Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India

Jñanasrimitra on Exclusion

Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil

Columbia University Press

Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India

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Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9780231150958

216 Pages

Format: Paperback

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Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9780231150941

216 Pages

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Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9780231521918

216 Pages

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Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India

Jñanasrimitra on Exclusion

Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil

Columbia University Press

Jnanasrimitra (975-1025) was regarded by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists as the most important Indian philosopher of his generation. His theory of exclusion combined a philosophy of language with a theory of conceptual content to explore the nature of words and thought. Jnanasrimitra's theory informed much of the work accomplished at Vikramasila, a monastic and educational complex instrumental to the growth of Buddhism. His ideas were also passionately debated among successive Hindu and Jain philosophers.

This volume marks the first English translation of Jnanasrimitra's Monograph on Exclusion, a careful, critical investigation into language, perception, and conceptual awareness. Featuring the rival arguments of Buddhist and Hindu intellectuals, among other thinkers, the Monograph reflects more than half a millennium of competing claims while providing an invaluable introduction to a crucial philosopher. Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil familiarize the reader with the author, themes, and topics of the text and situate Jnanasrimitra's findings within his larger intellectual milieu. Their clear, accessible, and accurate translation proves the influence of Jnanasrimitra on the foundations of Buddhist and Indian philosophy.

A readable, elegant translation and introduction to a central work in a neglected area of Buddhist philosophy.

Jonathan C. Gold, Princeton University

Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil have given us the best treatment to date of apoha, one of Buddhism's core contributions to epistemology and the philosophy of language, which seeks to account for thinking and language while 'excluding' real universals. In addition to their pathbreaking exposition and innovative translation of an early eleventh-century Sanskrit masterpiece, McCrea and Patil demonstrate how historical contextualization, philological proficiency, and philosophical analysis must work together if the astonishing contributions of Indian thinkers to the history of philosophy are to be known effectively.

Sheldon Pollock, Columbia University, author of The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India

Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil havce provided us with a fine translation of a rare and difficult Sanskrit text by Jñanasrimitra, a Buddhist philosopher who lived in the late tenth and early eleventh century... Excellent... This work will remain the standard English translation of Jñanasrimitra's Monograph on Exclusion for many years to come.

International Journal of Hindu Studies
Preface
Introduction
1. Jnanasrimitra's Intellectual World and Its History
Jnanasrimitra's Intellectual Contexts
Philosophical Traditions and Text Traditions
Sanskrit Intellectual Practices
Sources of Knowledge
2. The Buddhist Epistemological Tradition: Dignaga and Dharmakirti
Objects and Their Status
The Elements of Inferential Reasoning
3. Dharmottara's Epistemological Revolution
4. Jnanasrimitra's Reworking of the Theory of Exclusion
Relativization of Internal and External
Conditionally Adopted Positions
5. Translation Practices
Editorial Conventions
Numbering System
Jnanasrimitra's Monograph on Exclusion
Outline
Translation
Sanskrit Text of the Monograph on Exclusion
Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Web Features:

About the Author

Lawrence J. McCrea is assistant professor of Sanskrit Studies at Cornell University and the author of The Teleology of Poetics in Medieval Kashmir.

Parimal G. Patil is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and author of Against a Hindu God: Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India.