Overview for History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization: Development of Nyaya Philosophy and its Social Context (Volume III, Part 3)
The volumes of the Project on The History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization aim at discovering the main aspects of Indiaâ€™s heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, they recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The Project is executed by scholars with different ideological persuasions and methodological approaches and is marked by â€˜methodological pluralismâ€™. In spite of its primary historical character, this Project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by many scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization like India. In his learned book, Development of Nyaya Philosophy and its Social Context Professor Sibajiban Bhattacharyya has traced the history of Nyaya Philosophy with reference to its social contexts. That this system of Philosophy, darsana, is not unnecessarily abstract but has taken cognizance of its theoretical ancestry as well as practical circumstances will be evident to the perceptive reader. As a branch of knowledge, vidya, Philosophy as darsana was known in India for a long time. In Kautilyaâ€™s Arthasastra the recognized branches of knowledge are four: (i) the three Vedas (trayi), (ii) trade and commerce (varta); (iii) law and order (dandaniti) and (iv) anvisiki, which according to Kautilya means Sankhya, Yoga and Lokayata. However, later on anvisiki stood for logic and metaphysic. In the history of Indian Philosophy the first use of the term darsana has been attributed to Haribhadrasuri, the Jaina philosopher and author or the Sad darsana samuccaya. Nearly 400 years after Haribhadrasuri the term darsana in the current sense was used by Sankaracarya in his commentary on the Brahmasutra. In this comprehensive book Professor Bhattacharyya has dealt with the works of most of the famous Nyaya thinkers like Gautama, Vatsyayana, Jayanta Bhatta, Bhasarvajna, Udayana, Vardhamana and various other writers down the centuries. This scholarly book from the pen of Bhattacharyya is highly readable and informative. It is hoped that the book will be profitably used by researchers, scholars and the general reading public.