School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    Bimal k. Matilal's philosophy: Language, realism, dharma, and ineffability
    Bilimoria, P (Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, 2021-01-01)
    The article considers the theoretical and practical consequences of the so-called "soft" version of epistemological realism in Bimal K. Matilal's philosophical project. The author offers an analytical view on Matilal's philosophy, which helps to understand it in a broader prospective, comparing his arguments on perception and objectivity with contemporary arguments in Western analytical philosophy; in fact, it is possible to view Matilal not only as the proponent of revised Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika approach, but also as the follower of realistic view on language, following L. Wittgenstein, W. Quine, H. Putnam and M. Dummett. Despite the fact that such interpretation may sound diverse or multivocal, it nevertheless helps to better understand both lineages of argumentation: the critical review of the impossibility of private language can be compared in both Western and Indian philosophical discourses, which leads into the domain of social epistemology. The second part of the article discusses the ethical arguments on the vulnerability of moral virtues, and the place of Dharma as a term in moral philosophy. Poetical and metaphorical language appears to be a fruitful strategy to discover the ineffable - and also via negativa and catuṣkoṭi - which is shown by Matilal on the example of the unacceptability of lying. The ethical ineffability and its interconnection with Matilal's commentaries on practical wisdom play the crucial part in the interpretations of Dharmaśāstra texts.
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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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    Hindu Response to Dying and Death in the Time of COVID-19
    Bilimoria, P (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-02-12)
    We wake each morning to news on the glaring statistics of people infected by COVID-19 and others reportedly dying from complications thereto; the numbers are not receding in at least a number of countries across the world (barring a few that imposed strict lockdowns, testing and quarantining measures, such as Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Vietnam). It is hard to imagine a moment such as this that most of us have lived through in our life-time; but it is a reality and public challenge that we can neither ignore nor look away from. In what follows I will explore perspectives on death from the Hindu tradition and the kinds of response-and solace or wisdom-afforded by the tradition to the angst and fears evoked by this pandemic situation. In concluding the discussion, I shall offer tentative reflections on how the Hindu perspective may be universalized, such as might invite conversations with therapists and care workers who may be seeking alternative resources to help expand the therapeutic space in more beneficent ways during the Covid-19 pandemic and its after-effects.
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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.