Bitten by the Philosophy bug


There is soooooo much to think about the stuff people have said (by way of philosophy) that I do not even know where to start. But I think I will focus on two main streams (extremely huge in themselves): Western Philosophy and Indian Darshanshastra. Off course there are parallels between the two. And that is what I aim to figure out. The sameness and the differences and then choose for myself my own philosophy out of these assortments and if possible(who am i kidding? it is not!) to propose one or two thoughts of my own. It is going to be exciting!!

So, these are the people/books to read:

Darshanshastra:

  • Nyaya, the school of logic
  • Vaisheshika, the atomist school
  • Samkhya, the enumeration school
  • Yoga, the school of Patanjali (which assumes the metaphysics of Samkhya)
  • Purva Mimamsa (or simply Mimamsa), the tradition of Vedic exegesis, with emphasis on Vedic ritual, and
  • Vedanta (also called Uttara Mimamsa), the Upanishadic tradition, with emphasis on Vedic philosophy.

Western Philosophy:

  • Socrates
  • Plato
  • Aristsotle
  • Erasmus/Francis Bacon
  • Rene Descartes
  • Berkeley/Spinoza/Locke/Hobbes/Burke
  • Diderot/Voltaire/Rousseau/Kant/Montesquieu
  • Hume/Adam Smith/Schopenhauer
  • Wittgenstein/Russell/Heidegger/Sartre/Popper
  • Derrida/Foucault/MacIntyr

And guess what? Indian/Hindu philosophy is the oldest in the world. It predates the Greek philosophy(which forms the basis of the Western philosophy) by almost 500 years. It began around 800 BC or at least that was the time it became formal. It is such a proud thing to say and such a shame that there is hardly anything that I can say I know about it, formally. It is a great loss to world that we have not been able to build upon the very strong and solid foundations that had been laid for us. The analytical philosophy which became mainstream in the 18th and 19th century western thought had already been expounded in the Nyaya-Vaisheshika stream of Vedic philosophy. 

Of course, the question of God is very central to the whole field of philosophy and that is why it is so intimately related with religion. What further delights my heart is that Indian philosophy has covered all grounds: From aastika to naastik and within the aastika too there is the monotheistic and polytheistic tradition. One whole branch (carvaka) is dedicated to atheism. Wonderful variety and open mindedness. 

I feel that any study of philosophy in today’s age is incomplete without the study/understanding of cosmology and quantum physics. Afterall, every intrigue begins and end at either the highest level (ie the universe and its origin) or the lowest level ( ie the atomic/subatomic and quantum matter). 

Ah! What a wonder the world is and how lovely for us to be thinking sentient beings who can drink in the delight of trying to find it out. A life of enquiry is the best blessing one could get.

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4 thoughts on “Bitten by the Philosophy bug

  1. Pingback: Topics about Bcon » Archive » Bitten by the Philosophy bug « As I like it

  2. Pingback: Topics about Indian » Bitten by the Philosophy bug

  3. Your comments are spot on with respect to the inclusion of quantum physics and cosmology in philosophy.

    I would also include the physics of consciousness and the mind.

    There are very interesting theories arising which could connect our minds and our consciousness in a way that validates the notion of the afterlife.

    But the proof of our Creator comes, I believe, more simply. Thirteen and a half billion years ago our universe arose out of virtually nothing, a universe which now has about 100 billion galaxies each with roughly 100 billion stars.

    Nothing comes from nothing. Everything has a cause.

    I have never heard a logical rebuttal to this.

    I’ll be very patient.

    • @Bill – Thanks for the comment. And if the notion of afterlife is proven someday, well, it will change everything.

      However, the proof for the creator does not come so simply, as far as i can think. You say that nothing arises out of nothing. I agree. But, you say therefore there must be something outside it which created it. You see, now I can ask where did that something come from? Who created that thing/being which create dour universe and so on…this can go on till infinity.

      It is at this point that people choose one of the two routes. Either they accept a creator or decide to remain confused and search for perhaps never answerable answers. I chose the latter.

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