Friday, July 31, 2009

Did Mīmāṃsā authors develop a general theory of action?

The Mīmāṃsā theories on bhāvanā are originally exegetical/linguistic devices. But do they also constitute or presuppose a general theory of action? My provisional answer is yes, insofar as 1. they are used not just in an exegetical context (Kumārila mentions examples such as "(s)he cooks", Someśvara speaks of chariots), 2. they are used to address topics such as intentionality, effort, atoms' movements, which have nothing to do with both exegesis and linguistic analysis 3. they are used in debates against opponents of other schools who speak about movement and do not share the Mīmāṃsā theory of bhāvanā.

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