Jnanasrimitra (975-1025) was regarded by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists as the most important Indian philosopher of his generation. His theory of exclusion combined a philosophy of language with a theory of conceptual content to explore the nature of words and thought. Jnanasrimitra's theory informed much of the work accomplished at Vikramasila, a monastic and educational complex instrumental to the growth of Buddhism. His ideas were also passionately debated among successive Hindu and Jain philosophers. This volume marks the first English translation of Jnanasrimitra's Monograph on Exclusion, a careful, critical investigation into language, perception, and conceptual awareness. Featuring the rival arguments of Buddhist and Hindu intellectuals, among other thinkers, the Monograph reflects more than half a millennium of competing claims while providing an invaluable introduction to a crucial philosopher. Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil familiarize the reader with the author, themes, and topics of the text and situate Jnanasrimitra's findings within his larger intellectual milieu.
Their clear, accessible, and accurate translation proves the influence of Jnanasrimitra on the foundations of Buddhist and Indian philosophy.
Lawrence J. McCrea is assistant professor of Sanskrit Studies at Cornell University and the author of The Teleology of Poetics in Medieval Kashmir. Parimal G. Patil is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and author of Against a Hindu God: Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India.
Preface Introduction 1. Jnanasrimitra's Intellectual World and Its History Jnanasrimitra's Intellectual Contexts Philosophical Traditions and Text Traditions Sanskrit Intellectual Practices Sources of Knowledge 2. The Buddhist Epistemological Tradition: Dignaga and Dharmakirti Objects and Their Status The Elements of Inferential Reasoning 3. Dharmottara's Epistemological Revolution 4. Jnanasrimitra's Reworking of the Theory of Exclusion Relativization of Internal and External Conditionally Adopted Positions 5. Translation Practices Editorial Conventions Numbering System Jnanasrimitra's Monograph on Exclusion Outline Translation Sanskrit Text of the Monograph on Exclusion Abbreviations Notes Bibliography Index