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Title: The concept of Self (ātman) in Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika philosophy
Author: Laine, Joy Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3603 9204
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 1990
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Nyāya, one of Hinduism's six orthodox schools of philosophy, has been of interest to western philosophers largely because of its sophisticated analysis of logical and linguistic problems. In India, the purpose of the orthodox school (or darśana - "view") has been to lead the student toward liberation (mokṣa). Hence Nyāya's preoccupation with logic should not in itself preclude a real concern with mokṣa. The broad aim of my thesis, therefore, is to determine how Nyāya functions as a complete darśana, to see if indeed the various aspects of the system stand together as a coherent mokṣamārga (way to release). Because Hindus conceive of salvation as the realization of a transcendental Self (ātman), and because the nature of such a Self has been a prime focus for Indian philosophical debate, this thesis will concentrate on the Nyāya understanding of ātman, and the logical arguments for its existence. Nyāya philosophers played a leading role in arguing against their Buddhist opponents in India who denied the existence of any such transcendental Self. The debate, which endured for many hundreds of years, culminated in the eleventh century A.D. with the works of Udayana, a leading Nyāya philosopher, and his Buddhist opponents, Jñānaśrīmitra and Ratnakīrti, after which time the Buddhist challenge waned in India, and the Nyāya school, known in its later phase as Navya-Nyāya, became more concerned with the method rather than the substance of the arguments. In this thesis I concentrate on one particular text of Udayana, the Ātmatattvaviveka (The Discrimination of the Reality of the Self), for in this text Udayana arranged most of the major disputes that had engaged Nyāya and Buddhist philosophers in the preceding centuries in such a way as to clearly display their relevance for the debate about ātman. The main body of my thesis consists of translations from this hitherto largely untranslated work, and discussions of some of the important arguments found therein. The concluding part of my thesis uses my findings for the broader discussion of the importance of ātman in Nyāya, and the place of Nyāya within the wider spectrum of Indian soteriological thought.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy