Features of Indian philosophy

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by rcscwc, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    There are certain features of Indian philosophy which make it different from contemporary philosophies of the west.

    School system: IP are orgaganised into schools. A school has certain foundational doctrines which are subscribed to by the followers. Different members of a school might differ in details, but they still are within the school. If a philosopher has a major difference with any of the basic doctrine, he might found a sub school. Thus all the schools have a number of sub schools.

    Continuity of the schools. In Indian context a school was never replaced by another one, unlike in Greek system. Indian schools have a continuity of tradition. Their strict followers study them and try to live according to their tenets.

    Free though. Indian philosophical realm is marked by a freedom of thought which is unmatched even by the Greek sustem. Thus there is every thought and idea present. Even creatio ex nihilo was considered, but was discarded, and never gained ground.

    Two fold division: IP schools can be classified as orthodox [those acknowledging the authourity and validity of Vedas, and heterdox [who denied authority and validity of Vedas]. Latter includes Jains, Buddhists and Charvaks.

    Non interference in mundane fields: IP does not pronounce on the pure and empirical sceinces. Such fields like astronomy, medicine, maths etc. were left to the specialist scholars. No theology intefered with them. Reason why geo centric and helio centric systems could flourish simultanously.

    Free philosphical debates: Each school tried to refute all the others, and defend itself against the criticism. Many times the schools redefined themselves. Buddhism is quite an example.

    Absence of comments on morality and ethics. Many westrens with shallow knowledge think that Indians did not care about morality and ethics, because philosophies do not lay them down. Reason: On this score all the schools were in general agreement. Second, you don't need a God or a prophet to tell you not to steal or kill. Whole gamut of political and economic thoughts were outside the philosophical schools.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
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  3. UltiTruth In pursuit... Registered Senior Member

    I think the karma philosophy meant that you have to define your own value system and adhere to it. So no one needs to tell you what is right and wrong; it is for you to set your benchmarks and you will face scrutiny about your value system and how you adhered to it.
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