In this book, Phillips gives an overview of the contribution of Nyaya--the classical Indian school that defends an externalist position about knowledge as well as an internalist position about justification. Nyaya literature extends almost two thousand years and comprises hundreds of texts, and in this book, Phillips presents a useful overview of the under-studied system of thought. For the philosopher rather than the scholar of Sanskrit, the book makes a whole range of Nyaya positions and arguments accessible to students of (...) epistemology who are unfamiliar with classical Indian systems. (shrink)
Recently, Jonardan Ganeri reviewed the collaborative translation of the first chapter of Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi by Stephen H. Phillips and N. S. Ramanuja Tatacharya (Ganeri 2007). The review is quite favorable, and we have no desire to dispute his kind words. Ganeri does, however, put forth an argument in opposition to a fundamental line of interpretation given by Phillips and Ramanuja Tatacharya about the nature of pramāṇa, knowledge sources, as understood by Gaṅgeśa and, for that matter, Nyāya tradition. This response is (...) meant to answer the argument and reassert an understanding of pramāṇa as factive, that is, as knowledge sources that are inerrant. We argue that this is the best reading of Gaṅgeśa himself .. (shrink)
One of the hallmarks of human cognition is the capacity to generalize over arbitrary constituents. Recently, Marcus (1998, 1998a, b; Cognition 66, p. 153; Cognitive Psychology 37, p. 243) argued that this capacity, called universal generalization (universality), is not supported by Connectionist models. Instead, universality is best explained by Classical symbol systems, with Connectionism as its implementation. Here it is argued that universality is also a problem for Classicism in that the syntax-sensitive rules that are supposed to provide causal explanations (...) of mental processes are either too strict, precluding possible generalizations; or too lax, providing no information as to the appropriate alternative. Consequently, universality is not explained by a Classical theory. (shrink)
In the second edition of this groundbreaking text in non-Western philosophy, sixteen experts introduce some of the great philosophical traditions in the world. The essays unveil exciting, sophisticated philosophical traditions that are too often neglected in the western world. The contributors include the leading scholars in their fields, but they write for students coming to these concepts for the first time. Building on revisions and updates to the original, this new edition also considers three philosophical traditions for the first time—Jewish, (...) Buddhist, and South Pacific philosophy. (shrink)
Counterinference is one of five kinds of pseudo-prover recognized in the Nyaaya school. Typically in counterinference while one side seeks to prove the thesis that a probandum belongs to an inferential subject because an inferential mark pervaded by the probandum belongs to that subject, an opponent challenges that by arguing that the probandum does not belong to the inferential subject because another inferential mark pervaded by absence of the probandum belongs to that subject. A common example is: sound is eternal, (...) since it is audible and audibility is pervaded by eternality ; but sound is non-eternal, since it is originated and all that is originated is non-eternal, like a pot, etc. Critics from other philosophical schools have objected that counterinference is not an additional kind of pseudo-prover. Since it is impossible for an inferential subject both to have and not to have a probandum, either at least one of the inferential marks does not belong to the inferential subject or at least one of the inferential marks lacks pervasion and, accordingly, counterinference should be subsumed under those fallacies. Nyaaya philosophers have responded by pointing out that the formal structure of counterinference is different from that of the other fallacies: in counterinference we have two different inferential marks but not in the other candidates. The epistemic result of counterinference is also different from that of the other fallacies mentioned, it is argued further. Moreover, it is contended that the epistemic result is not doubt as specifically understood in Nyaaya but desire to know the truth about the chosen inferential mark and the probandum. Accordingly, counterinference may be explained as that which provides the ground for inquiring what is the truth about the original inferential mark and its probandum due to presentation of an inferential assimilation that contradicts the original inferential assimilation. The discussion yields also a broader normative principle that contradiction or counterproof provides the epistemic ground for further inquiry even if there is proof. The selection is from the Tattva-cintaa-maNi, the canonical Navya-Nyaaya work of GaMgesha. The selection is from a large work and presupposes some things explained elsewhere in the text. Further, though written with great precision the work paradoxically belongs to the old Indian philosophical oral tradition in which a beginner is expected to read it with the help of additional information supplied by an expert. Hence paying close attention to what is implied in the context and supplementing certain ideas is necessary for interpretation and understanding. (shrink)
The study of perception and the role of the senses have recently risen to prominence in philosophy and are now a major area of study and research. However, the philosophical history of the senses remains a relatively neglected subject. Moving beyond the current philosophical canon, this outstanding collection offers a wide-ranging and diverse philosophical exploration of the senses, from the classical period to the present day. Written by a team of international contributors, it is divided into six parts: -/- Perception (...) from Non-Western Perspectives Perception in the Ancient Period Perception in the Medieval Latin/Arabic Period Perception in the Early Modern Period Perception in the Post-Kantian Period Perception in the Contemporary Period. The volume challenges conventional philosophical study of perception by covering a wide range of significant, as well as hitherto overlooked, topics, such as perceptual judgment, temporal and motion illusions, mirror and picture perception, animal senses and cross-modal integration. By investigating the history of the senses in thinkers such as Plotinus, Auriol, Berkeley and Cavendish; and considering the history of the senses in diverse philosophical traditions, including Chinese, Indian, Byzantine, Greek and Latin it brings a fresh approach to studying the history of philosophy itself. -/- Including a thorough introduction as well as introductions to each section by the editors, The Senses and the History of Philosophy is essential reading for students and researchers in the history of philosophy, perception, philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology, aesthetics and eastern and non-western philosophy. It will also be extremely useful for those in related disciplines such as psychology, religion, sociology, intellectual history and cognitive sciences. (shrink)
The great Advaita Vedāntin Śaṅkara puts forth a mystic parallelism thesis that is identified and examined here: mystical and sensory experiences are epistemically parallel. Among the conclusions drawn are that the Advaita metaphysics precludes successful defense of a Brahman-centered philosophy on the basis of such a thesis because Advaita precludes a story about how the experience of its Brahman could arise. Thus Śaṅkara needs "scripture" (śruti) to secure important parts of his view. A truly mystical Vedānta, in contrast, would not.