Anaryajushtam

WESTERN PHILOSOPHY

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY {Pre Socratic}

Philosopher  or

Philosophy

Fundamental

Reality

Importance

Orphism by Orpheus[r1] 

 

Influenced Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Christianity. Open to everybody.

Thales[r2] 

[624-550 BC]

WATER

Gave birth to scientific way of thinking. Predicted eclipse,calculated distance of a ship,height of  tree.

 

Anaximander[r3] 

[611-547BC]

Formless, infinite and eternal mass

First called his infinite, boundless matter ‘God’. [Monotheism]

Anaximenes [r4] 

[588-524 BC]

Anaximander’s disciple.

AIR

Breath of Universe

‘Quantity explains quality’ lead Pythagoras to state ‘whatever exists, exists in number’- a step forward towards scientific worldview.

 

Pythagoras[r5] 

[580-500BC]

A central FIRE around which all planets move

Influenced Essene sect of Jews and many others. Stated P theorem, Suggested the teleological proof for God’s existence depending on harmony here.

Xenophanes[r6] 

[570-480BC]

All is One [eternal, immovable world God]

Eleatic school; criticized polytheism, transmigration of souls.

Parmenides[r7] 

[b514] follower of Xenophanes

Eleatic school is rep by him, Zeno

 

All is one, thought is ‘being’. ‘One’ is corporeal,spherical

Appearance and reality are differentiated which influenced many idealists. But his ‘spherical Being’ made him a materialist.

Zeno[r8] 

[489-430BC]

-do- but for him it is a fact to prove

he confused between geometric[analytic] and actual[synthetic] propositions.[imp. paradoxes]

Heraclitus[r9]  [535–475] contemp of

Parmenides.

FIRE that denotes change, flux and ‘becoming’

vehemently criticised his predecessors, resembles

Buddha’s teachings. Stoics take up much of his metaphysics.

Empedocles[r10] [490-430] Eleatic + Heraclitean

Fire, water, air and

earth-are divisible into elements but keep on mixing

Tried to blend all the popular philosophies, thought that sun&moon shine by reflected light, revealed cause of lunar eclipse, foreshadowed Darwinian ‘survival of fittest’ leaped into crater as he is god.

Anaxagoras[r11] 

[500-428BC]

influenced Socrates

NOUS-a pure,thin

unmixed,selfmoved

most mobile,motiv-ating,corporeal,

quasi psychic

Not interested in morality and religion, accused of atheism and blasphemy; ‘Nous’ is akin to ‘idea of God’ of Plato and ‘Prime mover’ of Aristotle.

 First time correctly explains the cause of solar and lunar eclipses.[Empedocles followed him]

Leukippus[r12]  cntm. of above two

Atomism

countless, eternal, indestructible, invisible ATOMS

Mechanised teleological ‘Nous’ by introducing atoms; subsidiary to Empedocles’ elements. Both ‘being’[Parmenides]&’becoming’[Heraclitus]real.

Democritus [r13] ds of  above[Atomist]

[460-360 BC]

Upholding the claim ‘thought over senses’ he established the possibility of science which Sophists denied saying ‘knowledge is perception’. Did not work out the relation between ‘perception’ and ‘thought’. Distinction propounded by him between primary[given by thought-shape, position, and size]and secondary[by senses-color, sound, smell, and taste] qualities is found in Descartes, Locke and other moderners.

 

 

 

THOUGHTS ABOUT SrushtiAND laya

Empedocles

The World comes into being and passes away PERPETUALLY

Heraclitus

The World comes into being and passes away PERIODICALLY

Anaxagoras

It has come into being ONCE AND FOR ALL TIMES

Leukippus

Countless number of worlds come into being and pass away

Parmenides

It has not come into existence

         

 

QUOTES, ANECDOTES AND IMPORTANT EVENTS

   UNCERTAINTY

Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tails.[14-4]

 

¦     POLITICAL THOUGHT –Bentham

It is the philosophic reflection and retrospective meditation of the mighty Masters and practical sages from time to time with the fundamental aim of analyzing and interpreting the concept, the ideal, the origin, the development and end of the vast earthly order, known as state with its essential constituent the government.

 

¦     rajarshi – Plato

Until Philosophers are Kings, or the Kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one – cities will never have rest from their evils.

 

¦     MASTER – Plato

In the man himself, that is his soul, there resides a good principle as well as bad when the naturally good principle is master of the bad, this state of things is described by the term, ‘master of himself’.

 

 

 

I OPINE…

 

For an individual’s behaviour to be virtuous or at least to be ‘social’ only two ways are helpful.

1.        Strong ‘will power’[inside his heart] or

2.        Strong governance [imposed from outside]

 

 First is possible when one is ‘religious’ or ‘moral’

Second becomes successful when it doesn’t interfere with good’s freedom and completely controls bad’s freedom.

 

Everyone knows that the second has never been that successful throughout the ages.

And for the first ‘morality’ has relative definitions which often contradict one another.

And for ‘religion’ – it was misused or abused by wrong leaders.

 

Solution: One should be RELIGIOUS

              at the same time WISE

              also INDEPENDENT

              and even RESPONSIBLE [towards the ‘whole’] citizen of the World.

 

How far Christianity helped individuals to attain aforesaid qualities?

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH:

It was ‘religious’

Only clergy was considered to be ‘wise’

Individual was not ‘independent’. So individual was exploited!

PROTESTANTS:

Though ‘religious’ its message is allowed to interpret for oneself.

So in many cases ‘independence’ was misused. This lead to individual isolation and admiration of non-virtuous ‘romanticism’ and sometimes meaningless ‘mysticism’ which is usually named as ‘subjectivism’.   

 

In west philosophy is theoretically much related to politics! Why?[20/3/2000]

Philosophy is a study of ‘Life’.

And life is a series of stimuli and responses between

1.        Individual and society [Universe] and

2.        Individual and himself.

 

Emphasis on the second lead to ‘subjectivism’, and emphasis on the first lead to different theories of political systems.

In fact individual’s relation with society or, more generally speaking, with Universe is not much a question of political system. Here west differs with India.

In India law and order, polity, rule etc. were not emphasised up to the extent to which ‘dharma’ is emphasised. And dharma shouldn’t be mistaken for law or political order.

 

dharma is the term, which unites the aforesaid two modes of stimuli and responses.

dharmais at the same time an outer as well as an inner aspect.

 

Outer society is nothing but a group of individuals, and individuals in turn are the manifestations of inner ‘individuality’. Also individual is nothing without society. Both of them form a single unit.

 

“With subjectivism in philosophy – Anarchism in politics goes hand in hand.” says Russell.[wp20]

For every Indian who has sufficient understanding regarding his nation’s tradition or philosophy – this statement appears strange.

For us ‘prav÷tti’ and ‘niv÷tti’  are outwardly totally interdependent things.

And the sole purpose of gita is to educate their value and interdependence.

sannyäsastu mahäbaho duhkhamäptumayogatah……

……nänaväptamaväptavya- varta eva ca karmani

 

After the message of gita Arjuna did not leave the battlefield, in fact it was the opposite that had happened.

Arjuna fought after gita. Does it mean that gita is a ‘political philosophy’? No way!

 

In west ‘subjectivism’ and ‘objectivism’ are essentially two different fields of philosophy. And the relation between them that appeared at times [like Popes’ interference in politics, Crusades etc;] have nothing to do with philosophy. Those were the examples of the misuse of ‘theology’ for selfish ends.

 

The problem in west was, and still is –they consider every better thinker a philosopher. West, no doubt, has produced many great, and sometimes the best thinkers of all times. But as far as ‘philosophers’ are concerned, I’ve my own reasonable doubts. The word ‘philosopher’ can never be a synonym of the word ‘great thinker’.

Many of the philosophers were great thinkers, but the converse is false.

In fact ‘history of western philosophy’ is mainly the history of ‘western thought’.

[Perhaps this was the reason behind sir Radhakrishnan’s entitling his work on the corresponding subject ‘Eastern philosophy and Western thought’.

 

Well! This may be the question of usual ‘language difference’. We call a philosopher a tattvavetta’  which, of course has a far deeper meaning.

 

This discussion leads us to the question ‘how to recognize a philosopher?’

Swamy Krishnananda says “It is easy to become a professor in philosophy but not to become a philosopher”.

“Philosophy” is too deep a concept to scale. We’ve no single ‘apparent’ quality to judge whether one is a philosopher or not.

We know that philosophy is not just a question of ‘intellectual exercise’, neither is it an aesthetic affair. Philosophy is not just ‘nobility’ or ‘morality’. Yes! There are certain qualities that can be owned only by a philosopher like ‘Universal Love’ or being compassionate at the same time dispassionate; but their mere appearance in anyone’s behaviour or writings can never be the proof for their ‘real existence’ in he. Also if they don’t appear we can’t deny their existence.

 

It is one of the instances where we’ve to know the limits of our ‘reason’ and append it with ‘faith’. Here ‘faith’ is ‘beyond’ reason, and not irrational. [not ‘below’ reason] It shouldn’t be the blind belief.

 

Philosophers like Sankaracharya, Valmiki, Vyasa, Potanna etc. were good thinkers and aestheticians.

We never consider great thinker Chanakya, and great poet Kalidas, and manifestation of nobility Gandhi as philosophers.

 

 

Purusharthasan essential missing point in west:[21-3-2000]

Coming back to Russell’s quotation “with subjectivism in philosophy…”

Where is ‘anarchism’ and is where the subjectivism?

When subjectivism develops does every individual become a subjectivist?

If we’re talking about the lives of subjectivists like Berkley, Kant or Fiche- could we trace the reason for anarchism or any political order of their times, to their philosophies?

Philosophy could not become a layman’s affair.

Only coarser elements of philosophy could influence a layman, not every of its intricacy.

One couldn’t demand the patience, penetration and right perception required to assimilate the intricacies from every X, Y and Z.

Perhaps Russell went a little bit too far in expressing the relation between thought and environment.

Every thought is not necessarily the effect of the environment. Also every thought could not influence the environment.

At least in the case of true subjectivism, these things do not apply!

 

 Every Indian child knows that every act of every human being is directed towards one or the other of four ‘puru·ärthäs’ namely ‘dharma’ ‘artha’ ‘käma’ and ‘mok·a’.

There is no fifth one.

 

I don’t think Noble laureate Bertrand Russell could differentiate ‘dharma’ and ‘mok·a’.

Any political theory comes under ‘dharma’ which has the capacity to influence the society also, which changes from time to time and place to place.

But ‘mok·a’ is an independent field [apavarga] It is only for a blessed few.

Essentially neither this is the effect of the environment, nor could this influence the society around.

 

  

      


 [r1]All men are in a fallen state. But in their pristine glory they are akin to gods. By purification one can become immortal. Body imprisons the soul as a tomb. Rebirths and transmigration of soul are accepted. Only an ascetic can escape from this wheel.

 [r2]Features: Water succeeds in explaining all the possible states of being – solid, liquid and vapour. Earth is a disc floating in water.

 [r3]Features: Only formless earth can be converted into particulars. It is by the working of the opposites that the world goes on . World has evolved in due course. Earth is cylindrical in shape and moves freely in space.

 [r4]Universe was considered to be a living organism[Hylozoism]. AIR is regulated by condensation[compression to water, earth &stone] and rarefaction[expansion into fire]. Quantity explains quality.

 [r5]A reformed kind of Orphic religion; prescribes an intellectual[not emotional]meditation; physical world with its elements was taken for granted; but to explain it number theory was advanced. Only mathematics is true; not the sensible things. Emphasised physical exercise, music and medicine.

 [r6]The Sun every morning is formed out of the vapors of the sea and disappears again into the sea, hence ephemeral.

 [r7]Thought and utterance are also equated due to which language is said to be the key to the understanding of reality. Maniness and motion are considered illusory.

 [r8]Features: Maniness and change are illusory[self contradictory]. He proved this self contradictoriness by reducing them into aggregations of basic units, which are dimensionless in one way and with dimension in other, due to which world becomes infinitely small and infinitely large. Illusoriness of motion is proved by dividing the given distance and time infinitely.

 [r9]permanent law of change gives us permanent appearance of things. every thing ‘is’[all judgements are true]and ‘is not’[and not true]every thing is a harmony of opposites. Sun is ephemeral[Xenophanes]there is an abiding order of downward(condensation) and upward(rarefaction)directions of Fire[as in Anaximanes] more fire-more intellect

 [r10]world is guided by physical opps Love&Hate[like cond&rare] The four States are 1.only Love no Hate resulting complete intermixture2.Hate enters dividing world into individuals 3.Hate completes by separating them into fundamental entities 4. again only Love brings them together. Here 1,3-Eleatism[no individuality] 2,4-Heracliteanism[flux]

 [r11]There are countless elements differing from one another; each element contained all other elements[Ramanuja] Nous is not a personal god but the force to bring order behind the beauty and synthesis of the Universe. Nous is diffused throughout the world animating men and animals.

 [r12]Atoms differ from one another in shape&size. Original motion continues until stopped by others’ motion, weight-a function of size,all things come together and pass away ac to natural laws,worlds continue until shattered by collision with others, even perception and thinking are explained with mechanical laws.

 [r13]Tried to explain scientific knowledge and absolute morality. Soul is an aggregate of atoms consisting the essence of fire-finest, smoothest and most mobile atoms. Perception and thought differ only in degree not in kind, perception is about ‘becoming’ and thought is about ‘being’[science], happiness is of soul not of senses, there is no life after death.