Conspiracy theory (II)

Wed May 1 15:21:57 UTC 1996

On Mon, 15 Apr 1996, Vidhyanath K. Rao wrote:

>>   work related to the
> > 'conspiracy theory' of brahminical orthodoxy  I'd like to mention Brian K.
> > Smith's very detailed work "Classifying the Universe" (Oxford 1994). 
> > There is a fairly detailed and hard-hitting critique of 
> > this work, written by Vidyanath Rao, at the following
> > webpage...> >

> Please note that this ``review'' must be considered as not completely
> finished (although I won't finish in the near future, not till I finish
> reading kaTha, maitraayani and jaimaniiya, god only knows when).

 CORRECT! These (largely) untranslated texts are usually neglected by 
 "Smith and several others".

> My main complaint about Smith's work (and several others), is that
> there is apparently no attempt to collect all relevant material and
> then see how many are confirming instances, how many are irrelevant
> and how many are `rejecting' instances. This is especially apropos
> as the name of Popper has been mentioned in this thread.
I could not agree more. 

The materials in his "work and several others" are selective (almost
exclusively from translated sources) and there is no attempt to collect

Proceeding in this fashion, of course, you can posit and "prove"

As a certain American colleague once told us about his own work: "I am happy 
if I can amuse them for a year or two". 

For the "several others" see the collected articles "Authority, Anxiety
and Canon" ed. L. Patton, SUNY 1994 and cf. the recent, very critical
review by J.W. de Jong, in the last issue of the Indo-Iranian Journal (1996)

            durjanasya ca sarpasya varam sarpo na durjanah |

            sarpo dazati kaalena durjanas tu pade-pade    ||

Michael Witzel                               Department of Sanskrit
Wales Professor of Sanskrit                  and Indian Studies
Chair, Committee on South Asian Studies      53 Church Street
Harvard University                           Cambridge MA 02138, USA

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