Fragments of Indian Philosophy

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Project Data

The project (FWF P 27863) bases itself on the results of an earlier FWF-funded research project (P 24160, 2012-2014) that collected and analyzed fragments of textual material connected with Indian philosophy in the classical and early medieval period. It is structured around the previous project’s relational database that was developed for electronically editing, storing, and publishing fragmentary texts via the web platform.

Orthodox Indian philosophical traditions are mainly represented by commentaries on the schools’ founding texts. It is most likely that, in addition to the commentaries available to date, there existed within the various philosophical traditions a considerable corpus of works written during the first millennium that has not survived. Many key concepts often seem to be related to authors whose compositions are lost. This assumption is substantiated by the fact that such concepts are often referred to by the opposing schools and systems. The textual fragments of lost compositions that are contained in the opponent’s writings have not been systematically studied in their entirety, nor have fragments from individual periods bearing specific content been examined with regard to their historical relationships or mutual dependence in terms of intertextuality.

One of the main aims of the proposed project is to collect and analyze quotations and paraphrases from and allusions to lost texts of the Sāṅkhya, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Mīmāṃsā and Lokāyata traditions, as well as prosopographical information about their authors and works, in the philosophical Sanskrit works of the Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jaina traditions. Fragments that have already been identified and discussed in secondary literature will also be investigated. A further important aim is the online publication of the digitally edited and annotated fragments and related information for use by the larger scholarly community.

The corpus of the fragments prepared by the project will provide a solid basis for philological and historical studies on the development of Indian intellectual reflection. The dynamically developing platform will further serve as the basis for a presentation of contextualized and intertextual relationships.

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