Chapter

Philosophical Questions and <i>Pramanas</i>

Bimal Krishna Matilal

in Perception

Published in print December 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239765
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680014 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239765.003.0002

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Philosophical Questions and Pramanas

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In the Western tradition, epistemology is the name given to that branch of philosophy which deals with the theory of knowledge, that is to say, the attempted vindication of the reliability of claims to knowledge. It investigates and evaluates evidence, the method of reasoning, and the criteria upon which knowledge-claims are based. The function of what is called the pramāna-́sāstra in Indian philosophic tradition coincides to a great extent with this activity. The strong claim of some philosophers of classical India was that conception without perception is ‘empty’. The counter-claim was that perception without conception is ‘blind’. This chapter examines different philosophical theories of perception of classical Indian origin in the context of the pramāna epistemology. It gives a brief outline of the pramāna doctrine as well as the kind of scepticism that gave rise to it.

Keywords: pramāna epistemology; world views; knowledge episode; empiricism; perception; scepticism

Chapter.  10515 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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