Classical Indian Philosophy of Mind

Chakrabarti, Kisor Kumar

Published by SUNY Press
ISBN 10: 0791441725 / ISBN 13: 9780791441725
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Synopsis: Addresses the psycho-physical dualism of the Nyaya school of Indian philosophy with references to both Indian and Western philosophy.

"This is, in many respects, an absolutely fascinating book. It presents the views of a major Indian school of philosophy in a clear and compelling way. The views on mind, or self, and body are explained in a way that makes it easy for a student of Western philosophy to understand and appreciate them. The Indian views are interesting in themselves and quite pertinent to Western philosophy, including contemporary discussions of mind and cognition."- John Kearns, author of Reconceiving Experience: A Solution to a Problem Inherited from Descartes

This book examines psycho-physical dualism as developed by the Nyaya school of Indian philosophy. Dualism is important to many world religions which promote personal immortality and to morality which promotes free will. For the Nyaya, the self is a permanent, immaterial substance to which non-physical internal states like cognition belong. This view is challenged by other Indian schools, especially the Buddhist and Carvaka schools.

Chakrabarti brings out the connections between the Indian and the Western debates over the mind-body problem and shows that the Nyaya position is well developed, well articulated, and defensible. He shows that Nyaya dualism differs from Cartesian dualism and is not vulnerable to some traditional objections against the latter. A brief discussion of the Samkhya and the Advaita theories of the self and the critique of these views from the Nyaya standpoint are included, as well as a discussion of a classical Nyaya causal argument for the existence of God. The appendix contains an annotated translation of selected portions of Udayana's masterpiece, Atmatattvaviveka (Discerning the Nature of the Self.)

"The author is evidently extremely knowledgeable about both Indian and Western philosophy. This comes out in a number of brilliant discussions of aspects of Western thought, both contemporary and classical, that he finds relevant to positions taken and analyses proffered by Nyaya-Vaisesika thinkers. Chakrabarti is especially brilliant in his expositions of facets of Nyaya-Vaisesika philosophy." - Karl H. Potter, University of Washington.

About the Author: Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti is the Forrest S. and Jean B. Williams Professor, Ferrum College. He is the author of The Logic of Gotama and Definition and Induction.

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Title: Classical Indian Philosophy of Mind
Publisher: SUNY Press
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