This unit aims to bring together scholars working on Hindu philosophy broadly construed, including not only the classical schools of Nyāya, Mīmāṃsā, Vedānta, etc., but a wide range of intellectual traditions from the Vedic period to the present day. These traditions are vast and varied, engaging with questions of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, aesthetics, theodicy, ritual theory, ethics, and political philosophy, not to mention areas that have, arguably, no direct parallel in Western thought. Our goals are (1) to advance research in Hindu philosophical traditions, encouraging new approaches and new topics within the field; (2) to explore interactions and influences between Hindu philosophy and other traditions of South Asian philosophy (Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Islamic, etc.); and (3) to contribute to the study of cross-cultural philosophy at the AAR.
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Hindu Philosophy Unit
Call for Proposals
The Hindu Philosophy unit of the American Academy of Religion is pleased to invite proposals for three sessions to be held at this year’s Annual Meeting:
This format brings together several participants to discuss either a single argument or a closely related series of arguments from a single author. This year we will focus on Kumārila’s arguments for svataḥ-prāmāṇya, or the “intrinsic validity” of cognitions, at Śloka-vārttika II.33-61. The goal is not to have traditional presentations but to create a space for lively and rigorous discussion. In lieu of traditional paper proposals, therefore, we instead invite prospective participants to write a short philosophical analysis either of the section as a whole or a single argument from the section. One might, for example, criticize Kumārila’s argument, or extend it, or defend it against further objections, or note something surprising in the argument, or simply assess its strengths and weaknesses.
Traditional Papers Session
For this session we are looking for individual paper proposals (rather than full panel proposals). We are especially interested in papers on yogic perception or the philosophy of perception more broadly, but we are also open to a wide range of other topics related to Hindu philosophy. Possible topics include but are by no means limited to: Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Materiality, Discourses of Ultimate Reality, Philosophy and Pedagogy, Lived Philosophy, “Philosophy” as a Category, Stock Examples, Philosophy and Literature, and Philosophy in Vernacular Texts.
We also seek papers for a session on Sikh philosophy, with an emphasis on exchanges and influences between Sikh and non-Sikh traditions, for a co-sponsored session with the Sikh Studies unit.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Loriliai Biernacki, University of Colorado1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Lynna Dhanani, University of California, Davis1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Catherine Prueitt, University of British Columbia1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Lancaster University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025