Institut für Indologie und Zentralasien- wissenschaften  

Forschungsprojekt 'Digitale kritische Edition des Nyāyabhāṣya'

Forschungsprojekt, finanziert durch die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Dauer 9(3) Jahre, Beginn: 1.7.2016

Projektleiter: Prof. Dr. Eli Franco

wiss. Mitarbeiter: Dr. Philipp André Maas und Tyler Graham Neill


The main objective of the proposed project is to establish a critical edition of the third and fourth chapter of the Nyāyabhāṣya (D1E pp. 135-282, about 46% of the whole book) in reliance on all currently available manuscripts. The critical edition will supply scholars of the history of Indian philosophy
with a much-needed, reliable and well-reasoned text of the Nyāyabhāṣya. The edition will thus provide solid testimony for the study of the period of the genesis and development of Indian philosophical traditions from the first to the fifth century CE. Furthermore, with its innovative application of recently
developed software SplitsTree4, MacClade* and PAUP, the project aims of establishing a new procedure and method in the development of stemmatics that can be applied to any discipline in the humanities, in which critical editions on the basis of a large number of manuscripts is required. The
present project accounts for some 30 manuscripts and is capable of increasing this number if further manuscripts will become available.

With the help of historical-philological methods, the edition will throw new light on the textual history of the Nyāyabhāṣya as well as the Nyāyasūtra embedded therein. The project will also deal with various aspects of the history of the transmission of an early classical Indian work on the basis of the colophons and regional distributions of the preserved mss., and as evidenced by the notices found in the works of Navya-Nyāya authors and the printed editions of related Nyāya works. It will thus contribute to the wealth of prosopographical information and South Asian paleography and codicology.The further development and refinement of the editorial method, aided by the computational stemmatics, may provide a model for similar projects in other disciplines (e.g., Classical Studies) where the textual transmission is characterized by a large number of witnesses.

The major aim of the project is the digital publication and dissemination of the examined materials together with information about primary and secondary witnesses, especially the transcription of ms. materials (diplomatic edition), collation, critical edition and the ms. description. While the publication of the critical edition is undertaken in the traditional media, an online publication of the transcription and collation will more widely allow for unlimited access and attempts to represent the textual “variance” and plurality as highlighted by “new” philology, an area of editorial theory that more deliberately and positively focuses upon how a text has been received, than a stemmatist does. One may be keenly aware that a reconstruction of textual history remains and should be an endless issue of open debate and new  developments, encouraging academic and non-academic users (including students) to pursue new lines of research. To demonstrate the approach from the new philology, the project will resort to the rapidly developing principle of Digital Philology in cooperation with the Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at Leipzig University. Although, or because, the digital presentation of collation and critical edition has not yet become a popular trend among Sanskritists, it may reasonably be emphasized that attempts of the proposed project will be an important and innovative contribution to the movement of Digital Philology in Indian Classics.

The third and fourth chapters (Nyāyabhāṣya 3 and 4) to be investigated record detailed  descriptions and polemic discussions about metaphysics, epistemology, theology and soteriology, such as the objects of cognition (prameya), life after death, the proof of God (īśvara), several types of world-views, activities conducive to liberation (apavarga, mokṣa), and the nature of true knowledge (tattvajñāna). All topics are systematically allocated within the Nyāyasūtra’s main framework of elaborating on the twelve epistemic (prameya) and three dialectic items (vāda, jalpa and vitaṇḍā) in a supplemental manner. Thus, the two chapters, Nyāyabhāṣya 3 and 4, constitute an inseparable and coherent unit of the research of Indian classical metaphysics in a broader sense.

letzte Änderung: 14.03.2019 


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