Mo, 09.12. – 20.12.2019


International workshop and symposium

Bhaṭṭa Jayanta's Primer on epistemology, logic, and dialectic (Nyāyakalikā


This is the third of three yearly SAPHALA (South Asian Philosophy and Language) workshops, planned for the years 2017–2019. The workshops aim at the following primary goals:

  • Providing a forum for a debate on philosophical questions around language, studied from the perspective of South Asian philosophers
  • Mapping the historical development of philosophical ideas around language in South Asia
  • Assessing the contemporary relevance of these philosophical ideas


The Kashmirian philosopher Bhaṭṭa Jayanta (ninth century CE) is the author of a primer of Nyāya, the Nyāyakalikā, a short version of his encyclopedic and better known magnum opus, the Nyāyamañjarī. This primer contains short definitions and examples of the sixteen categories that form the Nyāya system of epistemology, ontology, and dialectic. The Nyāya system consists in a developed theory of argumentation that establishes rules for both philosophical investigation and eristic disputations. Jayanta is particularly interested in the study of language as an epistemic instrument. In harmony with the standpoint of mainstream Nyāya, language is by definition a means to convey and obtain sound knowledge. In other words, language is trustworthy testimony, when properly utilized. Consequently, even the rules of argumentation set down in the organon of the sixteen categories are to be studied as a normative system of episteme, where all dialectic and rhetoric devices serve the main goal of a quest for truth.

If you wish to participate in the symposium, please register with an email to alessandro.graheli(at) by 16 December 2019.


  • Daniele Cuneo (Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, France)
  • Nilanjan Das (University College, London, UK)
  • Elisa Freschi (IKGA and ISTB, Vienna)
  • Alessandro Graheli (IKGA and ISTB, Vienna)
  • Kei Kataoka (Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan)
  • Sudipta Munsi (IKGA, Vienna)
  • Yasutaka Muroya (IKGA, Vienna)
  • Parimal Patil (Harvard University, Cambridge, USA)
  • Ryushin Sudo (Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan)
  • Alex Watson (Ashoka University, India)



Time | Workshop:
9 & 11–19 December 2019, 9:30–12:30, 14:00–17:00

10 December: 8:30–11:00, 14:00–17:00

Time | Symposium and round table:
20 December, 9:00–12:00, 14:00–17:00

Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia
Hollandstr. 11–13, 1020 Wien, 2nd floor, room 2.25

Alessandro Graheli