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Perception, Knowledge and Disbelief: A Study of Jayarasi's Scepticism

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The Tattvopaplavasimha is a philosophical text unique of its kind: it is the only text of the Carvaka-Lokayata school which has survived and the only Sanskrit work in which full-fledged scepticism is propounded. The present book consists of an introduction, detailed analysis, and translation with extensive notes of the first half of the text. In the Introduction Jayarasi's The Tattvopaplavasimha is a philosophical text unique of its kind: it is the only text of the Carvaka-Lokayata school which has survived and the only Sanskrit work in which full-fledged scepticism is propounded. The present book consists of an introduction, detailed analysis, and translation with extensive notes of the first half of the text. In the Introduction Jayarasi's affiliation to the Lokayata school is reassessed, and evaluated.


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The Tattvopaplavasimha is a philosophical text unique of its kind: it is the only text of the Carvaka-Lokayata school which has survived and the only Sanskrit work in which full-fledged scepticism is propounded. The present book consists of an introduction, detailed analysis, and translation with extensive notes of the first half of the text. In the Introduction Jayarasi's The Tattvopaplavasimha is a philosophical text unique of its kind: it is the only text of the Carvaka-Lokayata school which has survived and the only Sanskrit work in which full-fledged scepticism is propounded. The present book consists of an introduction, detailed analysis, and translation with extensive notes of the first half of the text. In the Introduction Jayarasi's affiliation to the Lokayata school is reassessed, and evaluated.

17 review for Perception, Knowledge and Disbelief: A Study of Jayarasi's Scepticism

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    Anyone who studies Indian philosophy knows that the Carvaka/Lokayata school is always the exception to every rule. All Indian philosophy is concerned with spiritual liberation, EXCEPT the Carvakas. Everyone accepts karma, EXCEPT the Carvakas. I think this makes it a fascinating school. Contemporary scholarship on the Carvakas has not been greatly forthcoming, largely through a lack of texts, and in my opinion, also because Westerners sadly often look to Indian philosophy as the Other (the materi Anyone who studies Indian philosophy knows that the Carvaka/Lokayata school is always the exception to every rule. All Indian philosophy is concerned with spiritual liberation, EXCEPT the Carvakas. Everyone accepts karma, EXCEPT the Carvakas. I think this makes it a fascinating school. Contemporary scholarship on the Carvakas has not been greatly forthcoming, largely through a lack of texts, and in my opinion, also because Westerners sadly often look to Indian philosophy as the Other (the materialist strain sounds like us and the skepticism is intuitively wrong to most people and not worth the time). So this volume, by offering a heavily annotated translation of the only authentic Carvaka text known to exist, offers a great service. Franco's introduction serves to start putting Jayarasi in context, but leaves a lot for future scholars to consider, especially on the question of what kind of skeptic Jayarasi really is. For me personally, the lack of interest in Jayarasi and Franco's translation is genuinely puzzling. Here we have a philosopher that claims to be following in the materialist tradition, but also claims that none of the means to knowledge (pramanas) are valid. Some have suggested that there were at least three kinds of Carvakas: those that accept only perception, those that also accept a limited form of inference, and those that accept no means to knowledge, with Jayarasi in the third camp. That there was a group of materialists and skeptics in ancient India (according to Western stereotypes the most "spritiual" of civilizations) is a fact that we need to get a fuller and fairer picture of ancient Indian thought. Those of us with naturalist and skeptical tendencies today can look to Jayarasi as an intellectual kindred spirit and just might help us think about the state of Western epistemology today. A word of warning: you probably need some background in Indian philosophy to get much out of this. Jayarasi's text is complicated and very much in the context of classical Indian pramana theory (epistemology), although Franco's annotations are helpful. If you know Sanskrit, you will also benefit from the romanized text opposite Franco's translation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adam McCartney

    I read this to counterbalance a lot of european romantic philosophy and existentialism that I'd read back between 2010-2013. This did the job wonderfully. Also contains some very interesting reasoning around the nature of perception. Must read it again some time. I read this to counterbalance a lot of european romantic philosophy and existentialism that I'd read back between 2010-2013. This did the job wonderfully. Also contains some very interesting reasoning around the nature of perception. Must read it again some time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claire S

    Sounds fascinating.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nitin Pai

  5. 4 out of 5

    Krishna Del Toso

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sainum

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hans Ruelius

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steve Dustcircle

  10. 5 out of 5

    Raghunath

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vishisht Dhawan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matic

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert Kippes

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kaamesh

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sayantani Mukherjee

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

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