David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Indian Philosophy 37 (3):231-252 (2009)
It has become commonplace in introductions to Indian philosophy to construe Plato’s discussion of forms (εἶδος/ἰδέα) and the treatment in Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika of universals ( sāmānya/jāti ) as addressing the same philosophical issue, albeit in somewhat different ways. While such a comparison of the similarities and differences has interest and value as an initial reconnaissance of what each says about common properties, an examination of the roles that universals play in the rest of their philosophical enquiries vitiates this commonplace. This paper draws upon the primary texts to identify the following metaphysical, epistemological, semantic and soteriological roles that universals play in the philosophy of Plato and of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika: Metaphysical: causal of the existence of x Metaphysical: constitutive of the identity/essence of x Epistemological: cognitively causal (i.e. of the cognition of one over many) Epistemological: epistemically causal (i.e. of knowledge of x) Semantic: necessary condition of speech and reason Epistemological: vindicatory of induction (Nyāya only) Metaphysical: explanatory of causation (Nyāya only) Soteriological: cathartic contemplation (Plato only) These roles provide us with motivations or reasons to believe that universals exist. As we examine these motivations, we find pressures mounting against our assimilating Platonic forms and the universals of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika in the discourse about common properties. It is especially when we appreciate the utterly different contribution that universals make in securing our highest welfare that we realize how Plato and the two sister schools are not so much talking somewhat differently about the same thing, but talking somewhat similarly about different things. This better understanding of this difference in these philosophies opens a route for our better understanding of their unique contributions in the ongoing dialogue of philosophy.
|Keywords||Comparative philosophy Universals Forms Ideas sāmānya jāti Realism Soteriology Causation Semantics Vaiśeṣika|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Kisor Chakrabarti (1975). The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Theory of Universals. Journal of Indian Philosophy 3 (3-4):363-382.
Michael Frede (forthcoming). Plato's Arguments and the Dialogue Form. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy.
Christopher Gill & Mary Margaret McCabe (eds.) (1996/2000). Form and Argument in Late Plato. Oxford University Press.
Mysore Hiriyanna (1951). Outlines of Indian Philosophy. George Allen & Unwin.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tushar Kanti Bhattacharya (1994). Samavāya and the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Realism. Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar.
M. C. Bhartiya (1973). Causation in Indian Philosophy (with Special Reference to Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika). Ghaziabad, U.P.,Vimal Prakashan.
Gyula Klima, The Medieval Problem of Universals. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Harsh Narain (1976). Evolution of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Categoriology. Bharati Prakashan.
Gail Fine (1993). On Ideas: Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms. Oxford University Press.
Michael J. Loux (ed.) (1970/1976). Universals and Particulars: Readings in Ontology. University of Notre Dame Press.
Charles Landesman (1971). The Problem of Universals. New York,Basic Books.
Karl H. Potter & Sibajiban Bhattacharyya (1970). Indian Philosophical Analysis, Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika From Gangeśa to Raghunātha Śiromaṇi. In , The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies. Motilal Banarsidass.
Paweł Rojek (2008). Three Trope Theories. Axiomathes 18 (3):359-377.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads34 ( #54,892 of 1,101,884 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #191,964 of 1,101,884 )
How can I increase my downloads?