Shishir Saxena began his studies in Indian philosophy in Varanasi after studying for an MBA and working for five years in Mumbai. He completed his MA in Indian Philosophy and Religion from the Banaras Hindu University (2011-13), subsequent to which he pursued an MPhil (2013-14) and a PhD (2014-18) in South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge.

His PhD thesis is titled “Linguistic and Phenomenological Theories of Verbal Cognition in Mīmāṃsā: A Study of the Arguments in Śālikanātha's Vākyārthamātṛkā-I and the Response in Sucarita's Kāśikāṭīkā”. The thesis is a philosophical, philological and historical study of the two Mīmāṃsā theories of sentential meaning, abhihitānvaya and anvitābhidhāna, with a focus on the two seminal texts Vākyārthamātṛkā-I and Kāśikāṭīkā. Modern scholarship is scarce with regard to both these works, and the thesis presents a translation/paraphrase of the several levels of argumentation found in the Vākyārthamātṛkā-I as well as an annotated edition and translation of the yet unpublished Kāśikāṭīkā on Ślokavārttika Vākyādhikaraṇa vv.110cd-112ab based on the study of two manuscripts.

Saxena joined the Institute on 1 October 2018 and worked within the framework of the WWTF project “Reasoning tools for deontic logic and applications to Indian sacred texts”.

Papers / Talks

  • Kumārila on why śabda cannot be classified as anumāna on the basis of āptavādāvisaṃvāda, as argued in the Śabdapariccheda and Vākyādhikaraṇa of the Ślokavārttika: Paper presented at a one-day international colloquium in Cambridge (November 2016), titled “From Word Meanings to Sentence Meaning: Different Perspectives in Indian Philosophy of Language”.