Philosophy – Logic Astika and Nastika YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Indian Logic Philosophy

Philosophy – Branches

  • Axiology – Ethics & Asthetics
  • Ontology – Really real?
  • Epistemology
    • Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language
    • Axiology is the study of value. (Nature and Status) – Is value the fulfillment of desire and how are they related to facts
    • Ethics: The study of values in human behavior or the study of moral problems.
    • Aesthetics: The study of value in the arts or the inquiry into feelings, judgments, or standards of beauty, and related concepts
    • Ontology or Metaphysics – “Do only particular things exist or do general things also exist,” “What is spirit, soul, matter, space, or time”
    • Epistemology – study of knowledge (earth is round)
    • Knowledge is Jnana or Prama (valid Knowledge)

H. T. Colebrooke

  • Naiyayikas (those who followed Nyaya) used reasoning to provide evidence for the ontological categories they admitted.
  • Reasoning or inference were part of the Nyaya theory of evidence or proof (pramana) .
  • Standard form of the argument in Nyaya was the 5 membered syllogism
  • Max Muller a German-born philologist and orientalist maintained that Greek and Indian logic developed in parallel and independently.

Astika vs. Nastika

  • The term nastika does not denote an atheist. In modern Indian languages, ‘astika’ and ‘nastika’ generally mean ‘theist’ and ‘atheist’ , respectively. However, in Sanskrit philosophical literature, ‘astika’ means either one of the following:
  • One who believes in the authority of the Vedas.
  • One who believes in life after death.
  • Nastika means the opposite. Indian philosophical systems are classified with reference to belief in Vedas.
  • With reference to belief in life after death, even the Jaina and Buddha schools become ‘astika’ , as they believe in life after death.
  • Carvaka is the only major school ‘nastika’ in both the senses.
  • Similarly, the Samkhya and Mimamsakas do not believe in God, but they believe in the Vedas and hence they are not nastika. They can be called “atheistic astika schools.”
  • Only Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta believes in God.

Samkhya (Kapila)

  • Oldest Philosophical system
  • Samkhyakarika is the earliest surviving text of the Samkhya
  • Dualist
  • Purusha - Purusha (Self or Soul) : Purusha is posited as the only sentient being, ever-existent, and immaterial
  • Prakriti - Matter, Creative Agency, Energy. Prakriti is said to be the material basis of this universe, composed of three dispositions or gunas:
    • Steadiness (sattva)
    • Activity (rajas)
    • Dullness (tamas)
  • In the west, dualism is between the mind and the body, whereas in Samkhya it is between the self and matter.

Yoga (Bhagwad Gita)

  • four primary systems:
    • Karma Yoga
    • Raja Yoga
    • Jnana Yoga
    • Bhakti Yoga
  • Yoga is method of union with supreme
  • Yoga presents a practical path for the realization of the self, whereas the Samkhya emphasizes the attainment of knowledge of self by means of concentration and meditation
  • Yoga incorporates the concept of a personal god, Ishvara, but also upholds Ishvara as the ideal upon which to meditate – does not require belief in God
  • The relatively brief Yoga Sutras are divided into eight ashtanga (limbs)
  • Realization of the goal of Yoga is known as moksha, nirvana, and samadhi (enlightenment) - when the atman reaches the same quality as the infinite Brahman. Patanjali wrote an influential text on Raja Yoga entitled Yoga Sutra.

Nyaya (Akshapada Guatama)

  • based on the Nyaya Sutras
  • Nyaya believed in logic and knowledge- obtaining valid knowledge was necessary to be free from suffering
  • According to Nyaya, there are exactly four sources of knowledge (pramanas) :
    • Perception
    • Inference
    • Comparison
    • Testimony
  • Nyaya says that the world is real and its philosophy does not follow a monist view.

Vaisesika (Kanada)

  • Atomic pluralism
    • all objects in the physical universe are reducible to certain types of atoms with Brahman being fundamental force that causes consciousness in these atoms

Purva Mimamsa

  • Establish authority of Vedas
    • The schools propound:
      • Unquestionable faith in the Vedas.
      • Performance of yajnas (fire-sacrifices) .
      • Power of the mantras (chanting) and yajnas to sustain all the activity of the universe.
      • Great emphasis on dharma, which consists of the performance of Vedic rituals

Vedanta (Uttara Mimamsa)

  • Vedanta says that the world is unreal- Maya. Vedanta is monistic- that is, there is only one reality, Brahman.
  • Vedanta has its roots in Samkhya philosophy with cryptic and poetic style
  • Bheda-Abheda was founded as early as the 7th century A. D. or even the 4th century A. D. Some consider it a tradition rather than a school of Vedanta. It can be further divided into:
  • Advaita had prominent scholars like Gaudapada (around 500 A. D.) and Adi Shankaracharya (8th century A. D.) . It is the best-known school of Vedanta, which holds that the soul and Brahman are the same.
  • Vishishtadvaita had prominent scholars like Nathamuni, Yamuna, and Ramanuja (1017 – 1137 A. D.) . It teaches that the Supreme Being has a definite form; it is named Vishnu and has attrib-utes.
  • Dvaita was founded by Madhvacharya (1199 – 1278 A. D.) . It espouses a belief in three separate realities: Vishnu, eternal soul, and matter.
  • Shuddhadvaita was founded by Vallabha (1479 – 1531 A. D.) which believes that Krishna is the absolute form of Brahman.

Indian Contribution

  • Arthashastra, attributed to the Mauryan minister Chanakya in the 4th century B. C. , is one of the earliest Indian texts devoted to political philosophy
  • Mahatma Gandhi popularized the philosophies of ahimsa (non-violence) and Satyagraha (non-violent resistance)
  • Vivekananda - Advaita thinking is not only philosophically far-reaching, but also has social, even political, consequences.

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