Project History

On May 8th 2000, a research project on the theory of debate according to Carakasaṃhitā Vimānasthāna Chapter 8 was granted by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for a duration of three years under the title Debate in the Context of the History of Indian Medicine” (project director: Karin Preisendanz; project start: March 2001). In this pilot project conducted together with Dr. Ernst Prets, research fellow at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of Sciences, the foundations for a critical edition of the chapter on the basis of more than 30 manuscripts were laid.
The project was followed by a three-year project, Philosophy and Medicine in Early Classical India (granted on March 9th, 2004, and starting in the same month, again under the direction of Karin Preisendanz), in which Dr. Prets was joined by Dr. Philipp A. Maas and later by Dr. Cristina Pecchia as post-doc researchers. This project was extended until July 2007. Further extensive ms. material became accessible and was collated, and good progress was made with the critical edition following a well-defined methodology supported by stemmatic considerations.
In a follow-up three-year project, Philosophy and Medicine in Early Classical India II (granted on May 8th, 2007), which started in August 2007 at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, the project team consisting of Dr. Maas, Dr. Pecchia and the project director continues to work on the critical edition of the chapter which was concluded by the end of the project and immensely profited from the development of a stemmatic hypothesis for the altogether more than 50 available mss. with the innovative use of cladistic software designed for phylogenetic research. Numerous articles and lectures on the theory of debate and other topics treated in Carakasaṃhitā Vimānasthāna Chapter 8 as well as on the adopted methodology have resulted from the three projects.
On March 7, 2011, a further follow-up project was granted for three years (Philosophy and Medicine in Early Classical India III, Project No. P23330). This project started on April 1st, 2011; it is devoted to completing the critical edition of the entire Vimānasthāna and to start editing Carakasaṃhitā Śārīrasthāna (Chapters 1-6). The new project team comprises Vitus Angermeier, M.A., Dr. Cristina Pecchia and Dr. Dominik Wujastyk.
In April 2014 the project got prolonged until June 30th, 2015.