Indic Conceptions of Authority
HINDUISM AND LAW: AN INTRODUCTION, Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis, Jr., Jayanth K. Krishnan, eds., pp. 137-153, Cambridge University Press, 2010
47 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2010 Last revised: 10 May 2011
Date Written: July 30, 2010
This article is examines the ways in which Indic legal traditions conceived of what in the West is called "authority." The materials examined range from scholastic definitions (such as the classical Dharmaśāstra notion of Vedic authority) to formulations more closely attuned to the practice of the law as found in legal formularies and inscriptions. It is suggested that two influential Indic concepts – pramāna and adhikāra – largely cover the same ground as "epistemic authority" and "practical authority" in Euro-American jurisprudence, although in practice pramāna can do double duty, that is, as "proof" and as "authorization."
Keywords: comparative law, authority, India, Hindu Law, Dharmashastra/Dharmasastra, religious law, proof, ordeal, legal history, Asia
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation