SPECIAL ISSUE: REMEMBERING THE WORK OF DAYA KRISHNA AND GOVIND CHANDRA PANDE
Guest Editors: Jay Garfield and Arindam Chakrabarti
Remembering Daya Krishna and G. C. Pande: Two Giants of Post-Independence Indian Philosophy
Jay Garfield and Arindam Chakrabarti, 459
Is Nyāya Realist or Idealist? Carrying on a Conversation Started by Daya Krishna
Ramesh K. Sharma, 465
The late Professor Daya Krishna, then Editor of the Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (JICPR) (New Delhi) initiated, in the “Notes and Queries” section of an issue of that journal, a debate whose starting point was the provocative question “Is Nyāya Realist or Idealist?” which, in respect to its contents, constituted a challenge to the traditional characterization of Nyāya philosophy as “realist,” and Krishna marshaled some very ingenious (if sometimes brief) arguments to show not only that the received characterization needed serious reconsideration but that there may well be grounds, hitherto unforeseen, for calling Nyāya, or some of its tenets, idealist. Inevitably, strong but reasoned responses by noted scholars rejecting Krishna’s proposal followed and occupied number after number of the pages of that journal. Some of the responses were not only attempts to address the issues raised by Daya Krishna, but were in the nature of comments on other authors’ points of view expressed in response to his original query. While, in the main, these responses, as against Daya Krishna’s onslaught, sought to defend Nyāya’s realistic character, they did so on different grounds in many cases. Here, it is intended to summarize and present for the reader’s perusal some of these responses and rejoinders apart from reproducing at the outset, and in toto, the original query of Daya Krishna.
The aim of this essay is to carry forward this author’s dialogic encounter with Daya Krishna, drawing not just on his well-known essays but also on his unpublished papers and private correspondence, in an attempt to think dialogically about the very notion of dialogue or, in Sanskrit, saṃvāda. This is perhaps the key notion in Krishna’s “project” of reading and thinking old texts and philosophical strands anew. Further touched on here is the question of newness in philosophical thinking, and the interlacement of newness and creativity. Here the dialogue is broadened to include K. C. Bhattacharyya, Mukund Lath, and Arindam Chakrabarti, each of whom works with the newness/creativity question and connects to Daya Krishna in his own way. In our dialogical journey we stop at the central and well-connected ‘stations’ of language, knowledge, and freedom. Krishna’s uniquely self-conscious use of language is discussed. His intriguing notion of knowledge-without-certainty based on dialogue-as-pramāṇa and his emphasis on what he saw as the inseparability of knowledge and action are spotlighted. Finally, Krishna’s critique of classic formulas of freedom-as-disengagement (e.g., in Patañjali’s Yogasūtra) is discussed. He himself envisioned an alternative notion of freedom as a voluntary two-way movement between withdrawal and return, retreat and re-engagement. In this respect he demands enlightened action, aiming at the transformation of the down-and-out, inspired by one’s visit, or repeated visits to the above and beyond.
The Descent of the Transcendent: Viewing Culture with G. C. Pande
Sibesh Bhattacharya, 513
G. C. Pande’s idea of culture in many respects represents a radical departure from current thinking on the subject. This departure has its roots in the way Pande traces the origin and the process of development of culture. According to Pande the original inspiration and catalyst of the genesis of culture are transcendental in nature, although culture is born in the human world and it develops through human agency. The process is set into motion by the envisioning of the transcendent by a prophet/teacher. The transcendental vision, occult in its essence, contains the seeds of a philosophy of life and a system of values. The sharing of the vision by the prophet/teacher in the form of teachings with a band of followers engenders the formation of a culture group and then the nucleus of a society. Pande thus reverses the accepted notions of the relationship between the growth of culture and society. According to him it is not a society that gives rise to a distinctive culture; rather it is a culture—which, in other words is a system of values and a philosophy of life—that gives rise to a corresponding society. Later on from the same process civilizations and states develop. This essay examines the interesting implications of these formulations.
Learning to Converse: Reflections on a Small Experiment
Michael McGhee, 530
This essay offers some informal reflections on the experience of dialogue between Indian and Western philosophers during the period in which Daya Krishna made his own contribution to the Indian tradition. In particular it looks at how the conditions for such dialogue are compromised by the colonial relationship and its postcolonial repercussions, and at how the problem of philosophical heteronomy may be overcome through the willingness of both partners in the dialogue to accept the possibility of correction by a different perspective.
Daya Krishna on Some Indian Theories of Negation: A Critique
Prabal Kumar Sen, 543
Contrary Thinking, an anthology of selected essays by Daya Krishna, contains two essays dealing with negation, in which the untenability of the Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika views regarding negation (abhāva) have been sought to be established. However, in both these essays, many of the relevant Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika views have been grossly misrepresented. Besides, both essays contain arguments that are based on either wrong or questionable assumptions, and there are also some factual errors. The present article aims at pointing out some of these inaccuracies, due to which the criticisms leveled by Daya Krishna against the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika views about negation become totally ineffective.
Nyāya Perceptual Theory: Disjunctivism or Anti-Individualism?
Anand Jayprakash Vaidya, 562
The thesis that error asymmetrically depends on truth is the thesis that veridicality and truth is conceptually prior to non-veridicality and error with respect to cognition and perception. Epistemic disjunctivism is the thesis that there is no common kind of experience between veridical and non-veridical states that is of robust explanatory value for the purposes of philosophical investigation into perception. In what follows the issue is explored whether Nyāya perceptual theory endorses epistemic disjunctivism or anti-individualism. It is explored against the background of examining Matthew Dasti’s (2012) argument for the view that Nyāya perceptual theory does anticipate contemporary epistemic disjunctivism on the basis of its endorsement of the parasitism of error on truth. In the present account, exploration of the issue is enhanced and better situated for further investigation by paying attention to the intricate debate between Tyler Burge and John McDowell on epistemic disjunctivism, perceptual anti-individualism, and the relevance of the vision sciences to the philosophy of perception. Following Dasti, the view is accepted that Nyāya perceptual theory endorses the idea that error is asymmetrically dependent on truth. However, the claim is drawn into question that they would genuinely accept McDowell’s form of epistemic disjunctivism. Instead, it is argued that Nyāya perceptual theory is amenable to Tyler Burge’s (2005) Perceptual Anti-individualism. The present investigation discusses the Nyāya Misplacement Theory of Illusion and closes with how this account could enhance contemporary research in epistemology and perceptual theory.
The Harmony Principle
C. K. Raju, 586
Ethics is central to Philosophy. Upaniṣadic and early Buddhist thought took values seriously. More recent Indian philosophical practice, this author argued with Daya Krishna, abandons this focus, and fails to engage moral questions with the same creativity, falling either into a repetition of utlitiarianism or into a purely religious understanding of ethics. Krishna objected strenuously to the idea of ethics as an imposition of order on human life, seeing ethics rather as an enrichment and freeing of human life from constraint. In this essay, it is argued that ethical models are anchored in beliefs about the nature of time. Drawing on ideas from the mathematical foundations of physics and evolutionary biology, an ethic of spontaneity based on the principle of harmony is proposed—an ethic that is neither utilitarian nor religious in the usual sense. Taking seriously Krishna’s objections to the use of the word “order,” the present essay instead defends a notion of ethics as instituting a kind of “harmony,” a metaphor borrowed from Western music theory, to explain the underlying physics of time.
COMMENT AND DISCUSSION
An Exclusive Volume on Exclusion, a review of Apoha: Buddhist Nominalism and Human Cognition, edited by Mark Siderits, Tom Tillemans, and Arindam Chakrabarti
Pradeep P. Gokhale, 605
Systematizing Nyāya, a review of Epistemology in Classical India: The Knowledge Sources of the Nyāya School, by Stephen Phillips
Matthew R. Dasti, 617
The World Of Exclusions: A Thorough Study of Buddhist Nominalism, a review of Apoha: Buddhist Nominalism and Human Cognition, edited by Mark Siderits, Tom Tillemans, and Arindam Chakrabarti
Henry M. Schliff, 638
Purposeful Play, a review of Indian Philosophy in English: From Renaissance to Independence, edited by Nalini Bhushan and Jay L. Garfield
Stephen Phillips, 647
Sacred High City, Sacred Low City: A Tale of Religious Sites in Two Tokyo Neighborhoods, by Steven Heine
Reviewed by Victor Forte, 656
Speaking For Buddhas: Scriptural Commentary in Indian Buddhism, by Richard F. Nance
Reviewed by Maria Heim, 660
An Introduction to Indian Philosophy: Perspectives on Reality, Knowledge, and Freedom, by Bina Gupta
Reviewed by Ved Patel, 664
The Quest for God and the Good: World Philosophy as Living Experience, by Diana Lobel
Reviewed by Dimple Dhanani, 668
Samnyāsin in the Hindu Tradition: Changing Perspectives, by Trichur S. Rukmani
Reviewed by Jonathan Duquette, 671
Humes Moralphilosophie unter chinesischem Einfluss (Hume’s moral philosophy under Chinese influence), by Reinhard May
Reviewed by Asher Jiang, 673
Das Wichtigste im Leben: Wang Yangming (1472–1529) und seine Nachfolger über die “Verwirklichung des ursprünglichen Wissens” 致良知 (The most important thing in life: Wang Yangming [1472–1529] and his successors on the “Realization of Original Knowledge”), by Iso Kern
Reviewed by Kai Marchal, 676
Exploring the Yoga Sutra: Philosophy and Translation, by Daniel Raveh
Reviewed by Zo Newell, 680
Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan’s Moral Metaphysics, by Sebastien Billioud
Reviewed by Wing-cheuk Chan, 683
Riding the Wind with Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic, edited by Ronnie Littlejohn and Jeffrey Dippmann
Reviewed by Yuet Keung Lo, 686
Beyond the Mushroom Cloud: Commemoration, Religion, and Responsibility after Hiroshima, by Yuki Miyamoto
Reviewed by Christopher Ives, 689
BOOKS RECEIVED, 692