[INDOLOGY] Hindu Philosophy sessions at the American Academy of Religion

Allen, Michael S (msa2b) msa2b at virginia.edu
Fri Nov 11 18:13:00 UTC 2022

[with apologies for cross-posting]

Dear Colleagues,

I'm pleased to announce that the Hindu Philosophy unit of the American Academy of Religion is sponsoring three sessions at the upcoming annual meeting (Nov. 19-22) in Denver, Colorado. Please see below for details.

Best wishes,

Michael S. Allen
Co-chair (with Parimal Patil), Hindu Philosophy Unit

Assistant Professor
Department of Religious Studies
University of Virginia



Theme: Topics in Indian Philosophy: Perception, Logic, and Embodiment

Saturday, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Hyatt Regency-Capitol 2 (Fourth Level)

Lynna Dhanani, University of California, Davis, Presiding

This session brings together three papers on diverse topics from across a millennium of Indian philosophy. The first paper discusses the relationship between philosophy of language and philosophy of perception in the works of Maṇḍana Miśra (8th c.), focusing on his distinctive claim that error leads to truth. The second offers an analysis of Śrīharṣa’s (12th c.) view of tarka (“suppositional reasoning”) and its relevance to theory choice, arguing that Śrīharṣa should not be read as a skeptic. The third paper draws attention to the epics as sites for theological discourse, focusing on early modern (17th and 18th c.) Vedāntic commentaries on the Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata and their treatment of divine embodiment.

Eliot Davenport, University of Virginia

When Elephants Become Trees: Perception in the Brahmasiddhi and Sphoṭasiddhi of Maṇḍana Miśra

Nilanjan Das, University of Toronto

Śrīharṣa on Tarka and Theory Choice

Vishal Sharma, University of Oxford

“As if Embodied”: Reading the Sanskrit Epics in the Age of Vedanta


Theme: Kumārila on the Intrinsic Validity of Cognitions: A Philosophical Roundtable
Sunday, 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Hyatt Regency-Granite C (Third Level)

Parimal G. Patil, Harvard University, Presiding

What makes a cognition valid, justified, or true? This roundtable will focus on one of the most important treatments of this question in classical Indian philosophy: Kumārila’s argument for svataḥ-prāmāṇya, or the “intrinsic validity” of cognitions, at Śloka-vārttika II.33-61. Participants will explore and debate the merits of several different interpretations of Kumārila’s argument by later Mīmāṃsakas as well as by Vedāntins. The goal of this format is to create a space for lively and rigorous discussion, rather than traditional paper presentations. A handout with the original Sanskrit and an English translation of selections from Kumārila’s text will be provided.

John Taber, University of New Mexico
Lawrence McCrea, Cornell University
Elisa Freschi, University of Toronto
Michael Allen, University of Virginia

Business Meeting
Michael Allen, University of Virginia, Presiding

Parimal G. Patil, Harvard University, Presiding

Co-sponsored session: Hindu Philosophy Unit and Sikh Studies Unit

Theme: Roundtable on Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair's Sikh Philosophy: Exploring Gurmat Concepts in a Decolonizing World (Bloomsbury, 2022)
Monday, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Convention Center-301 (Street Level)

Puninder Singh, University of Michigan, Presiding

Sikh philosophy has typically, when it has been discussed at all, been subsumed within the ambit of area studies or religious studies. More particularly it has usually only been discussed in the context of other religions/philosophies of South Asia, especially the Vedic/Hindu or the Sufi. This roundtable aims to bring together a group of scholars to discuss a new book on Sikh Philosophy that addresses this lacuna by going beyond its usual confines of area studies or solely religious studies paradigms. Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair’s Sikh Philosophy: Exploring gurmat Concepts in a Decolonizing World (Bloomsbury, 2022) aims to bring Sikh philosophy into engagement with a wider sphere, that of global philosophies. Sensitive to both the historical formation of Sikh thought, and to the decolonial context, the book examines some of the key concepts of Sikh philosophy and how they inform its vision of life.

Jeffery D. Long, Elizabethtown College
Ananda Abeysekara, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Rita Dhamoon, University of Victoria

Arvind Mandair, University of Michigan

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