Philosophical Perspectives on Language in premodern South Asia

08.07.2024 - 13.07.2024

EurAsia Summer Academy, Vienna Summer School on the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia


The Eurasia Summer Academy - Vienna Summer School on the History and Cultures of Asia will offer an intensive one-week seminar on the debate on the nature of language in South Asian philosophical traditions. It is aimed at students interested in reading scientific Sanskrit works that refer to linguistic concepts. Participants will work intensively with established experts based at the IKGA and the ISTB. The school will encompass in-depth discussions and hands-on exploration of fundamental topics related to how South Asian philosophers grappled with language, based on primary sources. This will include tackling issues such as word and sentence meanings, delving into highly original theories like sphoṭa, and exploring the intricate relationship between language and consciousness. Participants will receive a comprehensive introduction to the key theories from various traditions in the complex and multifaceted South Asian intellectual landscape, including Nyāya, Vyākaraṇa, Vedānta, and Buddhism. Expert lectures on specific subjects will be enriched by focused readings of relevant texts in the original Sanskrit.

Each day will include three teaching slots and one session dedicated to allowing students to present their research interests. The first lecture will offer a comprehensive overview of the topic for the day.

Teaching Staff

Marco Ferrante (IKGA)

Christopher Jones (ISTB)

Andrey Klebanov (ISTB)

Akane Saito (IKGA)

Marcus Schmücker (IKGA)

Michael Williams (IKGA)

Excerpts from the following work

Abhinavagupta’s Īṣvarapratyabhijñāvimarśinī, Mahimabhaṭṭa’s Vyaktiviveka, Gadādhara’s Śaktivāda, Bhartṛhari’s Vākyapadīya, Maṇḍana Miśra ’s Sphoṭasiddhi, etc.


Intermediate to good knowledge of scientific Sanskrit.


Students interested in acquiring credit points will obtain 5 ECTS points after a final evaluation and should contact the organisers after registration.

400 euro (including accommodation)
100 euro
(without accommodation)

What is included?
Accommodation, including breakfast, for seven nights in central Vienna. Preparatory as well as accompanying course materials.


Registration will close on 31 May 2024. For any information and to apply, please send a CV and a short cover letter (300 words) to Dr. Marco Ferrante (



Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of Sciences (IKGA). Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna (ISTB).
Seminarraum 1 des ISTB