Two of the most important contributions that Bimal Krishna Matilal made to comparative philosophy are his doctoral dissertation The Navya-Nyāya Doctrine of Negation: The Semantics and Ontology of Negative Statements in Navya-Nyāya Philosophy and his classic: Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowing. In this essay, we aim to carry forward the work of Bimal K. Matilal by showing how ideas in classical Indian philosophy concerning absence and perception are relevant to recent debates in Anglo-analytic philosophy. In particular, (...) we focus on the recent debate in the philosophy of perception centering on the perception of absence. In her Seeing Absence, Anya Farennikova argues for the thesis that we literally see absences. Her thesis is quite novel within the contexts of the traditions that she engages: analytical philosophy of perception, phenomenology, and cognitive neuroscience. In those traditions there is hardly any exploration of the epistemology of absence. By contrast, this is not the case in classical Indian philosophy where the debate over the ontological and epistemological status of absence is longstanding and quite engaging. In what follows, we engage Farennikova’s arguments, and those of John-Rémy Martin and Jérome Dokic in their response to her work. Using the work of Matilal, Bilimoria and Shaw we show that there are several engaging ideas that can be taken from Indian philosophy into the terrain explored by Farennikova, and Martin & Dokic. Our aim is to provide an updated comparative engagement on absence and its perception for the purposes of enhancing future discussions within global philosophy. However, we do not aim to do this merely by focusing on the history of primary texts or on twentieth century commentary on primary texts. Instead, we hope to show that the living tradition of Indian philosophy that Matilal embodied carries forward in his students and colleagues as they revive, revise, and extend Indian philosophy. (shrink)
Human Beings and Freedom: An Interdisciplinary Perspective focuses on some contemporary issues relating to freedom, equality, identity and resistance from various perspectives, such as psychological, social, political, and metaphysical. In doing so it addresses topics such as the nature of human beings, political freedom, the relationship between freedom and equality, sex, gender and race, humour, and the notion of critique.
One of the first philosophers to relate Indian philosophical thought to Western analytic philosophy, Jaysankar Lal Shaw has been reflecting on analytic themes from Indian philosophy for over 40 years. This collection of his most important writings, introduces his work and presents new ways of using Indian classical thought to approach and understand Western philosophy. By expanding, reinterpreting and reclassifying concepts and views of Indian philosophers, Shaw applies them to the main issues and theories discussed in contemporary philosophy of language (...) and epistemology. Carefully constructed, this volume of his collected writings, shows the parallels Shaw draws between core topics in both traditions, such as proper names, definite descriptions, meaning of a sentence, knowledge, doubt, inference and testimony. It captures how Shaw uses the techniques and concepts of Indian philosophers, especially the followers of the Navya-Nyaya, to address global problems like false belief, higher order knowledge and extraordinary perception. Exploring timeless ideas from Indian thought alongside major issues in contemporary philosophy, Shaw reveals how the two traditions can interact and throw light on each other, providing better solutions to philosophical problems. He has also reflected on modern issues such as freedom, morality and harmony from the classical Indian thought. Featuring a glossary and updates to his writings,The Collected Writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw: Indian Analytic and Anglophone Philosophy also includes new work by Shaw on the relationship between Indian and analytic philosophy today. (shrink)
This paper explains some of the uses of the word ‘freedom’ in Western as well as in Indian philosophy. Regarding the psychological concept of freedom or free will, this paper focuses on the distinction between fatalism, determinism, types of compatibilism, and libertarianism. Indian philosophers, by and large, are compatibilists, although some minor systems, such as Śākta Āgama, favor a type of libertarianism. From the Indian perspective the form of life of human beings has also been mentioned in the discussion of (...) free will. Regarding metaphysical freedom, I discuss the views of the Bhagavad Gītā and Swami Vivekananda in Sect. III. K.C. Bhattacharyya, a neo-Advaita Vedāntin, has discussed degrees of freedom of the subject at several levels. According to him, spiritual progress lies in the progressive realization of the freedom of the subject. I compare his view with the classical Advaita concept of freedom. I have also addressed the question of whether freedom from suffering can be realized at social and global levels. In this context I have mentioned some of the interpretations of the great saying ‘I am Brahman,’ and how freedom can be realized at the global level by using the Advaita concept of ‘oneness.’. (shrink)
The following publication includes the translation of the paper “The Nyāya on True Cognition ” by late Mahāmahopādhya pandit Visvabandhu Tarkatīrtha, translated from Sanskrit and Bengali, supplemented with an introduction and additional explanatory notes by J.L. Shaw. The text aims to discuss the Nyāya conception of truth, which is a property of cognition. According to Gaṅgeśa, the founder of Navya-Nyāya, the truth cannot be considered as a class-essence because there will be a defect called ‘ sāṅkarya ’ between truth and (...) the class-essence perceptual apprehendedness. Visvabandhu Tarkatīrtha has clarified the concepts of truth and true cognition in Navya-Nyāya, explaining the complex character of the partitiveness of truth and introducing the definitions of such characteristics of the object as non-pervasive and pervasive. Moreover, he has also claimed that the property of being the qualificand and the property of being the qualifier are related by the relation of mutual determiner-determined. (shrink)