houben, Jan. 'The Brahmin Intellectual: History, Ritual and "Time Out of Time".' Journal of Indian Philosophy 30(5), 2002, pp. 463-79.
- Houben, Jan. '"Verschriftlung" and the relation between the pramanas in the History of Samkhya.' Etudes des Lettres 2001, 3: La Rationalité in Asie/Rationality in Asia, edited by Johannes Bronkhorst, pp. 165-94 (*with minor additions*).
- Houben, Jan. '"Semantics" in the Sanskrit Tradition on the Eve of Colonialism.'(ms.).
- McCrea, Lawrence. 'Novelty of Form and Novelty of Substance in Seventeenth Century Mimamsa.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 30 (5), 2002, pp. 481-94.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'Nilakantha's Instruments of War: Modern, Vernacular, Barbarous.'Indian Economic and Social History Review, forthcoming.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'A Nineteenth Century Sanskrit Treatise on the Revolution of the Earth: Govinda Deva's Bhumibhramana.' SCIAMUS, forthcoming.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'Nilakantha and His Historical Context.' Orient (Moscow Academy of Sciences), forthcoming.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'On Suryadasa and the Invention of Bi-directional Poetry (vilomakavya).' Journal of the American Oriental Society, forthcoming.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'Nilakantha's Vedic Readings in the Harivamsa Commentary.' In Petteri Koskikallio, ed. Proceedings of the Third Dubrovnik Conference on the Sanskrit Epics and Puranas, forthcoming.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'The Vedastuti and Vedic Studies: Nilakantha on Bhagavata Purana X.87.' In J.E.M. Houben and A. Griffiths, eds. Proceedings of the Third International Vedic Studies Workshop, forthcoming.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'Meanings Numerous and Numerical: Nilakantha and Magic Squares in the Rgveda.' Festschrift Elizarenkova, forthcoming.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'Competing Cosmologies in Early Modern Indian Astronomy.' In Charles Burnett, Jan Hogendijk, and Kim Plofker eds. Ketuprakasa: studies in the history of the exact sciences in honor of David Pingree , (Leiden: Brill, 2004) 349-85.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'Astronomers and Their Reasons: Working Paper on Jyotihsastra.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 30 (5), 2002, pp. 495-514.
- Minkowski, Christopher. 'The Pandit as Public Intellectual: the Controversy of Virodha or Inconsistency in the Astronomical Sciences.' In Axel Michaels (ed.), The pandit. Proceedings of the conference in honour of Dr. K. P. Aithal. Heidelberg: Sudasien Institute, 2001. pp. 79-96.
- Minkowski, Christopher. (forthcoming). 'Nilakantha Caturdhara and the Genre of Mantrarahasyaprakasika.' In Y. Ikari (ed.), Proceedings of the Second International Vedic Workshop. Kyoto.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'The Bhattadinakara of Dinakara Bhatta (1.3), a Seventeenth-century Treatise on Mimamsa. Edited for the first time, with an Introduction.' Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, forthcoming.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'Is there an Indian Intellectual History?' Journal of Indian Philosophy 36(5-6), 2008.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'Pretextures of Time.' History and Theory46, October 2007, pp. 364-381.
- Pollock, Sheldon.'The Languages of Science in Early-Modern India.' In K. Preisendanz, ed. Halbfass Commemoration Volume Vienna: Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2007.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'Literary Culture and Manuscript Culture in Precolonial India.' In Simon Eliot, Andrew Nash, Ian Willison, eds. History of the Book and Literary Cultures. British Library, 2006, pp. 77-94.
- Pollock, Sheldon. The Ends of Man at the End of Premodernity. Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005.
- Pollock, Sheldon.'Introduction.' In Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern South Asia. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, vol. 24.2 (2004), pp. 19-21.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'The Meaning of dharma and the Relationship of the Two Mimamsas: Appayya Diksita’s "Discourse on the Refutation of a Unified Knowledge-System of Purvamimamsa and Uttaramimamsa".' In Patrick Olivelle, ed. Dharma (Journal of Indian Philosophy 32.5, December 2004), pp. 769-811.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'Introduction: Working Papers on Sanskrit Knowledge Systems on the Eve of Colonialism.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 30 (5), 2002, pp. 431-9.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'New intellectuals in seventeenth-century India.' In Nita Kumar (ed.), The dilemma of the Indian intellectual, vol. 38.1 of Indian Economic and Social History Review, special issue, 2001, pp. 3-31.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'The death of Sanskrit.' Comparative Studies in History and Society, 43.2, 2001, 392-426.
- Pollock, Sheldon. 'Indian Knowledge Systems on the Eve of Colonialism.' Intellectual History Newsletter 22, 2000, pp. 1-16.
- Pollock, Sheldon, ed. Theory and Method in Indian Intellectual History (papers of the EPHE seminar, Paris, June 2004), Journal of Indian Philosophy, 36(5-6), 2008.
- Pollock, Sheldon, ed. Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern South Asia. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East vol. 24.2 (2004).
- Preisendanz, Karin.'Text, Commentary, Annotation: Some Reflections on the Philosophical Genre.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 36, 2008, pp. 599-618
- Preisendanz, Karin.'The Production of Philosophical Literature in South Asia During the Pre-Colonial Period (15th to 18th Centuries): The Case of the Nyayasutra Commentarial Tradition.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 33 (2005), pp. 55-94
- Preisendanz, Karin.'Indische Philosophen in vorkolonialer Zeit.' In Karin Preisendanz und Dietmar Rothermund, eds. Südasien in der Neuzeit. 1500-2000.Wien: Edition Weltregionen 2003, pp. 47-71.
- Tubb, Gary. See collaborations with Yigal Bronner, above.
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Contrasting Examples of Ayurvedic Creativity around 1700'. In Wujastyk, Dominik (ed.). Mathematics and Medicine in Sanskrit, Delhi: MLBD, 2009, pp. 139-153.
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Introduction.' Wujastyk, Dominik (ed.). Mathematics and Medicine in Sanskrit, Delhi: MLBD, 2009, pp. 1-6.
- Wujastyk, Dominik, ed. Mathematics and Medicine in Sanskrit, Delhi: MLBD, 2009.
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'The Evolution of Indian Government Policy on Ayurveda in the Twentieth Century. ' in Dagmar Wujastyk and Fred Smith (eds.), Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and Paradigms. New York: SUNY Press, 2008, pp. 43-76. ISBN: 9780791474907
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'A Persian Anatomical Image in a Non-Muslim Manuscript from Gujarat. Medical History 51 (2007), pp. 237-242. ISSN: 0025-7273 [Eprint]. [PubMed].
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'La bibliothčque de Thanjavur. Chapter 8 in Jacob,C. (ed.) Espaces et communautés. Les Lieux de savoir series. Series edited by Christian Jacob. Paris: Michel Albin, 2007, pp. 616-636. ISBN: 9782226179043.
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Thanjavur Library as a Realm of Knowledge. Kriti Rakshana: a bi-monthly publication of the National Mission for Manuscripts 1.4 (2006), pp. 13-15
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'The questions of King Tukkoji: Medicine at an Eighteenth-century South Indian Court. Indian Journal of History of Science 41 (2006), pp. 357-369. ISSN: 0019-5235
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Policy Formation and Debate Concerning the Government Regulation of Ayurveda in Great Britain in the Twenty-first Century. Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 1 (2005), pp. 162-184. ISSN: 1573-420X
- Wujastyk, Dominik, 'Change and Creativity in Early Modern Indian Medical Thought. Journal of Indian Philosophy 33 (2005), pp.95-118. ISSN: 0022-1791 [DOI link]. [PubMed].
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'The Science of Medicine.' Chapter 19 in Gavin Flood, (ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005, pp. 393-409. ISBN: 9781405132510
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Agni and Soma: A Universal Classification.' Studia Asiatica 4-5 (2004), pp. 347-369. ISSN: 1582-9111
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'An Argument with Medicine and a Search for Manuscripts.' Friends of the Wellcome Library & Centre for the History of Medicine: Newsletter Vol. 32, Spring 2004, pp. 6-9.
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Medicine and Dharma.' Journal of Indian Philosophy 32 (2004), pp. 831-842. ISSN: 0022-1791 [DOI link].
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Medicine, Indian.' In The New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004, pp. 1410-1412. ISBN: 0684313774
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Indian Medical Thought on the Eve of Colonialism.' International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter 31, (2003), pp. 21-21
- Wujastyk, Dominik. The roots of Ayurveda: selections from Sanskrit medical writings,London, New York: Penguin Group, 2003. 3rd edition.
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Black Plum Island.' In Czekalska,R., Marlewicz,H. (ed.) 2nd International Conference on Indian Studies. Proceedings. Cracow Indological Studies series. Krakow: Jagiellonian University, Institute of Oriental Philology and Ks, 2003, pp. 637-649. ISBN: 83-7188-648-9.
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Interpreter l'image du corps humain dans l'inde pre-moderne.' in Bouillier,V., Tarabout,G. (ed.) Images du corps dans le monde Hindou. Paris: CNRS Editions, 2002, pp. 71-99
- Wujastyk, Dominik. 'Cannabis in Traditional Indian Herbal Medicine.' In Ana Salema (ed.), Ayurveda at the crossroads of care and cure. Lisboa: Centro de Historia de Alem-Mar, 2002, pp. 45-73. ISBN: 972-98672-5-9
NOTEThe following panels contain out of date affiliations for the presenters. For current affiliations and contact information, please see the Participants page.
Panel at the Association for Asian Studies, Annual Meeting Sanskrit Knowledge-Systems on the Eve of Colonialism Chicago, March 2001Organizer and ChairSheldon Pollock, University of ChicagoPresentersMadhav Deshpande, University of Michigan
Christopher Minkowski, Cornell University
Gary Tubb, Columbia University
Sheldon PollockDiscussantRobert Goldman, U. of California, BerkeleyThis panel explores problems concerning the conceptual structure and social context of Sanskrit knowledge from roughly 1550 to 1750. This period witnessed a flowering of scholarship that continued until the coming of colonialism, when a precipitous decline set in that eroded the millennia-old power of Sanskrit thought to shape Indian intellectual history. Little research has been devoted to the scholarship, intellectuals, and sociality of knowledge in this epoch. Accordingly, we understand little of what it was about the Sanskrit knowledge then produced that made it so vulnerable to colonial modernity. The seventeenth-century was a period of remarkable innovation in many ways, innovation now sometimes anachronistically misinterpreted as traditionalism. Minkowski shows how a commentator on the great Indian epic deployed a new style of interpretation to read the entire Mahabharata as a Vedic allegory, and seeks to find contextual grounds for this new mode of reading. Tubb examines the remarkable confrontation with European knowledge in the exact sciences at the Jaipur court in the early eighteenth-century, when orthodox beliefs were consciously abandoned in the face of new paradigms. Deshpande explores the role of Sanskrit studies in the polity of the Peshwas, the successors of the Marathas, who attempted to arrest the erosion of Sanskrit scholarship seen in many other parts of the subcontinent. Finally, Pollock examines the languages of scholarship in early-modern South Asia, and tries to understand why the process of vernacularization so powerfully evidenced in the literary sphere was resisted in the domain of science."On the Success of Nilakantha's Commentary"
Cornell UniversityNilakantha Caturdhara, who flourished in Banaras in the second half of the 17th Century, produced the only commentary on the Mahabharata that is widely used in Sanskrit studies today. Yet, when attention turns to the content of his commentary Nilakantha is.often found by modern scholars to be a disappointment or an annoyance, on account of his "fanciful interpretations," and his "Vedantic allegorizing." Why then has his commentary appeared regularly with the Mahabharata since the early days of its publication? Is it safe to suppose that Nilakantha represents the "traditional" understanding of the text?It is an achronism to expect Nilakantha to share our particular type of historical consciousness of texts. And yet it is anachronism of another kind to find in his commentary the expression of an "orthodox Hindu consciousness." Nilakantha tells us that he proposes to read the Mahabharata in a way that no previous commentator has done, in order to reveal its hidden sense. Perhaps it is exactly this "mystical allegorizing" that distinguished Nilakantha's work, found favor in his own day, and accounted for the wide dissemination of his work. On this view, his commentary attained prominence exactly for the features that Indologists have most deplored, features that were his innovations by design, though they appear commonplace to us today. Can we further suppose that the times in which Nilakantha lived called this new commentary forth, and that the revelation of a previously undiscovered inner sense formed the terms in which innovation was valued in early-modern Banaras?"Sanskrit Traditions during the Rule of the Peshwas: Maintenance and Transition"
Madhav M. Deshpande
University of MichiganThe rule of the Peshwas, the Brahmin prime-ministers of Shivaji's descendants, represents one of the most important example of pre-colonial Indian governance. Its beginning in 1690s connects it with the older medieval patterns, while its end at the hand of the British armies in 1818 marks an important transition to colonialism. Since the British captured Pune, the capital of the Peshwas, without destroying it, they came to possess the entire official records of the Peshwas, and it is through these massive collections of documents dealing with almost every dimension of official and private life of the Peshwas, that one can reconstruct a detailed picture of the period. The Sanskrit traditions of learning form an important part of the life of this epoch, and the present paper offers glimpses of the circumstances under which the Sanskrit traditions found themselves during this period. The Peshwas not only supported the Sanskrit traditions through official donations of large sums each year to thousands of Sanskrit scholars, the Sanskrit traditions were at the very core of the Peshwa mentality and their cultural and political framework. This is seen in the decisive role played by these traditions in legal decision-making at the Peshwa court, their military time-tables, and the perceived needs reflected in their correspondence. At the same time, the Europeans are appearing on the scene and their ways are beginning to make an impact. The present paper offers insights into these transitions."Competing Systems of Knowledge in the Court of Jayasimha"
Columbia UniversityThe court of Savai Jayasimha of Jaipur is a remarkable site for studying the sociality of Sanskrit knowledge in early eighteenth-century India. Although scholars working in the Persianate order typically drew inspiration from sources different from those of Sanskrit, this was not true in the exact sciences, in part because Persianate and Sanskrit scholars both relied on shared Greek sources, in part because they worked side by side. Jayasimha gave financial aid to at least a dozen Muslim scholars. In the introduction to his great Zij-i- Muhammad Shahi, prepared for presentation to the Mughal emperor, the king himself remarks on the history of Islamic astronomical tables. Jayasimha's court also provides extensive examples of direct engagement with European thought. Jayasimha writes of the discrepancy between his own observations and his calculations based on the European tables procured from Lisbon. This constitutes one instance in which we know precisely why a Sanskrit knowledge system was replaced by a European one: as Jayasimha patiently demonstrated to himself through a series of practical experiments, the European system gave more accurate results.Jayasimha was a man at the center of some vigorous disputes on sources of knowledge, and one who, despite very strong sentimentally orthodox leanings, ended up abandoning a traditional system because of the greater empirical success of a new European one (in this case, Copernican astronomy with heliocentric elliptical orbits)---a factor that may have operated fairly widely in the larger demise of Sanskrit knowledge systems."The Languages of Science in Early-modern India"
University of ChicagoOne of the key factors in the modernization of knowledge production in seventeenth-century Europe was the transformation of the vernaculars into languages of science (as for example in the work of Bacon, Descartes, or Galileo). Although South Asia shared a comparable history of vernacularization in the area of literary production, Sanskrit persisted as the exclusive code for most areas of science, and scholarship more generally, outside the Persianate cultural sphere. This paper examines the relationship between language and knowledge during the period 1550-1750. It seeks first to delineate the boundaries of this relationship in terms of disciplines and regions, and then to lay out the presuppositions in Sanskrit language philosophy that militated against the vernacularization of scientific discourse. A useful orientation to the latter problem, which summarizes the dominant position of Sanskrit intellectuals on the eve of colonialism, is.the work of the great scholar Khandadeva on scriptural hermeneutics from mid-seventeenth- century Banaras.
Panel at the Association for Asian Studies, Annual Meeting Sanskrit Knowledge-Systems on the Eve of Colonialism II Washington, April 2002OrganizerLawrence McCrea, University of ChicagoChairSheldon Pollock, University of ChicagoPresentersYigal Bronner, Tel-Aviv University
Jan E. M. Houben, Leiden University
Lawrence McCrea, University of Chicago
Christopher Minkowski, Cornell UniversityThis panel continues to present the ongoing work of the NEH funded collaborative research project "Sanskrit Knowledge Systems on the Eve of Colonialism," exploring the objectives, methods, and institutional dynamics of Sanskrit intellectual life in the period from roughly 1550 to 1750. This period saw a tremendous explosion of intellectual production in a variety of disciplines, producing new genres, discursive modes, and lines of affiliation and conflict both within and across disciplines. As the project enters its data-gathering phase, the participants are able to work toward a more historically nuanced and sociologically grounded understanding of the practices of Sanskrit intellectuals in this period.McCrea considers the guarded and selective deployment of the precise formal techniques which characterize "New Logic" by the key figure in 17th century "new" scriptural hermeneutics. Bronner explores the special character of the dialectic between innovative and traditional currents in the work of three major "new" poetic theorists. Minkowski's paper examines the attempt of one 16th century astronomer to reconcile in a new way the tension between empirical observation and scriptural accounts of cosmology, and the controversy that ensued from this restructuring of exisiting astronomical models. Houben's exploration of the role of Vedic ritual in the pre-colonial period in relation to larger cultural practices, such as the continuing vitality of Sanskrit, prompts a more general reconsideration of ritual theory as such."Novelty of Form and Novelty of Substance in Seventeenth Century Mimamsa"
University of ChicagoThe late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries saw the rise in several fields-- grammar, poetics, and scriptural hermeneutics (Mimamsa)-- of intellectual movements styling themselves "new" (navya). This idea of "newness" was certainly modelled on that of the already well-established school of "New Logic" (Navya Nyaya) which had existed at least since the thirteenth century, and was in part founded on the application in new areas of the precise formal and definitional techniques devised by the new logicians.Yet the relationship between these "new" movements and Navya Nyaya was never one of simple imitation. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the field of Mimamsa. Khandadeva, the scholar generally recognized as the founder of "New Mimamsa", avoids the wholesale incorporation of the formal tools of new logic found in other fields in this period. He makes extensive use of them when arguing with the logicians themselves, but only rarely and very selectively applies them in confronting the key "internal" problems of Mimamsa in this period. Treating Khandadeva as a case study, the paper will consider the impact of these formal techniques in 17th century Sanskrit intellectual life. Does the rigorously formal discourse of the new logicians in some sense force itself on the intellectuals of this period? Can one respond to the arguments of the new logicians only by in some measure adopting their terms, making it difficult to resist assimilation to their formal discursive method?"What is New and What is Navya: Sanskrit Poetics on the Eve of Colonialism"
Tel-Aviv UniversityRemarkable new trends characterize Sanskrit Poetics (alamkarasastra) in the late pre-colonial era. Authors adopt a discursive pattern compatible with that of the logicians, compose in new genres such as the hostile commentary (khandana), show a fresh interest in the history of their tradition and work across disciplines at a rate hitherto unknown. Yet the relationship between such tendencies, rightly seen as the trademarks of a New (navya) Poetics, and actual theoretical innovation is far from simple.This is partly the result of features that set poetics aside from other new schools of the day. Alamkarasastra never possessed a core-text to provide it with universally accepted foundations and, at the same time, it had to come to terms with an ever evolving textual tradition-- poetry. The discipline was thus highly susceptible to radical innovations, yet it also strove to preserve or even manufacture a tradition for itself. Both these tendencies became manifest through the highly novel idiom of the period, sometimes even within the works of a single author.The paper sets out to explore this paradox of the New Poetics by briefly examining the lives and works of three of its key figures: The South-Indian polymath Appayya Diksita (c. 1550), who in many ways founded the movement, winning immense reputation but also many rivals; Benares's Jagannatha Panditaraja (c. 1625), Appayya's most vehement opponent and a poet and scholar in his own right, and the Almora based Visvesvara (c. 1730), a highly innovative traditionalist and a critic of both."Turtles All the Way Down? Tradition and Experiment in Cosmological Reasoning"
Cornell UniversityIn 1503 the astronomer Jnanaraja completed the Siddhantasundara, the first general treatise on astronomy to appear in Sanskrit in three and a half centuries. In one chapter of the work, Jnanaraja re-opened a cosmological problem: how to reconcile the spherical, geocentric model of the astronomers with the flat-earth cosmology of the sacred literature, the Puranas. Jnanaraja sought to reconsider the position of accommodation reached by earlier astronomers, especially Bhaskara (11th Ct.). Jnanaraja argued against Bhaskara concerning the support of the earth, its power to attract objects, and the 'down-ness of down.' These proposals and others touched off a new round of cosmological debate in Sanskrit that continued into the 18th Century.The history of Jnanaraja's ideas opens into a larger historical problem - how to place the Siddhantic astronomers in the wider intellectual history of Sanskrit authors. A way into the problem lies in asking an underlying question - in what would a satisfying "reconciliation" of Puranas and Siddhantas consist? One finds a growing interest among the astronomers of this period in integrating the method of astronomy with the Pramana system of proof that was developed in the principal sastras, especially logic. In discussing cosmology, astronomers were willing to put into play their three forms of gaining certainty and their mutual relations: evidence from observed phenomena, mathematical calculation, and textual authority."Ritual as Medium in Pre-colonial South Asia"
Jan E. M. Houben
University of LeidenThe strong presence of ritual, especially Vedic ritual, could be part of the explanation of a number of remarkable features of the South Asian cultural area, to begin with the persistence over millennia of Sanskrit as widely used cultured language. For a better understanding of the capacities and limitations of ritual as medium next to a number of other media, the pre-colonial period is of special interest, as (a) relatively detailed sources - though so far insufficiently explored and studied - are available, (b) developments in India were still largely having their own momentum, with only limited influence from Europe, and (c) an important alternative medium which would become of major significance in transforming South Asian culture both at the hands of colonizers (the British) and colonized (e.g. in Bengal, Maharashtra), viz. the printing press (technologically advanced form of writing with quite special features), was still largely marginal in South Asia.In order to come to grips with "Ritual as Medium" a suitable theoretical model is to be developed. Staal's theory of "meaningless ritual" is the most recent attempt at rigorous theorizing of the oldest ritual system of which we have elaborate sources, viz. Vedic ritual. At first sight it seems unsuitable as theoretical basis for dealing with Ritual as Medium. Nevertheless, it provides a startingpoint from which a useful theory may be developed when some recent contributions by other scholars on ritual are taken into account. The theory will be illustrated with references to a few cases in pre-colonial South Asia.
OrganizerDominik Wujastyk, Wellcome InstituteChairSudipta Kaviraj, School of Oriental and African Studies
Sheldon Pollock, University of Chicago
DiscussantPresentersDominik Wujastyk, Wellcome Institute
Karin Preisendanz, University of Vienna
Johannes Bronkhorst, University of Lausanne
Jonardon Ganeri, University of Liverpool
"Change and Creativity in Early Modern Indian Medical Thought"Dominik WujastykWellcome Institute"The Production of Philosophical Literautre in South Asia during the Pre-colonial Period (15th to 18th Centuries): The Case of the Nyayasutra Commentarial Tradition"Karin PreisendanzInstitute of South Asian, Tibetan, and Buddhist Studies"Bhattoji Diksita on Sphota"Johannes BronkhorstUniversity of Lausanne"The New and Old in Seventeenth Century Indian Logic: The Case of Gokulanatha Upadhyaya"Jonardon GaneriUniversity of Liverpool
Conference in Association with École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sciences historiques et philologiques (Paris), and International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden, Pays-Bas) Colloque Théorie et Méthode dans l’histoire intellectuel de l’Inde – Seminar Theory and Method in Indian Intellectual History
Date: 28-29 juin/June 2004
Lieux: École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sciences religieuses (SR) et Sciences historiques et philologiques (SHP)OrganizersJan Houben, École Pratique des Hautes ÉtudesSheldon Pollock, University of ChicagoSudipta Kaviraj, School of Oriental and African Studies
Christian Jakob, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique
Francis Zimmerman, École Pratique des Hautes Études
Peter van der Veer, Utrecht UniversityPresentersKarin Preisendanz, University of Vienna
Jonardon Ganeri, University of Liverpool
Dominik Wujastyk, Wellcome Institute
Christopher Minkowski, Cornell University
Madhav Deshpande, University of Michigan
Yigal Bronner, Tel Aviv University
Gary Tubb, Columbia University
Lawrence McCrea, Harvard University
Johannes Bronkhorst, University of Lausanne
Jan Houben, École Pratique des Hautes ÉtudesSheldon Pollock, University of Chicago
Programme et titres, Programme and titles, 28-29 June 2004
Jour 1 (Lundi 28 juin 2004):
Session 1 (EPHE-SR, Salle Marcel Mauss):
9:00-9:15 Introduction to the seminar, J. Houben and S. Pollock
9:15-9:45 Conférence d’ouverture : P.-S. Filliozat, La place de Nagesa dans la grammaire indienne
9:45-10:15 Contribuant 1 K. Preisendanz (Text, Commentary, Annotation: Some Reflections on the Philosophical Genre)
10:15-10:45 Contribuant 2 J. Ganeri (The situated interpreter: questions of method in the study of Indian intellectual history)
11:15-12:00 Réponse A – S. Kaviraj + F. Zimmermann + discussion générale
Pause de midi : 12:00 - 14:00
Session 2 (EPHE-SR, Salle Marcel Mauss):
14:00-14:30 Contribuant 3 D. Wujastyk (Problems in the History of Indian Medicine)
14:30-15:00 Contribuant 4 C. Minkowski (Jyotihsastra: the uses of the history and philosophy of science)
15:00-15:30 Contribuant 5 M. Deshpande (Localizing the Universal Dharma: puranas, nibandhas and nirnayapatras in medieval Maharashtra)
Pause : 15:30-16:00
16:00-16:45 Réponse B – F. Zimmermann + C. Jacob + discussion générale
Jour 2 (Mardi 29 juin 2004):
Session 3 (EPHE-SHP, Salle Gaston Paris):
9:15-10:15 Contribuants 6 et 7: Y. Bronner and G. Tubb (Vastutas tu: Methodology and the New school of Sanskrit poetics)
10:15-10:45 Contribuant 8 L. McCrea (Playing with the System: Fragmentation and Individualization in Late Pre-colonial Mimamsa)
Pause : 10:45-11:15
11:15-12:00 Réponse C – S. Kaviraj + C. Jacob + discussion générale
Pause de midi : 12:00 - 14:00
Session 4 (EPHE-SR, Salle Marcel Mauss):
14:00-14:30 Contribuant 9 J. Bronkhorst (Innovation in seventeenth century grammatical philosophy: appearance or reality?)
14:30-15:00 Contribuant 10 J. Houben (Bhattoji Diksita's "small step" for a grammarian and "giant leap" for Sanskrit grammar)
15:00-15:30 Contribuant 11 S. Pollock (Four problems in the history of Indian political thought)
Pause : 15:30-16:00
16:00-16:45 Réponse D – P. van der Veer + S. Kaviraj + discussion générale
Panel at the American Oriental Society Annual Meeting Sanskrit Knowledge-Systems on the Eve of Colonialism: Appaya Dikshita in Banaras Albuquerque, March 2009PresentersYigal Bronner, University of Chicago
Madhav Deshpande, University of Michigan
Lawrence McCrea, Cornell University
Christopher Minkowski, Oxford University (Chair)
"Appayya, Bhattoji, Jagannatha: Anecdotes of Encounters and Their Lessons"Yigal BronnerUniversity of Chicago"Appaya Diksita and the Lineage of Bhattoji Diksita"Madhav DeshpandeUniversity of Michigan"Coloring Tradition: Appayyadikshita’s Invention of Srikantha’s Vedanta"Lawrence McCreaCornell University