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Philosophy (Optional) Notes & Mind Maps

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  1. 1. Plato and Aristotle: Ideas; Substance; Form and Matter; Causation; Actuality and Potentiality
    1.1 Plato's Philosophy of Ideas
  2. 1.2 Plato's Understanding of Substance
  3. 1.3 Aristotle's Philosophy of Form and Matter
  4. 1.4 Aristotle's Theory of Substance
  5. 1.5 Plato's View on Causation
  6. 1.6 Aristotle's Four Causes
  7. 1.7 Actuality and Potentiality in Aristotle's Philosophy
  8. 1.8 Comparative Analysis of Plato and Aristotle's Philosophies
  9. 2. The Foundations of Rationalism: Method, Substance, God, and Mind-Body Dualism
    2.1 Rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz)
  10. 2.2 Cartesian Method and Certain Knowledge
  11. 2.3 Substance (Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz)
  12. 2.4 Philosophy of God (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz)
  13. 2.5 Mind-Body Dualism
  14. 2.6 Determinism and Freedom (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz)
  15. 3. Empiricism (Locke, Berkeley, Hume)
    3.1 Introduction to Empiricism
  16. 3.2 Theory of Knowledge (Locke, Berkeley, Hume)
    3 Submodules
  17. 3.3 Substance and Qualities (Locke, Berkeley, Hume)
  18. 3.4 Self and God (Locke, Berkeley, Hume)
  19. 3.5 Scepticism (Locke, Berkeley, and Hume)
  20. 4. Kant
    4.1 Introduction to Kant's Philosophy
  21. 4.2 Kant: The Possibility of Synthetic a priori Judgments
  22. 4.3 Kant's Space and Time
  23. 4.4 Kant's Categories
  24. 4.5 Kant's Ideas of Reason
  25. 4.6 Kant's Antinomies
  26. 4.7 Kant's Critique of Proofs for the Existence of God
  27. 5. Hegel
    5.1 Hegel: Dialectical Method; Absolute Idealism
  28. 6. Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein
    6.1 Defence of Commonsense (Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein)
  29. 6.2 Refutation of Idealism (Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein)
  30. 6.3 Logical Atomism (Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein)
  31. 6.4 Logical Constructions (Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein)
  32. 6.5 Incomplete Symbols (Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein)
  33. 6.6 Picture Theory of Meaning (Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein)
  34. 6.7 Saying and Showing (Moore, Russell, and Early Wittgenstein)
  35. 7. Logical Positivism
    7.1 Verification Theory of Meaning
  36. 7.2 Rejection of Metaphysics
  37. 7.3 Linguistic Theory of Necessary Propositions
  38. 8. Later Wittgenstein
    8.1 Meaning and Use (Later Wittgenstein)
  39. 8.2 Language-games (Later Wittgenstein)
  40. 8.3 Critique of Private Language (Later Wittgenstein)
  41. 9. Phenomenology (Husserl)
    9.1 Method - Phenomenology (Husserl)
  42. 9.2 Theory of Essences - Phenomenology (Husserl)
  43. 9.3 Avoidance of Psychologism - Phenomenology (Husserl)
  44. 10. Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Sartre, Heidegger)
    10.1 Existence and Essence
  45. 10.2 Choice, Responsibility and Authentic Existence
  46. 10.3 Being–in–the–world and Temporality
  47. 11. Quine and Strawson
    11.1 Critique of Empiricism (Quine and Strawson)
  48. 11.2 Theory of Basic Particulars and Persons (Quine and Strawson)
  49. 12. Cârvâka
    12.1 Cârvâka: Theory of Knowledge
  50. 12.2 Cârvâka: Rejection of Transcendent Entities
  51. 13. Jainism
    13.1 Jainism: Theory of Reality
  52. 13.2 Jainism: Saptabhaòginaya
  53. 14. Schools of Buddhism
    14.1 Pratîtyasamutpâda (Schools of Buddhism)
  54. 14.2 Ksanikavada (Schools of Buddhism)
  55. 14.3 Nairâtmyavâda (Schools of Buddhism)
  56. 15. Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika
    15.1 Theory of Categories (Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika)
  57. 15.2 Theory of Appearance (Nyâya-Vaiśeṣika)
  58. 15.3 Theory of Pramâna (Nyâya-Vaiśeṣika)
  59. 15.4 Self, Liberation, God, Proofs for the Existence of God (Nyâya-Vaiśeṣika)
  60. 15.5 Theory of Causation & Atomistic Theory of Creation (Nyâya-Vaiśeṣika)
  61. 16. Sâmkhya
    16.1 Prakrti (Sâmkhya)
  62. 16.2 Purusa (Sâmkhya)
  63. 16.3 Causation (Sâmkhya)
  64. 16.4 Liberation (Sâmkhya)
  65. 17. Yoga
    17.1 Introduction to Yoga Philosophy
  66. 17.2 Citta (Yoga)
  67. 17.3 Cittavrtti (Yoga)
  68. 17.4 Klesas (Yoga)
  69. 17.5 Samadhi (Yoga)
  70. 17.6 Kaivalya (Yoga)
  71. 18. Mimâmsâ
    18.1 Mimâmsâ: Theory of Knowledge
  72. 19. Schools of Vedânta
    19.1 Brahman (Schools of Vedânta)
  73. 19.2 Îúvara (Schools of Vedânta)
  74. 19.3 Âtman (Schools of Vedânta)
  75. 19.4 Jiva (Schools of Vedânta)
  76. 19.5 Jagat (Schools of Vedânta)
  77. 19.6 Mâyâ (Schools of Vedânta)
  78. 19.7 Avidyâ (Schools of Vedanta)
  79. 19.8 Adhyâsa (Schools of Vedanta)
  80. 19.9 Moksa (Schools of Vedanta)
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15.1 Theory of Categories (Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika)

I. Introduction to the Theory of Categories in Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika

Historical background and development

  • Originated in ancient India around the 6th century BCE
  • Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika were initially two separate philosophical systems
    • Nyāya focused on logic and epistemology
    • Vaiśeṣika focused on metaphysics and ontology
  • Both systems eventually merged, forming the combined Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system
    • Shared common ground in their approach to understanding reality
    • Complementary strengths in logic and metaphysics
  • Development of the system occurred in three stages:
    • Early period (6th century BCE to 2nd century CE)
      • Foundational texts and concepts established
    • Middle period (2nd century CE to 10th century CE)
      • Expansion and refinement of ideas
      • Interaction with other philosophical systems
    • Late period (10th century CE to 18th century CE)
      • Further development and synthesis of ideas
      • Decline in prominence due to the rise of other philosophical systems

Key philosophers and their contributions

  • Kaṇāda (6th century BCE)
    • Founder of the Vaiśeṣika system copyright©
    • Authored the Vaiśeṣika Sūtras, the foundational text of Vaiśeṣika
    • Introduced the concept of Padārthas (categories) as a framework for understanding reality
  • Gautama (6th century BCE)
    • Founder of the Nyāya system
    • Authored the Nyāya Sūtras, the foundational text of Nyāya
    • Established the principles of logic and epistemology that would later be incorporated into the combined system
  • Praśastapāda (6th century CE)
    • Developed the Padārtha-dharma-saṅgraha, a significant commentary on the Vaiśeṣika Sūtras
    • Expanded and refined the theory of categories
    • Contributed to the integration of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika systems
  • Udayana (10th century CE)
    • Authored the Nyāya-kusumāñjali, a key work in the combined Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system
    • Defended the existence of God using logical arguments
    • Further developed the theory of categories and their relationship to causation

Relationship with other Indian philosophical systems

  • Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika is one of the six major Indian philosophical systems (Darśanas)
    • Others include Sāṃkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā, Vedānta, and Jainism
  • Each system has its own unique approach to understanding reality, but they share some common themes
    • All systems are rooted in the Vedic tradition copyright©
    • They aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the nature of reality and the path to liberation (Mokṣa)
  • Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika has both similarities and differences with other systems
    • Similarities:
      • Shared focus on understanding the nature of reality
      • Use of logic and reasoning to support their claims
    • Differences:
      • Unique emphasis on the theory of categories (Padārthas) as a framework for understanding reality
      • Distinct approach to metaphysics and ontology, including the atomistic theory of creation
  • Interaction with other systems led to the development and refinement of ideas
    • Debates and discussions with other systems helped to sharpen the arguments and concepts within Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika
    • Borrowed and adapted ideas from other systems, such as the concept of Pramāṇa (means of knowledge) from Mīmāṃsā

II. Overview of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Categories (Padārthas)

Definition and significance of Padārthas

  • Padārthas are fundamental ontological categories in the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system.
  • Derived from the Sanskrit words “pada” (word) and “artha” (meaning), Padārthas represent the basic building blocks of reality.
  • They provide a systematic framework for understanding the nature of existence and the relationships between various entities.
  • The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system posits that all objects and phenomena can be analyzed and understood through these categories. copyright©
  • Padārthas serve as a foundation for the epistemological and metaphysical aspects of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika philosophy.

Enumeration of the seven categories

  1. Dravya (Substance): The material basis of all objects and phenomena, substances are the substratum for qualities and actions. There are nine types of substances: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Time, Space, Self (Ātman), and Mind (Manas).
  2. Guṇa (Quality): The inherent attributes or properties of substances, qualities are responsible for the various characteristics of objects. There are twenty-four types of qualities, including color, taste, smell, touch, and number.
  3. Karma (Action): The activities or processes that bring about change in substances, actions are responsible for the transformation and motion of objects. There are five types of actions: upward movement, downward movement, contraction, expansion, and locomotion.
  4. Sāmānya (Universal): The general characteristics or features shared by multiple objects, universals are responsible for the classification and recognition of objects. Examples include the universal “cowness” shared by all cows or the universal “triangularity” shared by all triangles.
  5. Viśeṣa (Particular): The unique characteristics or features that distinguish one object from another, particulars are responsible for the individuation and differentiation of objects. Examples include the specific shape, size, or color of a particular object. copyright©
  6. Samavāya (Inherence): The relationship that connects substances, qualities, and actions, inherence is responsible for the unity and coherence of objects. It is an inseparable and eternal connection between entities.
  7. Abhāva (Absence): The non-existence or negation of an object or quality, absence is responsible for the understanding of non-being and negation. There are four types of absence: prior non-existence, posterior non-existence, mutual non-existence, and absolute non-existence.

The role of categories in understanding reality

  • The Padārthas provide a comprehensive framework for analyzing and understanding the nature of reality.
  • They help to explain the relationships between different entities and their properties, as well as the processes that govern change and transformation.
  • By categorizing objects and phenomena into these fundamental categories, the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system offers a systematic approach to understanding the world.
  • The categories also serve as a basis for the development of logical and epistemological theories within the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system.
  • The Padārthas provide a foundation for understanding the nature of knowledge, perception, and inference, as well as the criteria for establishing the validity of knowledge claims.
  • By understanding the categories and their relationships, one can gain insight into the nature of existence and the underlying principles that govern the world. copyright©

III. Substance (Dravya)

Definition and characteristics

  • Dravya: A fundamental concept in Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika philosophy, referring to substances or entities that possess qualities and undergo changes.
  • Characteristics of Dravya:
    • Independent existence: Substances exist independently and serve as the substratum for qualities and actions.
    • Possessing qualities (Guṇa) and actions (Karma): Substances are the bearers of various qualities and actions.
    • Capable of undergoing change: Substances can undergo transformations and modifications.
    • Eternal or non-eternal: Some substances are eternal, while others are non-eternal, depending on their nature.

Nine types of substances

  1. Earth (Pṛthivī):
    • Solid, tangible, and characterized by smell.
    • Composed of atoms (Paramāṇu) that combine to form larger aggregates (Anu).
    • Examples: rocks, soil, metals, and minerals.
  2. Water (Ap):
    • Liquid, characterized by taste.
    • Composed of water atoms that combine to form larger aggregates.
    • Examples: rivers, lakes, and oceans.
  3. Fire (Tejas):
    • Characterized by heat, light, and color.
    • Composed of fire atoms that combine to form larger aggregates.
    • Examples: flames, sunlight, and heat.
  4. Air (Vāyu):
    • Gaseous, characterized by touch.
    • Composed of air atoms that combine to form larger aggregates.
    • Examples: wind, breeze, and atmospheric gases.
  5. Ether (Ākāśa):
    • Subtle, all-pervading, and characterized by sound.
    • Eternal and indivisible, not composed of atoms.
    • Provides space for other substances to exist and interact. copyright©
  6. Time (Kāla):
    • Subtle, eternal, and responsible for the sequence of events.
    • Indivisible and all-pervading.
    • Enables the perception of change, duration, and succession.
  7. Space (Dik):
    • Subtle, eternal, and responsible for the spatial arrangement of objects.
    • Indivisible and all-pervading.
    • Provides the framework for the location and direction of substances.
  8. Soul (Ātman):
    • Subtle, eternal, and conscious.
    • The substratum for cognition, volition, and experience.
    • Exists in all living beings, from plants to humans.
  9. Mind (Manas):
    • Subtle, non-eternal, and responsible for mental activities.
    • Acts as an intermediary between the soul and the senses.
    • Instrument for perception, cognition, and volition.

The relationship between substances and qualities

  • Substratum for qualities: Substances serve as the foundation for qualities to inhere. Qualities cannot exist independently of substances.
  • Inherence (Samavāya): The relationship between substances and their