Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

Philosophy Religion

The Conception of God in Vaiṣṇavism

Vaiṣṇavism presents a conception of God that doesn’t fit into well-known categories such as monotheism, polytheism, monism, pantheism, panentheism, henotheism, deism, and others. This is because Vaiṣṇavism accepts all their assertions and rejects all their negations. For example, the monotheistic claim that “God is one” doesn’t negate the polytheistic claim—i.e., “God is many”. Likewise, the …

Economics

Laws of Increasing and Decreasing Returns

Laws are supposed to predict and explain. Predict means to describe the future relative to the present. Explain means to justify that prediction based upon ideas about reality. The Law of Diminishing Returns is a law that predicts that returns on investment must diminish over time but does not explain it. Without the explanation, we …

Philosophy

Nigama and Āgama

Vedic texts are broadly classified into Nigama and Āgama. They respectively pertain to theory and practice. The practice is accepted due to Nigama and the theory is confirmed due to Āgama. In this post, we will discuss the differences and relationships between Nigama and Āgama, how a complex Nigama is simplified by an easier Āgama, …

Logic

Reasoning vs. Arguments

If we make a claim, its rationality can be judged by checking its consistency against our assumptions. Reasoning is the connection between my claim and my assumptions. If my claim is consistent with my assumptions, then it is well-reasoned. It may still not be true. To establish the truth, we must prove that my assumptions …

Philosophy Physics

Pratyakṣa: Observation vs. Measurement

Pratyakṣa or observation is considered one of the types of pramāna, proof, or evidence in Indian epistemology. We sometimes loosely call it empirical evidence. This nomenclature is, however, then confused with scientific empiricism, which is not observation but measurement. That can lead to the false idea that Indian epistemology supports measurements as a way to …

Law

When Are Abortions Acceptable?

A US Supreme Court ruling recently overturned abortion as a fundamental right and it has brought the issue of abortion to the forefront. In this article, I will discuss the problems with rights and freedoms, why they can never form a coherent legal doctrine, and how society is lost in strife when a legal system …