Chapter

Indian Rationalists

Johannes Quack

in Disenchanting India

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199812608
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919406 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812608.003.0002
Indian Rationalists

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The first chapter gives an overview of the Indian rationalist movement and reviews the sparse literature on this topic. It starts with a discussion of the work of Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya on ancient Indian materialism, continuing with Amartya Sen's historical argument, and ends with Hans-Joachim Klimkeit's study of anti-religious movements in South India. The chapter further introduces the way in which representatives of the rationalist movement describe their worldview as being based on naturalism and empiricism, and the way in which atheism is seen as following logically from rationalism. Finally, it is argued that rationalism stands for a worldview that has repercussions for all aspects of life, as well as for concrete social activism, i.e. attempts to transform India into a more just and secular society.

Keywords: naturalism; empiricism; materialism; secularism; Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya; Amartya Sen; Hans-Joachim Klimkeit; social activism

Chapter.  5205 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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