Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Philosophy

Problems of Hegelian-Marxist Ideologies

Hegel is credited to have been the first in the Western world to bring the study of history as a subject of philosophy proper. He did so by creating the thesis-antithesis-synthesis framework for history. Hegelian philosophy became the foundation of Marxism that saw society in terms of dualisms of antithesis and thesis. Their conflict led …

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 …

Philosophy

Free Will—Self-Control vs. Other-Control

In Abrahamic religions, free will is defined as the soul’s capacity to control matter. The soul is said to be free in the sense that it can do whatever it wants with material things. Conversely, the soul shouldn’t do such things to other souls, unless they acquiesce, because they too are free. Since animals and …

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, …

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 …

Philosophy

The Personification of Knowledge

Modern logic is defined by three principles—identity (A is A), non-contradiction (it cannot be both and A and not-A), and mutual exclusion (it cannot be neither A and not-A). In Vedic philosophy, we will call this a dualistic logic in the sense that the categories neither and both are logically forbidden forever. This dualistic logic …

Philosophy

The Modal Conception of Reality

Epistemology in the West is defined as the “theory of knowledge”, especially with regard to the methods of knowing and questions about whether these methods deliver truth. However, owing to numerous dualisms in Western philosophy, including the strict separation between the observer and the observed, it has never been clear if knowledge is possible. Even …