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Shishir Saxena


I began my studies in Indian Philosophy in Banaras, after an MBA and five years of working in Mumbai. I completed an MA in Indian Philosophy & Religion at the Banaras Hindu University, following which I have continued my study at the University of Cambridge. My research focuses on the critical reflection and argumentation on the nature of cognition obtained from language (śābdabodha) in the philosophical tradition of Pūrva-Mīmāṃsā. I am particularly interested in the theory of śābdabodha as elaborated by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa (c.7th century C.E.), arguably one of the most influential Indian philosophers, in his magnum opus the Ślokavārttika. During my MPhil, I studied the chapter Sphoṭavāda where Kumārila critiques the Grammarians’ doctrine of sphoṭa (mainly word-sphoṭa) and also puts forth his theory of word and word-meaning. For my doctoral research, I am studying and translating the section on the nature of the sentence, the Vākyādhikaraṇa, along with the only available and hitherto untranslated commentary by Pārthasārathi Miśra (c.11th century C.E.). The Vākyādhikaraṇa is the penultimate chapter of the Ślokavārttika and Kumārila here aggregates his various theories to set forth his explanation for the cognition of sentential meaning, which subsequently came to be known as abhihitānvayavāda.

Subject groups/Research projects

Indian Studies:

Research Interests

"Theory of śābdabodha in Pūrva-Mīmāṃsā, particularly as elaborated in Kumārila Bhaṭṭa's Ślokavārttika"