Bimal Krishna Matilal (1935–1991) was an Indian philosopher whose influential writings present the Indian philosophical tradition as a comprehensive system of logic incorporating most issues addressed by themes in Western philosophy. From 1977 to 1991 he was the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at the University of Oxford.
Literate in Sanskrit from an early age, Matilal was also drawn towards Mathematics and Logic. He was trained in the traditional Indian philosophical system by leading scholars of the Sanskrit College, where he himself was a teacher from 1957 to 1962. He was taught by scholars like pandit Taranath Tarkatirtha and Kalipada Tarkacharya. He also interacted with pandit Ananta Kumar Nyayatarkatirtha, Madhusudan Nyayacharya and Visvabandhu Tarkatirtha. The upadhi (degree) of Tarkatirtha (master of Logic) was awarded to him in 1962.
While teaching at the Sanskrit College (an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta) between 1957 and 1962, Matilal came in contact with Daniel Ingalls, an Indologist at Harvard University, who encouraged him to join the PhD program there. Matilal secured a Fulbright fellowship and completed his PhD under Ingalls on the Navya-Nyāya doctrine of negation, between 1962 and 1965. During this period he also studied with Willard Van Orman Quine. Subsequently, he was professor of Sanskrit at the University of Toronto, and in 1977 he was elected Spalding Professor at Oxford, succeeding Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Robert Charles Zaehner.
Matilal died of cancer on 8 June 1991.
Works by Matilal
In his work, he presented Indian logic, particularly Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika, Mīmāṃsā and Buddhist philosophy, as being relevant in modern philosophical discourse. Matilal presented Indian Philosophical thought more as a synthesis rather than a mere exposition. This helped create a vibrant revival of interest in Indian philosophical tradition as a relevant source of ideas rather than a dead discipline.
He was also the founding editor of the Journal of Indian Philosophy.
- Bimal Krishna Matilal (1971). Epistemology, Logic and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis. De Gruyter.
- Bimal Krishna Matilal (1985). Logic, language, and reality: an introduction to Indian philosophical studies. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0008-3.
- Bimal Krishna Matilal (1985). Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge. Clarendon.
- Logical and Ethical Issues: An essay on the Indian Philosophy of Religion, Calcutta University 1982 (repr. Chronicle Books, Delhi 2004)
- Navya Nyâya Doctrine of Negation, Harvard Oriental Series 46, 1968
- Bimal Krishna Matilal (1990). The word and the world: India's contribution to the study of language. Oxford University Press.
- Bimal Krishna Matilal (1999). The Character of Logic in India. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-564896-6.
- Niti, Yukti o Dharma, (in Bengali), Ananda Publishers Calcutta 1988.
See also the entries in Worldcat.
- Indian logic
- Śākaṭāyana (Matilal discusses the claim that all nominals are ultimately derived from verbal roots)
- Nyāya Sūtras
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Berg, Jan (December 1975). "Epistemology, Logic, and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis by Bimal Krishna Matilal". The Journal of Symbolic Logic. 40 (4): 578–579. doi:10.2307/2271783. JSTOR 2271783.
- Rocher, Rosane (April–June 1975). "Epistemology, Logic, and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis by Bimal K. Matilal". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 95 (2): 331–332. doi:10.2307/600381. JSTOR 600381.
- Sen, Pranab Kumar (January 1989). "Logic, Language and Reality by Bimal Krishna Matilal". Mind. New Series. 98 (389): 150–154. JSTOR 2255069.
- Trotignon, Pierre (April–June 1988). "Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge by Bimal Krishna Matilal". Revue Philosophique de la France et de l'Étranger. Apologétique, temporalité, monde sensible. 178 (2): 216–217. JSTOR 41095766.
- Jha, V. N. (1995). "The Word and the World (India's Contribution to the Study of Language) by Bimal Krishna Matilal". Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. 76 (1/4): 172–173. JSTOR 41694389.
- Gerow, Edwin (Feb 2000). "The Character of Logic in India by Bimal Krishna Matilal; Jonardon Ganeri; Heeraman Tiwari". The Journal of Asian Studies. 59 (1): 203–205. doi:10.2307/2658637. JSTOR 2658637.
- Werner, Karel (1999). "The Character of Logic in India by Bimal Krishna Matilal; Jonardon Ganeri; Heeraman Tiwari". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 62 (1): 155. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00017924. JSTOR 3107426.
- Barnhart, Michael G. (October 2001). "The Character of Logic in India by Bimal Krishna Matilal; Jonardon Ganeri; Heeraman Tiwari". Philosophy East and West. Nondualism, Liberation, and Language: The Infinity Foundation Lectures at Hawai'i, 1997-2000. 51 (4): 556–559. doi:10.1353/pew.2001.0051. JSTOR 1400170.
- Taber, John A. (October–December 2001). "The Character of Logic in India by Bimal Krishna Matilal; Jonardon Ganeri; Heeraman Tiwari". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 121 (4): 681–683. doi:10.2307/606527. JSTOR 606527.
- Heeraman Tiwari, Introduction to the Logical and Ethical Issues: An essay on the Indian Philosophy of Religion, University of Calcutta 1982.
- J.N. Mohanty, Introduction to Relativism, Suffering and Beyond: Essays in Memory of Bimal K. Matilal, Edited by J N Mohanty and Purushottama Bilimoria, Oxford University Press 1997.
- Daniel Ingalls, In Memoriam Bimal Krishna Matilal, Journal of Indian Philosophy 1991
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