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date: 21 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article develops the discussion surrounding motivation and action in classical Indian philosophy through the lens afforded by the early Nyāya philosopher Jayanta Bhaṭṭa (c.10th cent. ce). Through his critique of prevailing theories of action in the Mīmāṃsā text tradition, theories that endeavor to explain how Vedic injunctions prompt their hearers to act, Jayanta: (1) provides a detailed exegesis of fundamental Mīmāṃsā doctrines such as bhāvanā and niyoga; (2) indicates how these theories fall short of explaining human motivation; and (3) gestures toward a possible account of motivation as embedded in a network of associations, psychological and physical, that not only condition and constrain motivation, but also shape our understanding of what constitutes an opportunity for action.

Keywords: motivation, action, Jayanta Bhaṭṭa, Jayanta, bhāvanā, Mīmāṃsā, niyoga

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