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The Art of Statecraft in Early China
This annotated translation of Han Feizi introduces one of China’s most controversial political texts. Generations of Chinese literati deplored Han Feizi’s cynical assault on moralizing discourse, blatant authoritarianism, and gleeful derision of fellow intellectuals. Yet many were attracted to the text’s practical advice, especially its advocacy of reliance on impartial standards rather than on the personal qualities of the leaders who may be dupe, selfish, or both. And many more admired the text’s incisiveness, wit, humour, and realistic approach to politics.
The new translation makes the text’s political philosophy and its literary gems equally accessible to the readers.
Origins and Development of Mohist Logic
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This book, translated by Daniel Sarafinas, is the first and only English language translation of Sun Zhongyuan’s research on Mohist logic. Sun investigates the historical contributions made to the research of logic in China, its modern value, its significance to the world, and how the form of logic developed in China is united with those from the rest of the world, focusing on Mohist (mojia 墨家) logic in particular as its core concern.

Sun’s work represents a high level of academic merit in the field of logic in China, embodying traditional Chinese culture, reflecting the frontiers of Chinese academia, effectively advocating for Chinese academia to engage with the rest of the world, deepening the academic conversation between China and the rest of the world, furthering the world’s understanding of Chinese thought, and strengthening its influence and discursive power.
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This book is a major early work of Japanese philosopher Wataru Hiromatsu (1933-1994). Originally published in 1972, the primary theme is overcoming the subject-object schema of modern philosophy.

Hiromatsu seeks to replace this subject-object schema with what he calls the intersubjective fourfold structure, in which “the given is valid as something more to someone as someone more.” This fourfold structure is not a sum of four independent elements, but exists only as a functional relationship. From this relationist point of view, Hiromatsu develops his philosophical theory as a systematic critique of “reification,” defined as the hypostatizing misconception of a functional relation.
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This book provides a comprehensive but concise introduction to Chinese Buddhism and the study of Buddhism in China: their Indic roots, their Sinicization, the development and philosophies of the three central lineages, the natural exchange between Buddhist cultures and schools of thought, the foundations of Buddhist studies in China, and the chief schools and sects in Chinese Buddhism as well as their characteristics and ethos.

Abstract

This article centers on vṛtta (syllable-counting) and jāti (mora-counting) meters in the eleventh-century classical Telugu text Mahābhāratamu by Nannaya Bhaṭṭa. In particular, we focus on Nannaya’s use of sīsamu, a lengthier jāti meter that is emblematic of classical Telugu poetry beginning with Mahābhāratamu. We analyze Nannaya’s use of sīsamu in various sections in the text and suggest that Nannaya employs the lengthy sīsamu for its flexibility, either to advance the plot of his epic retelling or to provide a lengthy description of a particular figure or an object seen by a character in their surrounding landscape. Through his reliance on Telugu meters such as sīsamu, as well as the mora-counting meter kandamu and prose (vacanamu), Nannaya’s Mahābhāratamu advances a vernacular aesthetics, one that exists within and outside the boundaries of Sanskrit metrical frameworks.

In: Journal of South Asian Intellectual History
Free access
In: Journal of South Asian Intellectual History
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Abstract

This paper offers an extended introduction to the Kavikaṇṭhapāśa (or “Leash for Poets”), an anonymous text on the metaphysical qualities of poetry. By way of an annotated translation of key passages, the essay argues that the Kavikaṇṭhapāśa was likely composed sometime in the twelfth or thirteenth century, and that it is closely connected to the earliest Tamil pāṭṭiyals. This suggests that it is one of the earliest witnesses to the metaphysical analysis of poetry in the Deccan and southern India.

In: Journal of South Asian Intellectual History

Abstract

This article deals with literary lists in ornate prose sections (gadya) of Maṇipravāḷam literature from premodern Kerala. Rather than viewing such lists as informative texts, I focus on their aesthetic quality, as literary creations that evoke a sense of the spectacular particularity of the local, the tangible, and the mundane. The main case study is a fourteenth-century market description that enumerates more than 250 objects, including grain, fish, cloth, medicinal items, flowers, and perfumes. The list creates a sense of excess in its use of both an actual image of abundance (Kerala is described as a vibrant commerce center) and a parallel image of linguistic abundance, with Malayalam, the local language, placed center stage.

Open Access
In: Journal of South Asian Intellectual History

Abstract

The Śrīvaiṣṇava Ācāryas (from the 12th century onwards), erudite scholars in Sanskrit and Tamil literatures inter alia, were prolific writers in both languages, as well as in Manipravalam, While they mostly wrote to explain and transmit their doctrinal views, they were also capable of enjoying the root texts with which they worked, and in the process, of infusing their own writings (such as commentaries) with rasa. One particular example of this is Periyavāccāṉ Piḷḷai’s Rāmāyaṇa Taṉiślokam (13th century), a theological commentary in Manipravalam on a selection of verses from the Sanskrit epic. Based on a detailed study of Piḷḷai’s commentary on verse 1.72.17, this article examines why Piḷḷai makes a theological commentary filled with rasa in the first place, as well as how he manages to do it (e.g. by means of the language that he uses, the knowledge, values, and worldviews, and so forth that he shares with his audience). We shall also explore the results of his undertaking. In the process, we shall also note how he differs from his more conventional counterparts, such as Govindarāja (16th century).

In: Journal of South Asian Intellectual History
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Abstract

The Sanskrit word campū is usually understood to refer to a literary composition that combines prose and verse. I argue that this sense of the word was not available before the tenth century CE, and the vast majority of compositions that have been called campūs, either in premodern commentaries or in modern scholarship, were not and could not have been so called by their authors. This is true of almost the entirety of so-called “campū literature” in Kannada. The reference to campū as “a particular type of composition consisting of prose and verse” in Daṇḍin’s Mirror of Literature (ca. 700 CE) was probably not a definition, despite the fact that it has almost-universally been taken as such by the tradition of Indian poetics and modern scholarship. I propose that the campū might have originated as a subliterary comic performance, and that Daṇḍin (unknowingly) and Trivikramabhaṭṭa (knowingly) helped to establish the now- familiar sense of the word.

Open Access
In: Journal of South Asian Intellectual History