Scharf is interested in the intellectual history of Indian linguistic description, conceptions of the self, and the creativity expressed through the adaptation of ancient narratives in new contexts. One long-term research project is to correlate Indian linguistic descriptions with extant Sanskrit texts. Another is to reedit the encyclopedic work of the medieval Vedic commentator Sadgurusisya. In collaboration with colleagues he is building an international digital Sanskrit library.
Interested in the nature of the self, the universe, their relationship, and how language shapes conceptions of them, Scharf majored in philosophy at Wesleyan University. There he pursued interests related to the philosophy of language by studying logic and the foundations of mathematics. Also related to language but from a different perspective, he learned classical Greek motivated by a desire to have unmediated access to the original texts of ancient philosophers. The desire to pursue the same interests in Asian traditions, which have been neglected in American education, led him to study Indian philosophy and Sanskrit at the University of Pennsylvania. After a post-doctoral research associateship at the University of Pennsylvania and teaching for a semester at the University of Virginia, he joined the Classics Department at Brown in 1992.
PETER SCHARF, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1990; B.A. Wesleyan University 1981
On The Web:
The Sanskrit Library
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