In this Volume the history of Nyaya-Vaisesika is resumed from Volume Six of the Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies Series and brought up to the time of Gadadhara (ca. 1660). This is the period of the great subcommentators (Jagadisa, Mathuranatha, Gadadhara) on Raghunatha Siromani’s Tattva-cintamanididhiti, the culmination of some of the most intricate philosophical analysis the world has ever known. Prof. Sibajiban Bhattacharyya has in his extensive Introduction provided a thorough explanation of the basic style and content of these sub-commentators, along with a readable account of many of the main topics discussed in these works. His Introduction is followed by analyses of some of the chapters of these subcommentaries, provided by those few Indian scholars of recent times able to command the difficulties their interpretation poses. These summaries can be consulted for an initial acquaintance with the topics covered, free from the intricacies of the subcommentaries.
Karl H. Potter is retired Professor of Philosophy and South Asian Studies at the University of Washington, and is General Editor of the Present series, which attempts to summarily present the though of all the great philosophical systems of India.
Sibajiban Bhattacharyya was Professor at North Bengal University and then as Acharya B.N. Seal Professor of Mental and Moral Sciences at the University of Calcutta, where he remained until his retirement in 1988. During this period he also taught as Visiting Professor at the Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. He was Director of the Institute of Universal and Spiritual Values of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta (1986-88) and lectured regularly at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute, Gol Park, Calcutta (1987-1994). During these periods he received many laurels, among them General President of the Indian Philosophical Congress in 1987. He gave. Memorial Lectureships at various Indian universities between 1977 and 1993.
It is my sad duty to have to write this memorial to my old and good friend Sibajiban Bhattacharyya. Born in 1926, and having won many medals and honors during his schooling in and around Calcutta, he gained his first appointment in 1949 at Saugar University, moving to Burdwan, near Calcutta, in 1962, where he stayed until 1973. By that time, having gained renown as an exceptional scholar, and having published a number of articles in respected journals, both Indian and Western, he spent several years as Professor of Philosophy at the Centre (or Institute) of Advanced Studies in Simla. He finally arrived for good back in Calcutta, first as Professor at North Bengal University and then as Acharya B. N. Seal Professor of Mental and Moral Sciences at the Universe of Calcutta, where he remained until his retirement in 1988. During this period he also taught as Visiting Professor at the Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. He was Director of the Institute of Universal and Spiritual Values of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta (1986-88) and lectured regularly at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute, Gol Park, Calcutta (1987-1994). Even after retirement he continued teaching and writing at several of the above-mentioned centers of higher education. During these periods he received many laurels, among them General President of the Indian Philosophical Congress in 1987. He gave Memorial Lectureships at various Indian universities between 1977 and 1993.
His major publications are listed below. Though his central Concern became classical Indian philosophy, especially the Navya-Nyaya, he was a keen student of Anglo-American philosophical analysis, as will be evident not only from the references in the Introduction to the present volume that follows, but also from the many articles he published in major Western philosophical journals such as Mind, Analysis, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and the Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic. And of course it must be mentioned that he collaborated in the preparation and production of Volume Six of this Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies. To me he remains a life-long colleague in our chosen field of specialization. Sibajiban and I must have first met at a philosophical meeting some time in the 1950s, quite possibly one hosted in 1953 by the Maharaja of Mysore, But my first clear memory of him stems from a visit my wife and I made to Saugar in 1958, where another old and recently departed friends, Daya Krishna, was also teaching at that time. After that I visited Sibajiban a number of times in Calcutta, being warmly received and fed in the Bhattacharyya’s home by Sibajiban and his wife Arati. But the strongest memories my wife and I have are of the family’s visit to Seattle in 1981, where Mr. And Mrs. Bhattacharyya were accompanied by their own right. Sheuli is now teaching at Manipal University in Karnataka, while Shyamasree is on the Philosophy faculty at the Alipur campus of the University of Calcutta. I recently learned that Mrs. Bhattacharyya passed away in early 2008.
In closing, I wish to express my thankfulness at having had such a wise and caring friend and colleague as Sibajiban. He was always generous in his participation in our scholarly ventures. My life and work have been infinitely enriched by his participation, for which I am forever grateful.
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