Some Issues of Scholarly Exegesis (In Indian Philosophy)

  • Claus Oetke


The article deals with some facets of the phenomenon of the underdetermination of meaning by (linguistic) data which are particularly relevant for textual exegesis in the historico-philological disciplines. The paper attempts to demonstrate that lack of relevant information is by no means the only important reason why certain issues of interpretation cannot be definitely settled by means of traditional philological methods but that the objective nonexistence of pertinent data is equally significant. It is claimed that the phenomenon of objective under-determination possesses among others two major consequences: (1) A strict separation between the exploration of the history of (Indian) philosophy and philosophical criticism is theoretically incorrect. (2) Transference of indeterminacy and vagueness to the target langue in translations of textual sources is not only legitimate but sometimes most appropriate. Presumably the relevance of the discussed issues is not strictly confined to the area of Indian philosophy.


Textual exegesis Indian Logic Semantics and linguistic communication 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of IndologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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