About the Book:
The present volume of the Encyclopedia of Indian philosophies takes up the history of Nyaya-Vaisesika where Volume Two left off in the 14th century. With Gangesa we enter the literature that has come to be known as Navyanyaya, i.e. new Nyaya Gangesa's seminal work, the Tattvacintamani is one of the most famous, as well as most difficult works of Indian Philosophy and this Volume begins with the most exhaustive account of ists contents hitherto available. Over a dozen different summarizers have collaborated in preparing this treatise which totals some 300 pages.
The volume reconstructs the development of Nyaya-Vaisesika through the next two centuries. Some fifty author's names are known to us from this period, and 36 of their works are summarized. The volume closes its reconstruction of literary history into the early 16th century, with Raghunatha Siromani the great commentator on Gangesa's seminal works and one of the most innovative analytical philosophers the world has known.
Although this is but a brief attempt to cover the complex literature of the period, this volume represents the basic elements of present-day understanding of the contributions of the philosophers discussed. A detailed introduction by the two Editors provides a bird's eye view of the ideas expounded in the text. A total of 22 different scholars combine to render the gist of these materials available to the general public. Subsequent volumes in this siries will take Nyaya-Vaisesika to the present.
About the Author:
Karl H. Potter is professor of Philosophy and South Asian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies.
Professor Sibajiban Bhattacharyya taught philosophy for more than forty years in different universities in India and abroad. He was the General President of the Indian philosophical Congress in 1989 and is Fellow Emeritus, University Grants Commission, Calcutta.
Volume Six of the Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies picks up the history of the Nyaya - Vaisesika system where Volume Two left off. The time covered in this volume is much smaller than in any of the previous volumes of the Encyclopedia, a scant two hundred years between approximately 1310 and 1510. There are good reasons for this intensive attention to such a brief period. For one thing, two of Indian's most remarkable philosophers, Gangesa and Raghunatha Siromani, are covered in these pages-in fact, they initiate and terminate the period surveyed. More generally, we here begin to treat the literature of Navyanyaya, a movement comparable in its implication to the burgeoning of symbolic logic and its concomitant philosophical speculations found in the writings of Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein in the West at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The excitement of newly pioneered techniques of philosophical analysis developed by Gangesa spawned a bevy of philosophical talents. Indeed, this period is even richer than we are able to summarize here, since a good part of it is still unavailable in print.
The history of Indian philosophy, and specifically of Navyanyaya, has been treated in a quite extensive literature. The Bibliography of Indian Philosophies (New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1970, referred to below as "B"; Revised Edition, New Delhi: Banarsidass and Princeton, Princeton University Press 1983, referred to as "RB") provides assistance in suggesting a chronology of Indian thought in general within which Navyanyaya philosophers find their appropriate places.
The form of this book features an extended introductory section followed by summaries of works belonging to the system's literature. These summaries are arranged in relative chronological order to assist the reader in tracing the development of the school's thought. Summaries have been provided by scholars from India, England and the United States. Remarks in the Introductions to previous volumes of the Encyclopedia explaining the intended reading public to whom these volumes are addressed apply here as well.
Thanks are due to the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Indo-U.S. Subcomission for Education and Culture, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, the Joint Committee on South Asia of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities; all of these bodies provided needed assistance in the development of this volume through financial assistance of various sorts. Finally, special thanks are due to Laura Townsend for assistance in preparation of the manuscript.
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