Research Interests: Indian Philosophy, Sanskrit
Shishir Saxena is a scholar of Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit. He was pursuing his post-doctoral research (2018-19) at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) in Vienna prior to joining Ahmedabad University. He received his PhD (2019) and MPhil (2014) from the University of Cambridge, prior to which he studied for an MA (2013) at the Banaras Hindu University. His earlier education includes a bachelor’s degree in Physics and an MBA in finance, subsequent to which he spent five years in consulting in Mumbai before beginning his studies in Indian Philosophy.
At the IKGA, Shishir was part of the WWTF project ‘Reasoning Tools for Deontic Logic and Applications to Indian Sacred Texts’, a cross-disciplinary team which includes computer scientists and logicians working on the deontic logic developed within the philosophical school of Mīmāṃsā. His work focusses on hermeneutic solutions put forth by Mīmāṃsā thinkers with regard to instances of conflicting Vedic commands, and is thereby concerned with several technical aspects of prescriptions (vidhi) and prohibitions (pratiṣedha / niṣedha).
His PhD thesis is titled ‘Linguistic and Phenomenological Theories of Verbal Cognition in Mīmāṃsā: A Study of the Arguments in Śālikanātha's Vākyārthamātṛkā-I and the Response in Sucarita's Kāśikāṭīkā’. The thesis is a philosophical, philological and historical study of the two Mīmāṃsā theories of sentential meaning, abhihitānvaya and anvitābhidhāna, with a focus on the two seminal texts Vākyārthamātṛkā-I and Kāśikāṭīkā. Modern scholarship is scarce with regard to both these works, and the thesis presents a translation/paraphrase of the several levels of argumentation found in the Vākyārthamātṛkā-I as well as an annotated edition and translation of the yet unpublished Kāśikāṭīkā on Ślokavārttika Vākyādhikaraṇa vv.110cd-112ab based on the study of two manuscripts.
His research interests include the epistemological debates within the Indian philosophical tradition, especially those on the nature of language, as well as the deontic logic and structure underlying several aspects of Mīmāṃsā hermeneutic reasoning.