Secondary Sources 1. History Traces of materialism appear in the earliest recordings of Indian thought. During the 6th and 7th centuries C. Historians have estimated that the Vedas were written and compiled between the years B. The Vedas exemplify the speculative attitude of the ancient Indians, who had the extreme luxury of reflecting on the whence and whither of their existence.

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Yet another hypothesis is that it is eponymous, with the founder of the school being Charvaka, a disciple of Brihaspati. It was called Lokayata because it was prevalent ayatah among the people lokesu , and meant the world-outlook of the people.

Although materialist schools existed before Charvaka, it was the only school which systematised materialist philosophy by setting them down in the form of aphorisms in the 6th century BCE. This should be seen in the wider context of the oral tradition of Indian philosophy.

It was in the BCE onwards, with the emergent popularity of Buddhism that ancient schools started codifying and writing down the details of their philosophy. This proves that it had already existed for centuries and had become a generic term by BCE. Arrive at a conclusion, therefore, that there is nothing beyond this Universe. Give precedence to that which meets the eye and turn your back on what is beyond our knowledge. Billington , p. They held perception and direct experiments to be the valid and reliable source of knowledge.

External perception is described as that arising from the interaction of five senses and worldly objects, while internal perception is described by this school as that of inner sense, the mind. To Charvakas, inference is useful but prone to error, as inferred truths can never be without doubt. To the Charvakas there were no reliable means by which the efficacy of inference as a means of knowledge could be established.

Smoke can have other causes. In Charvaka epistemology, as long as the relation between two phenomena, or observation and truth, has not been proven as unconditional, it is an uncertain truth. Such methods of reasoning, that is jumping to conclusions or inference, is prone to flaw in this Indian philosophy.

But the absence of conditions, state Charvakas, can not be established beyond doubt by perception, as some conditions may be hidden or escape our ability to observe. While our inferences sometimes are true and lead to successful action, it is also a fact that sometimes inference is wrong and leads to error.

We must be skeptics, question what we know by inference, question our epistemology. Hindu, Buddhist and Jain scholars extensively deployed Charvaka insights on inference in rational re-examination of their own theories. The other schools of Hinduism developed and accepted multiple valid forms of epistemology.

Thus, to Charvakas, the step which the mind takes from the knowledge of something to infer the knowledge of something else could be accounted for by its being based on a former perception or by its being in error.

Cases where inference was justified by the result were seen only to be mere coincidences. To them all natural phenomena was produced spontaneously from the inherent nature of things. July The Charvaka did not believe in karma , rebirth or an afterlife. To them, all attributes that represented a person, such as thinness, fatness etc. The Sarvasiddhanta Samgraha states the Charvaka position as follows, [52] There is no other world other than this; There is no heaven and no hell; The realm of Shiva and like regions, are fabricated by stupid imposters.

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It believes in soul, God, law of Karma, Liberation etc. Indian philosophy consists of nine systems. It occupies a very important place in the history of Indian philosophy. This philosophy gives special emphasis an eating and drinking.


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