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Power and Insight in Jaina Discourse

Flügel, Peter (2010) 'Power and Insight in Jaina Discourse.' In: Balcerowicz, Piotr, (ed.), Logic and Belief in Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, pp. 85-217. (Warsaw Indological Studies)

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Abstract

The essay sets out a programme for the sociolinguistic study of Jain discourse by investigating the question how non-distorted communication takes place in hierarchical structures. The focus is on the role of power in processes of indirect communication. It is addressed by comparing two contrasting models of ideal communication, both serving as measures for distorted communication. On the one hand, Habermas’ dialogical model of the ‘ideal speech situation’, that is, normative orientations presupposed by anyone who wishes to communicate, and, on the other hand, the Jain theory of speaking, which, at first sight, seems to be predicated on particularistic hierarchical, or subject oriented, rather than egalitarian, or intersubjective, normative presuppositions. The comparison focuses on the analysis of the pragmatics of ambiguous speech and the 'expolitation of conversational implicatures' in the Jain scriptures with reference to general norms of Jain discourse and to the fourfold bhāṣā-gupti/mano-gupti in the early canonical Āyāra in particular, the equivalent of the catuṣ-koṭi of Buddhist logic. It is argued that consensus-orientation in Habermas' model and orientation toward non-violence in the Jain model are mutually implicated conditions of any universalistic discourse ethic. The analysis of the socio-cultural reasons for stressing non-violence rather than consensus throws a new light on the pragmatics of both Jain discourse and Jain perspectivist logic, and opens new perspectives for theoretical understanding of Jain-Hindu syncretism and strategic group formation.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: Jain discourse ethics, logic and conversation, theory of communicative action, sociolinguistics, strategic group theory, syncretism, inclusivism, Āyāra, bhāṣā-gupti, mano-gupti, catuṣ-koṭi
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions > Centre of Jaina Studies
ISBN: 9788120834460
Copyright Statement: With permission of the editor.
Depositing User: Peter Flugel
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2010 10:12
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/8209

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