Kiyotaka Yoshimizu

Semantics or Pragmatics?

  • Time: Tue., 2. September, 12.30−17 and Wed., 3. September, 12.30−17
  • Venue: Institut für Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens, Seminarraum 1
  • Organisation: Elisa Freschi (IKGA)


The workshop will regard Dignāga's and Kumārila's distinction of semantics from pragmatics (an innovation both shared, if compared to Nyāya) and their different solutions to the issue (with Dignāga priviledging semantics and Kumārila focusing on pragmatics).

More in detail,

2.9: apoha in Dignāga (showing his focus on semantics over pragmatics)

3.9: Kumārila's understanding of the grahakaikatvanyāya as an evidence of his focus on pragmatics

Texts to be read: PS and PSV 41-44; PS and PSV 50a (2.9). TV on 3.1.(7).13-15 (3.9).

References: Kiyotaka Yoshimizu “The Theorem of the Singleness of a Goblet (graha-ekatva-nyāya) : A Mīmāṃsā Analysis of Meaning and Context”, Acta Asiatica 90, 2006.

Kiyotaka Yoshimizu “How to Refer to a Thing by a Word: Another Difference between Dignāga’s and Kumārila’s Theories of Denotation”, in Journal of Indian Philosophy, 39(4-5), 2011.

The workshop will be led by Kiyotaka Yoshimizu. Andrew Ollett (Columbia University) will also participate.

Leading the Workshop

Kiyotaka Yoshimizu is a Professor in Graduate School of Arts and Letters of Tohoku University, Japan. He is teaching Sanskrit and Indian culture in the department of Indology and History of Indian Buddhism. His special interest lies in Mīmāṃsā and its influence of and over other fields of Indian thought, such as the Vedic ritualism, Sanskrit grammar, legal literature, Vedānta and Buddhism especially in the early medieval period. He has published his ph.D thesis submitted to the University of Vienna, Der "Organismus" des urheberlosen Veda. Eine Studie der Niyoga-Lehre Prabhākaras mit ausgewählten Übersetzungen der Bṛhatī (Publications of the De Nobili Research Library 25, Wien, 1997), as well as several articles on the various aspects of the philosophy of Kumārila Bhaṭṭa. A list of his publications is uploaded on the website of Tohoku University, here.