Of the scholar known as the “founder” of the school, Prabhākara Miśra, only one text (his Bṛhatī) is extant, and only a fraction of it has been edited and published. Before him, possible forerunners are known only because their names are sometimes quoted in other works. The lack of a satisfying edition of the Bṛhatī, together with its terse style, has made direct access to Prabhākara prohibitive to most scholars. In fact, even ancient Indian philosophers, though crediting Prabhākara with the “foundation” of the school, preferred to quote his commentator, Śālikanātha Miśra and the custom has continued ever since. Śālikanātha himself, though much clearer than Prabhākara, did not intend to convey the basic tenets of his school in an easy manner for the sake of non-Mīmāṃsakas. It is indeed not until a later time that Indian philosophers felt the need to compose easier abridgements of their schools’ doctrines. Instances of this kind of texts are the Bhāṭṭa Mānameyodaya or the Naiyāyika Tarkasaṅgraha, which are used even today as introductory manuals.
In Memoriam: Russell Hardin (1940-2017)
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