Semantics

Download Indian Philosophy of Language: Studies in Selected Issues by Mark Siderits PDF

By Mark Siderits

What can the philosophy of language examine from the classical Indian philosophical culture? As lately as twenty or thirty years in the past this query easily do not need arisen. If a practitioner of analytic philosophy of language of that point had any view of Indian philosophy in any respect, it used to be probably to be the stereotyped photograph of a bunch of navel­ watching mystics making vaguely Bradley-esque pronouncements at the oneness of the person who used to be one as soon as. a lot paintings has been performed within the intervening years to overthrow that stereotype. due to the efforts of such students as J. N. Mohanty, B. ok. Matilal, and Karl Potter, philoso­ phers operating within the analytic culture have began to find whatever of the diversity and the rigor of classical Indian paintings in epistemolgy and metaphysics. hence for example, not less than a few fresh discussions of private id replicate an know-how that the Indian Buddhist culture may perhaps end up an incredible resource of insights into the ramifications of a reductionist method of own id. In philosophy of language, even though, issues haven't more desirable all that a lot. whereas the outdated stereotype may perhaps now not be successful between its practitioners, i think that they wouldn't view classical Indian philoso­ phy as a huge resource of insights into matters of their box. Nor are they to be faulted for this.

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771-842. 21 The term 'related designation' is a compressed e~uivalent of the Sanskrit anvitiibhidluina, whicli would be more appropriately translated as 'the designation of that which is (already) rdated'. What I am here calling the words-plus-relation theory is abl1l11itiinvayaviida, 'the doctrine that tfiere is the relation of that whicli is (already) designated'. In (1985a) I called the latter the designated relation theory~ In an effort to reflect the relation between the two Sanskrit terms (inverSIOn and exchange between active and passive participle forms).

We recollect that 'goat' has been previously used to designate goat in relation to bringing, goat in relation to white, goat in relation to Devadatta, etc. Thus we quite naturally expect that 'goat' here will be used to designate goat in relation to whatever is designated by the other words in the sentence. That is, memory informs us that 'goat' has always been used in the past to designate goat in relation to some entity or complex of entities, namely whatever was designated by the other words of the sentences in which it occurred.

IY9-226. N"o Prabhakara work has been translated into Enghsh,: out a detailed examination of the arguments of Salikanatha and Ramanujacarya is in Siderits (1985a). t,a side, more is available: Jha (1983) is a translation of Kumarila Bhatta s foundational text together with (wo imp,ortant commentaries. Taber (1989) reviews the dispute between Prabhakara and Bhana, reaching somewhat different conclusions than my own. 149-227 also summarizes the debate, but in a way' that will be somewhat less useful to those who are not specialists in Indian philosophy.

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