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Short bio

Studied Indology and Tibetology as well as Philosophy in Rome. PhD in South Asian Studies. Elisa Freschi has worked on various topics concerning Indian Philosophy (especially Mīmāṃsā and Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta), as well as various other topics, including comparative philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, deontic logic, and the re-use of texts in Indian śāstra (about which she has edited a volume, published as two special issues of the Journal of Indian Philosophy). She is a convinced upholder of reading Sanskrit philosophical texts within their history and understanding them through a philosophical approach.

Elisa Freschi started working at the Institute on 1 September 2012 within the framework of the Lise Meitner project "Epistemology of Sacred Texts in Vedāntadeśika's Seśvaramīmāṃsā". The project, at the conjunction of theology and philosophy, focused on Vedāntadeśika, the systematiser of Rāmānuja's Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta, and on his contribution to Mīmāṃsā. How could a Vaiṣṇava write from the point of view of a system that looks atheist and speaks of the Sacred Texts as instruments of knowledge, insofar as they have no author (not even a divine one)?

After the Lise Meitner project ended, Freschi worked at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) with Agata Ciabattoni, Björn Lellmann and Francesco Genco on the formalisation of Mīmāṃsā's deontic logic. The first results of their efforts can be read in this article (targeted readers: Indologists and philosophers) and in this one (targeted readers: logicians or Indologists with a background in logic). A joint project on the formalisation of Mīmāṃsā deontic logic, funded by the WWTF, started in May 2017.

In March 2015 Freschi returned to the Institute with an Elise Richter project on the topic of aikaśāstrya in Veṅkaṭanātha, aiming at an assessment of Veṅkaṭanātha's (re-)construction of what is now known as Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. Within this project, the existing editions of the Seśvaramīmāṃsā are being improved through the use of further manuscripts.

Since March 2017 Freschi has also been working at the University of Vienna (Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies).

Since May 2017 she has been a Co-Principal Investigator of the WWTF project "Reasoning tools for deontic logic and applications to Indian sacred texts".






Elisa Freschi, Tiziana Pontillo, 2013
Rule-extension strategies: Ritual, exegetical and linguistic considerations on the tantra- and prasaṅga-principles. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 2013.

Elisa Freschi, 2012
Duty, language and exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā: Including an edition and translation of Rāmānujācārya's Tantrarahasya, Śāstraprameyapariccheda. (Jerusalem Studies on the History of Religion 17.) Leiden: Brill, 2012.

Select edited volumes

Elisa Freschi, Philipp André Maas (eds.), 2017
Adaptive Reuse: Aspects of Creativity in South Asian Cultural History. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2017 (download [open access]).

Elisa Freschi (ed.), 2015
The reuse of texts in Indian philosophy. (Special issue of the Journal of Indian Philosophy 43:2–3 and 4–5.) Springer, 2015.

Elisa Freschi, et al. (eds.), 2011
The Study of Asia between Antiquity and Modernity: Proceedings of the First Coffee Break Conference. (Special issue of the Rivista di Studi Orientali, vol. LXXXIV.) Rome: Dipartimento di Studi Orientali dell'Università degli Studi di Roma «La Sapienza», 2011.

Websites and blogs