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Une ontologie du commandement ? Réflexions sur l’idée d’existence, l’impératif et l’objet du Veda

Abstract : This article deals with the contribution of thinkers of the school of Vedic exegesis (in Sanskrit: Mīmāṃsā) to the history of Indian ontology in the first millennium. At the same time, it is aiming at a better understanding of the meaning of “philosophy” for these intellectuals, who were mainly preoccupied with the interpretation of the ritual implications of a text – the Veda – that was considered eternal and infallible. Our point of departure is the opposition of two views on the nature of Being (sattā), both appearing for the first time in works of Mīmāṃsā at the turn of the 7th and 8th centuries: Being as “presence” and Being as “that which is known.” After giving a brief outline of these two positions (Section 1), we try to juxtapose them with two exegetical (or meta-exegetical) problems that were faced by the same authors in the same period, namely that of the “incommensurability” of the object of the Veda with worldly objects (Section 2) and that of the nature of injunction (vidhi or niyoga), which is at the heart of what they consider an essentially normative text (Section 3). Our main hypothesis is that this double matrix (hermeneutic and linguistic) encouraged some thinkers to elaborate a highly controversial “ontology of injunction,” and thereby paved the way for the irruption of ritual exegetes into the metaphysical domain, which had hitherto been the preserve of “natural” philosophers.
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Hugo David. Une ontologie du commandement ? Réflexions sur l’idée d’existence, l’impératif et l’objet du Veda. ThéoRèmes : Enjeux des approches empiriques des religions, Institut romand de systématique et d'éthique, 2017, ⟨10.4000/theoremes.1216⟩. ⟨halshs-02417334⟩

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