Knowledge Systems in Sanskrit
The essays that follow square measure operating papers within the cooperative project Indic Knowledge-Systems on the Eve of victimisation (SKSEC), that investigates the substance and social context of Indic science and scholarship from about 1550 to 1750. These two centuries witnessed a flowering of intellectual life characterized by, among other features, an increase in the production of texts across disciplines, the rise of a new (or newly reinvigorated1) interdisciplinarity, and the introduction of important new discursive practices and conceptual categories. This dynamism lasted unit the consolidation of colonial power, whereupon a decline set in that ended the age-old power Sanskrit learning to shape Indian intellectual history. Whether there was perpetually and all over a causative relationship between the increase of colonial power and therefore the decline of Indic science and scholarship remains to be determined; within the domain of literary culture more narrowly conceived, this deterioration2 seems to have had a different history and to have been conditioned3 by a set of political and cultural factors entirely unconnected with colonialism. That is most disciplines Sanskrit knowledge proved completely powerless in the face of its colonial counterpart in hardly open to dispute. Yet merely to state the actual fact isn't to elucidate it, and explanation without understanding the nature of this knowledge is reckless.
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