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Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion

Volume 22, December 2017
Collected Works of Kisor K. Chakrabarti, Part II

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1. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Acknowledgement
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2. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti Hindu Ethics in a Comparative Perspective
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Some key ideas in Hindu ethics are: 1. One should do one’s duty regardless of consequences. 2. One should follow the path of the sage king Janaka who acted ceaselessly, selflessly and wisely for the welfare of the subjects. 3. One should act for the common good. 4. All that one does, eats, sacrifices, donates or purifies one should offer to God. One should build the character to look at a confidant, a friend, an enemy, an indifferent person, an impartial person, a harmful person, a benefactor, an honest person and an evil person in the same way. One should build the character to see everyone in oneself and oneself in everyone. One should build the character to take victory and defeat, pleasure and pain and praise and insult in the same way. It is argued in the paper that these ideas may provide the foundations of a comprehensive and cohesive ethical theory that may offer solutions to some of the serious problems in the classical ethical theories of Aristotle, Kant and Mill.
3. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabati The BHAGAVADGITA and Ethical Pluralism
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In an episode in the Bhagavadgita Arjuna refuses to fight that would involve killing his teachers, elders, relatives and friends. Krishna argues that he should fight because it is the special duty of a soldier to fight in a just war, one should do one’s duty regardless of the consequences, one should act for the common good, one should build an unwavering character taking victory and defeat, pleasure and pain, friend and foe in the same way, etc. Some of these reasons may be taken to promote deontology, others utilitarianism, yet others virtue ethics that are often viewed contemporarily as incompatible ethical theories. We argue that these three theories are not necessarily incompatible and may be linked to three sides of human nature: deontology to cognitivity, utilitarianism to dynamism and virtue ethics to affectivity. We also argue that Krishna may be taken to promote ethical pluralism just as he may be taken to promote religious pluralism by recommending the path of knowledge, the path of action and the path of devotion from an inclusive perspective.
4. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti Eternal Word
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Grammarian philosophers in India hold that although there is much in language that is conventional and at the surface level languages are different, there is a deep structure that is common to the languages, independent of human convention and eternal. It is argued that if there is objective knowledge that is universal and necessary, it must be independent of human authorship that can only provide subjective and fallible opinion; similarly, language as the vehicle of universal and necessary knowledge must also be independent of human agency and eternal. Further, meanings cannot be identified with forms (for then even a wooden horse could be a horse) or individuals (for then there would be an infinity of meanings) and can only be universals that are changeless and eternal without which, again, universal and necessary knowledge is impossible. It is also argued that both language and consciousness are unnegatable and all pervasive, are ultimately non-different and constitute the essence of the self that too is unnegatable, all pervasive and eternal.
5. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti Definition and Induction: A Historical and Comparative Study: Abbreviations and Introduction
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Although ancient Greek and Indian philosophers held remarkably similar philosophical positions, the possibility of these two traditions having developed independently cannot be discounted. However, in the fifth century BCE substantial parts of Greece and India were under the Persian rule and belonged to the same political entity. It is very likely that Greeks and Indians sat together in the Persian court where translation services were provided to mitigate the language barrier. In the fourth century BCE there were Greek kingdoms for more than a century in and around northwest frontiers of India paving the way for substantial political and commercial contact. Greeks like Megasthenes, Diogenes Laertius, Suidas, Porphyry, etc. testify that eminent Greek thinkers like Democritus, Pyrrho, etc. visited India and/or that Plato, Plotinus, etc. knew about or admired Indian wisdom. Some of this evidence is relatively late but cannot be dismissed in the absence of specific rebuttal; thus, Indo-Greek scholarly exchange is likely.
definition and induction
6. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti Abbreviations
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7. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti Introduction
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8. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti Aristotle's View of Definition
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9. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti The Stoic View of Definition
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In the Stoic view a definition is a representation of a peculiar characteristic that is neither too wide nor too narrow and has necessary or reciprocal force and is a statement of analysis matchingly expressed. That is, a peculiar characteristic is convertible and coextensive with the definiendum. Many scholars hold that for the Stoics a defining characteristic is not only a feature that is co-extensive with the definiendum but is also essential. We do not find any conclusive evidence for this claim. The Stoics nowhere say that a defining feature is not only peculiar but also essential. They also sometimes offer more than one definition of a thing and this goes against the Aristotelian position that since a thing has single essence, there can only be one definition in the ideal sense. Further, the Platonic/Aristotelian tradition views a definition as being mainly concerned with relations between universals. But for the Stoics universals are mental constructs, individuals alone are real, and definitions are ultimately about individuals.
10. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti The Epicurean Attack on Definition
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The Epicureans were committed to the priority of sensation and opposed the Platonic/Aristotelian view that definitions that display essences graspable only by reason should play a central role. To the Epicureans the so-called search for essences amounted to turning away from actual observation of things and indulging in speculation based on assumptions: instead one must conduct an inquiry about nature as the phenomena dictate. Epicurus held that the first or basic concepts of an inquiry need not be demonstrated for that would open an infinite regress and might have held that the first concepts need not be defined for the definiens should be prior to the definiendum but nothing is prior to the basic concepts. Further, while explaining or defining each term is impossible (and perhaps involves infinite regress), explaining some is pointless. However, Epicureans were not opposed to providing descriptions so that there could be clear notions of words used, an investigation could proceed methodically, and all participants could agree on the subject matter.
11. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti The Nyaya View of Definition
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A Nyaya definition the major purpose of which is efficient use of words and avoiding ambiguities and errors, is the statement of a unique feature that belongs to each definiendum and nothing else so that there is none of the three faults of overcoverage, undercoverage and failure to belong to any definiendum. There should be no circularity that is of three kinds, self-dependence (where the definiendum appears in the definiens); mutual dependence (where the definiendum and the definiens are used in the definition of each other) and defining in a circle. A definition should also be economical: there are mainly three kinds of economy; economy in constitution (that avoids including anything superfluous or unnecessary to distinguish the definiendum from everything else), economy in relation (the directly related is preferable to the indirectly related) and economy in cognition (something cognitively prior is preferable to something posterior). While more than one definition is possible that need not state the essence, the test of economy is in place to avoid redundancy and provide criteria of preference among defining features that are unique and non-circular.
12. Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion: Volume > 22
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti Annotated Translation of Udayana's AATMATATTVAVIVEKA
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The Buddhist offers an inference from the Nyaya standpoint to prove that universals are not positive entities but are differences from others: Cow-ness is difference from non-cows because it has both positive and negative features. Whatever has both positive and negative features is nothing but difference from others. Thus, not being measurable has the positive feature of being related to time and the negative feature of not being prior absence and is nothing but difference from being measurable. Cow-ness too has the positive feature (in the Nyaya view) of being, say, eternal and the negative feature, say, of not being horse-ness. So, cow-ness is nothing but difference from non-cows and so on, mutatis mutandis, for other universals. Udayana objects that this inference is unsound from the Buddhist standpoint: Self-differentiating unique particulars that alone are real for the Buddhists are not measurable; but these are not taken to be mere difference from others that is a non-entity for these are taken to be real.