School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    Absence: An Indo-Analytic Inquiry (vol 55, pg 491, 2016)
    Vaidya, AJ ; Bilimoria, P ; Shaw, JL (SPRINGER, 2016-12-01)
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    Hugh Silverman-in memoriam
    Bilimoria, P (SPRINGER, 2013-12-01)
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    J. J. C Smart (1920-2012): Remembering Jack
    Chadha, M ; Bilimoria, P ; Bigelow, J (SPRINGER, 2013-04-01)
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    Editorial: Bimal Krishna Matilal, 1935-1991
    Bilimoria, P ; Garfield, J (Springer, 2016)
    This special issue of the journal is dedicated to the memory of the late and much respected Professor Bimal Krishna Matilal to mark the 25th anniversary of his passing. At the time of his death, Matilal held the Spalding Chair of Eastern Religion and Ethics in All Souls pf the Faithful Departed College, University of Oxford, Oxford, Great Britain.
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    Raimon Panikkar: A Peripatetic Hindu Hermes
    Bilimoria, P ; Antony, DM (Researcher - European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2019-07-17)
    This paper is an attempt to map the philosophical and soteriological horizons of the thought-world of Raimon Panikkar who ― we claim in this paper ― is quintessentially and uniquely a Hindu peripatetic philosopher. In trying to locate the ‘Hindu’ character of Panikkar’s philosophical thinking, the focus is on the civilizational matrix called ‘Hinduism’ which is at once metaphysical and mythico-logical, existential and ethical, ecological and ecumenical. In a significant sense this is what prompted Panikkar to develop a hermeneutic of dialogue between the Abrahamic and the Indic, more specifically, the worldviews of the Christian, Buddhist, and the Hindu. A phenomenological analysis of the ‘life-world ’of Christians in South India will attest to this. In this philosophical and soteriological journey, Panikkar identifies various problems encountered in comparative philosophy and religion. He argues for the case of what he calls imparative philosophy which employs diatopical hermeneutics in etching the contours for a meaningful dialogue among the various civilizations, religions and philosophies of the world.
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    Śrī Swāminārāyaṇ’s Position on Śabdapramāṇa and Śruti: Questions of Epistemic and Theological Validity
    Bilimoria, P (Springer Nature, 2018)
    This paper argues that Śrī Swāminārāyaṇ espoused a position on the pramāṇa-s (means of knowing), and his theorywas that among these it is śabdapramāṇa that is the important and authoritative pramāṇa. However, in delineating the precise sources and textual authority that fall within the ambit of śabdapramāṇa, he privileged mostly the Smṛti texts, along with Vedānta and Bhagavadgītā commentaries, to which was added later his own Gujarati text Vachanāmrut, as canonical texts of the particular Sampradāya. In so doing, he would be seen to be departing somewhat from classical positions on authoritative scriptures, in particular of Śaṅkara and, to an extent, Rāmānuja, for whom Śruti (‘revealed’) and Smṛti (‘recollected’) scriptures respectively denote quite different genre of texts, and with graded degree (rather kind) of authority; the former could even be apauruṣeya, authorless scriptures. The paper analyses the precise reasons for Swāminārāyaṇ arriving at this qualified position and the arguments he garnishes towards this doctrinal hermeneutic, concluding with comments on his slight departure from the classically accepted understanding of śabdapramāṇa where scriptural sources are the preeminent concern with a somewhat different epistemological trajectory.
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    Animal Justice and Moral Mendacity
    Bilimoria, P ; Ithamar, T ; Greenberg, YK (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018-08-15)
    I wish to take up some of the sentiments we have towards animals and put them to test in respect of the claims to moral high grounds in Indian thought-traditions vis-à-vis Abrahamic theologies. And I do this by turning the focus in this instance—on a par with issues of caste, gender, minority status, albeit still within the human community ambience—to the question of animals. Which leads me to ask how sophisticated and in-depth is the appreciation of the issues and questions that are currently being debated in contemporary circles? What degree of awareness could we say has been present in the traditions—not just in some perfunctory, platitudinal, belief-based descriptions or prescriptions, but in actual explanatory and morally sensitized senses?
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    Globalisation: Good, Bad, and the Ugly; casualties of Indian Liberalisation - a Postcolonial Perspective
    Bilimoria, P ; Jha, P ; Roy, SC (Levant Books, 2017)
    The paper discusses the views of three economists, Amartya Sen, Pranab Barhdan and Partha Dasgupta on the liberalization of the Indian economy, which has brought severe changes since the 1990s. The paper argues that despite this liberalist move there are multiple problems and injustices across the society remain unanswered, particularly in the areas of education, literacy, health and medical care, gender inequities, unemployment, farmers' suicide, and other societal challenges (including the entrenched caste hierarchy). What counts as the index of growth is a matter of some debate among the economists being discussed, but the real .concern is the increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Case studies are entertained to explicate the ramifications of globalisation and its impact on Indian economy.
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    Absence: An Indo-Analytic Inquiry
    Vaidya, A ; Bilimoria, P ; Shaw, JL (Springer, 2016-12-01)
    Two of the most important contributions that Bimal Krishna Matilal made to comparative philosophy are his (1968) doctoral dissertation The Navya-Nyāya Doctrine of Negation: The Semantics and Ontology of Negative Statements in Navya-Nyāya Philosophy and his (1986) classic: Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowing. In this essay, we aim to carry forward the work of Bimal K. Matilal by showing how ideas in classical Indian philosophy concerning absence and perception are relevant to recent debates in Anglo-analytic philosophy. In particular, we focus on the recent debate in the philosophy of perception centering on the perception of absence. In her Seeing Absence, Anya Farennikova (2013) argues for the thesis that we literally see absences. Her thesis is quite novel within the contexts of the traditions that she engages: analytical philosophy of perception, phenomenology, and cognitive neuroscience. In those traditions there is hardly any exploration of the epistemology of absence. By contrast, this is not the case in classical Indian philosophy where the debate over the ontological and epistemological status of absence (abhāva) is longstanding and quite engaging. In what follows, we engage Farennikova’s arguments, and those of John-Rémy Martin and Jérome Dokic in their (2013) response to her work. Using the work of Matilal (1968, 1986), Bilimoria (2015) and Shaw (2016) we show that there are several engaging ideas that can be taken from Indian philosophy into the terrain explored by Farennikova, and Martin & Dokic. Our aim is to provide an updated comparative engagement on absence and its perception for the purposes of enhancing future discussions within global philosophy. However, we do not aim to do this merely by focusing on the history of primary texts or on twentieth century commentary on primary texts. Instead, we hope to show that the living tradition of Indian philosophy that Matilal embodied carries forward in his students and colleagues as they revive, revise, and extend Indian philosophy.
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    Indian Ethics: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges
    Bilimoria, P ; Bilimoria, P ; Sharma, R ; Prabhu, J (Routledge, 2017-04-27)
    This is the first such systematic study of the spectrum of moral reflections from India, engaging a critical cross-cultural perspective and attending to modern secular sensibilities. Indian ethics is one of the great traditions of moral thought in world philosophy whose insights have influenced thinkers in early Greece, Europe, Asia, and the New World. This is the first such systematic study of the spectrum of moral reflections from India, engaging a critical cross-cultural perspective and attending to modern secular sensibilities. The volume explores the scope and limits of Indian ethical thinking, reflecting on the interpretation and application of its teachings and practices in the comparative and contemporary contexts. The chapters chart orthodox and heterodox debates, from early classical Hindu texts to Buddhist, Jaina, Yoga, and Gandhian ethics. The range of issues includes: life-values and virtues, karma and dharma, evil and suffering, renunciation and enlightenment- and extends to questions of human rights and justice, ecology and animal ethics, nonviolence and democracy. Ramifications for rethinking ethics in a postmodern and global era are also explored. Indian Ethics offers an invaluable resource for students of philosophy, religion, human sciences and cultural studies, and to those interested in South Asian responses to moral dilemmas in the postcolonial era.