two documents from Frits Staal

When he retired from UCBerkeley, Frits donated a substantial quantity of books and files to the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Having gone through that material, I found two that I’d hoped to be able to include in the festschrift that George Thompson and I edited: On Meaning and Mantras: Essays in Honor of Frits Staal (link). The number of contributors to that volume, however, meant that it was already a large collection, even without these two items.

The first is his report to the funding agency that supported his original research in India. The descriptions are wonderfully detailed, including technological problems with tape recorders and transportation. One can see here the early reporting that is echoed in his Discovering the Vedas.

The second is a copy of a paper on Indian logic. I’ve not been able to track down whether this was ever published as such, but it shows the relatively basic nature of the study of Indian logic at that time. Most of this is now well-known—there is nothing now particularly revelatory in the content. However, viewing it historically, I think it is an valuable documentation of the way that our knowledge of Indian logic has developed in just a few decades.

My apologies that the second is not as clear as one might wish. Particularly the first page is discolored.

I hope that these are of use or at least interest to the wider academic community.