Philology and Confrontation

Paul Hacker on Traditional and Modern Vedanta

Edited by Wilhelm Halbfass

Subjects: India And South Asian Studies
Paperback : 9780791425824, 378 pages, October 1995
Hardcover : 9780791425817, 378 pages, October 1995

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

by Lambert Schmithausen

by William Halbfass
An Uncommon Orientalist: Paul Hacker's Passage to India

I. Sankara and the Traditions of Advaita Vedanta: Philological Explorations

1. On Sankara and Advaitism
2. Relations of Early Advaitins of Vaisnavism
3. Sankaracarya and Sankarabhagavatpada: Preliminary Remarks Concerning the Authorship Problem
4. Distinctive Features of the Doctrine and Terminology of Sankara: Avidya, Namarupa, Maya, Isvara
5. Sankara the Yogin and Sankara the Advaitin: Some Observations

II. Nondualism and Its Implications: Understanding and Confrontation

6. The Theory of Degrees of Reality in Advaita Vedanta
7. The Idea of the Person in the Thinking of Vedanta Philosophers
8. Sankara's Conception of Man
9. Being and Spirit in Vedanta
10. Cit and Nous, or the Concept of Spirit in Vedantism and in Neoplatonism

III. Neo-Hinduism and Modern Vedanta: Studies in Reinterpretation

11. Aspects of Neo-Hinduism as Contrasted with Surviving Traditional Hinduism
12. The Concept of Dharma in Neo-Hinduism
13. Schopenhauer and Hindu Ethics
14. Vivekanada's Religious Nationalism
15. A Prasthanatraya Commentary of Neo-Hinduism: Remarks on the Work of Radhakrishnan

Bibliographical Notes on the Texts and Translations



Wilhelm Halbfass (1940–2000) was Professor of Indian Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of India and Europe: An Essay in Understanding; Tradition and Reflection: Explorations in Indian Thought; and On Being and What There Is: Classical Vaisesika and the History of Indian Ontology; all published by SUNY Press.


"This collection of Paul Hacker's essays contains all those which I personally consider to be his most brilliant and fascinating ones. They have been translated here from German for the first time and will thus receive, at last, the attention they highly deserve, now that they will be accessible to a larger public. " — L. Schmithausen, University of Hamburg

"A very useful collection of the writings of one of the most important twentieth-century Indologists. The editor's Introduction is especially helpful, placing as it does Paul Hacker's work in the context of cross-cultural studies in general. " — Eliot Deutsch, University of Hawaii, Honolulu

"The book makes available to the English reader for the first time major works of one of the most important modern scholars of Indian philosophy. " — Patrick Olivelle, University of Texas, Austin

"Hacker's work is indispensable for anyone who would understand Vedanta and related strands of Indian intellectual traditions both ancient and modern. The content of his essays is important, many of the articles are ground breaking, and Hacker's style of scholarship is paradigmatic: philologically expert, historically and critically attuned, capable of handling the philosophical issues raised by the texts, sensitive to broader and deeper religious and theological issues. " -- Francis X. Clooney, S. J., Boston College