The Cow is to be Tied Up: Sort-Shifting in Classical Indian Philosophy

History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (4):311-332 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper undertakes textual exegesis and rational reconstruction of Mukula Bhaṭṭa’s Abhidhā-vṛttta-mātṛkā, or “The Fundamentals of the Communicative Function.” The treatise was written to refute Ānandavardhana’s claim, made in the Dhvanyāloka, that there is a third “power” of words, vyañjanā (suggestion), beyond the two already accepted by traditional Indian philosophy: abhidhā (denotation) and lakṣaṇā(indication).1 I argue that the explanation of lakṣaṇā as presented in his text contains internal tensions, although it may still be a compelling response to Ānandavardhana.

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Malcolm Keating
Yale-NUS College

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