Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Classical Indian Metaphysics by Stephen H. Phillips

Stephen H. Phillips’s book Classical Indian Metaphysics is a good examination of Nyaya (the word “Nyaya” is roughly translated into logic), one of the six schools of ancient Hindu philosophy. The Nyaya school arose in India probably between the sixth and the second centuries BCE.

In his book, Phillips has examined the metaphysics and epistemology of the Nyaya school from the second century CE to the Middle Ages, a period in which prachin Nyaya transformed into navya Nyaya. He looks at the works of several important Indian philosophers of the Middle Ages: Sriharṣa, Manikantha Misra, Gangesa, Sankara Misra, and Vacaspati Misra. The final section of the book contains translations of key passages from the texts of these philosophers. 

Sriharṣa is the proponent of idealism, while the metaphysics of Nyaya is realist. The debate between the Indian idealists and realists that has been going on for centuries, through the ancient and the Middle Ages, and is still ongoing, is the primary focus of this book.

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