Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Logic Philosophy

The Nyāya Philosophy of Presence and Absence

The Nyāya system of philosophy describes a category called abhāva or ‘absence’ and then explains how bhāva or ‘presence’ manifests from the absence. This is a very long discussion in Nyāya Sutra (which I’m translating presently) and has many nuances. It is hard to capture all these details here, but I thought that instead of …

Logic Mathematics Philosophy

The Sāńkhya Theory of Five Elements

This post elaborates on the Sāńkhya theory of the five “gross” elements. The theory is rather complicated, and not well-understood today. One primary source of confusions is a comparison between the Sāńkhya elements and the Greek elements going by the same name. This post will hopefully illustrate how the Sāńkhya elements are deeply enmeshed with …

Computing Logic Mathematics Philosophy

Sāńkhya, Reductionism, and New Science

Many people believe modern science is reductionist and an alternative anti-reductionist science must replace it. This post discusses why Sāńkhya is reductionist—because it reduces everything to only three modes of nature (sattva, rajas, and tamas). It also discusses why Sāńkhya is anti-reductionist—because the first mode of nature in this reductionist theory (sattva) represents the whole, which …