This book explores the intellectual encounter of India and the West from pre-Alexandrian antiquity until the present. It examines India’s role in European philosophical thought, as well as the reception of European philosophy in Indian thought. Halbfass also considers the tension in India between a traditional and modern understanding of itself. Halbfass covers a wide variety of epochs and “cultures” in this study without oversimplification and without distracting shifts of tone. The volume’s methodological unity is reflected in Halbfass’ reliance on (...) the German hermeneutical tradition and his root characterization of the encounter between Indian and the West as dynamic. It is a contribution rooted in the interpretive tradition typified by the work of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Habermas. This edition is much more than a mere translation. Halbfass has not only translated, but has also revised, updated, and added much new material. (shrink)
This book examines, above all, the relationship between reason and Vedic revelation, and the philosophical responses to the idea of the Veda. It deals with such topics as dharma, karma and rebirth, the role of man in the universe, the motivation and justification of human actions, the relationship between ritual norms and universal ethics, and reflections on the goals and sources of human knowledge. Halbfass presents previously unknown materials concerning the history of sectarian movements, including the notorious "Thags" (thaka), and (...) relations between Indian and Iranian thought. The approach is partly philosophical and partly historical and philological; to a certain extent, it is also comparative. The author explores indigenous Indian reflections on the sources, the structure and the meaning of the Hindu tradition, and traditional philosophical responses to social and historical realities. He does not deal with social and historical realities per se; rather, basing his work on the premise that to understand these realities the reflections and constructions of traditional Indian theorists are no less significant than the observations and paradigms of modern Western historians and social scientists, he explores the self-understanding of such leading thinkers as Sankara, Kumarila, Bhartrhari and Udayana. (shrink)
Halbfass (Indian philosophy, U. of Pennsylvania) combines specialized philological and conceptual investigations with general philosophical and comparative reflections to present a history of the ontology of the Vaisesika system, which is commonly considered the lowest of the Vaisesika school, he focuses on the older period up to Udayana, whose work paves the way for Navyanyaya. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.