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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Proposals for the study of quotations in Indian philosophical texts

Why do we need at all a study of quotation?
–In order to better evaluate texts and their history.
–In order to better evaluate the relation of Indian authors to other authors (do they feel like quoting revered teachers? or do they rather name only adversaries?…).
–In order to better edit texts.
–In order to better understand Indian habits of reading and writing/composing texts (did they quote literally even longer passages? or did they quote ad sensum? did they have a small library of texts behind their desk?).

What do we want to study?
–Forms of quotation.
–Marks of quotation.
–Frequence of unmarked quotations and their reason.
–Use of quotations.

For a historical background:
–When did plagiarism become an offence in European intellectual history?
–Did Middle Age authors mark quotations? And when? Which textual quotations were unmarked?

Examples worth considering:
–Madhva's use of (possibly non-existing) texts to confirm his most innovative views.
–Manu's use of "iti smṛtam" exactly in order to confirm his own views.

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