Frits Staal wrote about language, philosophy and ritual buthis scientific pursuits encompassed diverse areas and disciplines. Born inAmsterdam in 1930, he studied several languages, including Greek and Arabic,but concentrated on physics and mathematical logic before a Government of Indiascholarship took him to India, Indian philosophy and Sanskrit. He travelled onboth sides of the Himalayas, taught and did research for extended periods in Europeand Asia, but spent most of his life in the Departments of Philosophy and ofSouth and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley,where he was Professor Emeritus. His most well-known books are Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar, Universals: Studies in Indian Logic andLinguistics and Rules without Meaning.After retirement, he moved to Thailand, having long predicted that civilizationwould return to Asia under the intellectual guidance of India and China. He passed away in 2012.