Hugo David

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  • Dr. Hugo David

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Hugo David studied philosophy and indology at the universities of Nancy and Paris. His main area of research is the history of Indian medieval philosophy and linguistic traditions, with a particular focus on Brahmanical systems of thought during the first millennium, on Vedic exegesis (Pūrva-/Uttara-Mīmāṃsā) and, more recently, on texts belonging to the tradition of Sanskrit grammar and poetics. His PhD thesis, submitted in 2012 at the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE, 5th section, Paris), dealt with linguistic speculation in the “non dualistic” (Advaita) branch of Vedānta and included a critical edition, translation and analysis of Sanskrit philosophical texts on verbal knowledge (śābdabodha) by Prakāśātman (10th c.) and Ānandabodha (11th c.). In 2013-14, he worked as a Newton International Fellow at the University of Cambridge on the early interactions existing between Vedic exegesis and Sanskrit grammar.

Hugo David started working at the institute in January 2015. He is now taking part in the FWF-funded project “Speech and action in early Brahmanical philosophy”, aiming at producing a first translation and study of Maṇḍana Miśra’s Vidhiviveka (“An enquiry into the cause of human activities”), possibly the first Indian philosophical treatise entirely devoted to human action, and one of the forgotten masterpieces of early Mīmāṃsā.

Main publications

  • 2013a “A Contribution of Vedānta to the History of Mīmāṃsā. Prakāśātman’s interpretation of ‘verbal effectuation’ (śabdabhāvanā)”; p. 79-105 in Mirnig, N.; Szántó, P.-D. and Williams, M. (eds.). Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • 2013b “Action Theory and Scriptural Exegesis in Early Advaita-Vedānta (1): Maṇ-ḍana Miśra on upadeśa and iṣṭasādhanatā”; p. 269-316 in Eltschinger, V. and Krasser, H. (eds.) Scriptural authority, reason, and action. Proceedings of a Panel at the 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Kyōto, September 1-5, 2009. Vienna.
  • 2014a “Nouvelles tendances dans l’étude de la Mīmāṃsā”; Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 99 (2012-2013): 395-408.
  • 2014b “Time, Action and Narration: on some Exegetical Sources of Abhinavagupta’s Aesthetic Theory”; Journal of Indian Philosophy (online first publication).


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