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Shabda

A Study of Bhartrhari’s Philosophy of Language

It is the first ever study of the fifth century scholar, Bhartrihari’s Vakyapadiya in an altogether modern: the post-Fregean, perspective on the Philosophy of Language.  A uniquely original thinker in India’s splendid grammarians’ tr....read below

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About This Book

It is the first ever study of the fifth century scholar, Bhartrihari’s Vakyapadiya in an altogether modern: the post-Fregean, perspective on the Philosophy of Language.  A uniquely original thinker in India’s splendid grammarians’ tradition, Bhartrihari overreached the limits of language analysis set by his predecessors, like Panini and Patanjali, constructing, as he did, a brilliant philosophy of language that sought to spell out, among other aspects, the subtle distinctions between the ‘knowable’ and the ‘sayable’, between ‘what is said’ and ‘what is meant’, between the semantics of ‘everyday speech’ and ‘literary discourse’. Sadly, Bhartrihari has, through the centuries, suffered neglect, largely because the Grammarian School never figured in the six major systems of traditional Indian philosophy.
For the first time, this monograph tries to reinterpret Bhartrihari’s position -- “as a philosopher,” emphasizing the high relevance of his Vakyapadiya to modern Western thought.  A reputed scholar of grammar, philosophy and Sanskrit studies, the author presents Bhartrihari¹s analyses of language methodically, unbiasedly.  And, significantly, in contemporary philosophical idiom -- with contextual focus on the views of modern Western philosophers: Frege, Wittgenstein, Grice, Austin, Davidson, Searle, Strawson and the like.  Also offered here is a lucid exposition of the Sphota Theory.
Growing from Dr Patnaik’s a-decade-long research on Bhartrihari’s philosophy, the volume highlights not only ancient Indian contribution to the study of language, but the interconnectedness among its indigenous approaches to linguistics, philosophy, logic, and aesthetics as well.

  • Foreword By : D. P. Pattanayak
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124604083
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124604088
  • Edition : 2nd revised and enlarged edition
  • Year : 2007
  • Pages : xix, 228 p.
  • Bibliographic Details : Glossary; Bibliography; Index
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 550 gm

Foreword
Preface

1. Philosophy of Language: Its Scope and Limits

The Linguistic Turn
The Indian Viewpoint
Does Shabda Pramana Mean Scriptural Authority?
Bhartrihari: The New Way of Looking at Language
Metaphysics and Language
Metaphysics and Mysticism

2. Shabdadvaitavada: The Metaphysics of Language

Shabda Brahman: Its Implications
Problems of Linguistic Monism

Word and Consciousness -- Word and Concept -- Word Universal and Object Universal

The Nortion of Change and Time
Bhartrihari's Monism and its Logical Conclusions
Logical Atomism and Holism

3. The Sphota Theory of Language

Language Analysis and Metaphysics
Sphota: Its Meaning and Implications
Bhartrihari on Speaker's Communication of Meaning
Hearer's Understanding and Pratibha
Wittgenstein on Understanding

4. The Word and the Meaning

Nature of the Relationship
What does the Word Mean? Some Western Theories

Essentialism -- Non-Essentialism

Bhartrihari on Different Layers of Meaning

Primary and Metaphorical Meaning -- Literal Sense and Contextual Meaning

Bhartrihari and Wittegenstein on Diversities of Meaning

5. Language and Communication

Formalism Versus Communication-Intention Theory
Bhartrihari on Language

Structural and Functional Components of Utterance -- Language Beyond Utterance -- Intention and Convention

Language as a Function: Wittgenstein, Grice, Austin and Searle
Bhartrihari and Searle on Linguistic Communication

6. Thought and Language

Nature of the Problem
Bhartrihari on Thought and Language
Frege and Davidson on Thought and Language
Truth and Belief: The Indian Perspective
Search for the Ultimate Ground of Communication

7. The Word and the World

Semantics and Ontology
The Buddhist (Dinnaga's) Viewpoint
Bhartrihari and Dinnaga on Word-World Relation
Linguistic Phenomenalism: An Assessment

8. Word-Meaning and Sentence-Meaning

Sentence-Holism versus Word-Atomism
Bhartihari's Argument for Sentence-Holism
Two Opposing Modern Views on the Problem

9. The Knowable and the Sayable

Bhartrihari on what can be Said
Some Modern Views on the Problem
Bhartrihari on the Limiting Concepts of Knowability and Sayability
Wittgenstein on the Limits of Sayability

Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
Selected Bibliography
Index

 

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