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Date(s) - 09/07/2023
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Seminar Hall


Nyāya and the World – An Interdisciplinary, International Workshop

Nyāya  Philosophy  has  deeply  impacted  India  and  the  World.  In  India,  Nyāya/Vaiśeṣika   is  considered  to  be  a foundational discipline along with Pāṇinī, essential to comprehending everything from Mathematics, Aesthetics, Ayurveda, and Law, and as such, was part of the repertoire of every educated Indian. Nor was it confined to the Hindu tradition alone. Jains and Buddhists developed their versions of Nyāya so that it became all-pervading.
Further, as several scholars have recently shown, the Nyāya ways of reasoning directly migrated from India to Central Asia,  and  the  Middle  East  to  Europe.  There  they  became  known  as  the  Scholastic  Method,  which  became  the foundation of the European University. The Scholastic Method, in turn, was the precursor of the Scientific Method.
Now,  throughout  the world,  the Humanities  are in decline.  Enrollments  are plummeting,  and there  is a crisis  of confidence of sorts. One of the reasons for this state of affairs is the belief that Humanities are not thought to enable rigorous and structured thinking of the kind that the Social and Natural Sciences inculcate.
This is where Nyāya comes in. At its root, it is a sophisticated and structured analysis method for all types of evidence. It has stood the test of time throughout the World. Yet, today, it is rarely taught or discussed outside of narrow Philosophical circles. This state of affairs needs to change – a critical reexamination of Nyāya can aid critical thought across all domains of inquiry. As Kauṭilya was to write: “pradīpaḥ sarvavidyānāṃ  upāyaḥ sarvakarmaṇām|  āśrayaḥ sarvadharmāṇāṃ  śaśvad ānvīkṣikī matā” || Artha. 1.2.11-12. That is, the study of Ānvīkṣikī (which is another name for Nyāya) is the illuminator of all knowledge, the means for all action, and the support of Dharma.
As  a  commentator  was  to  write:  “dharmādharmau   trayyāṃ  arthānarthau  vārttāyāṃ  nayānayau  daṇḍanītyāṃ balābale ca etāsāṃ hetubhiranvīkṣamāṇā  lokasya upakaroti vyasane.abhyudaye ca buddhiṃ avasthāpayati prajñāvākyakriyāvaiśāradyaṃ ca karoti”. Or: “Investigating by means of reasons, good and evil in the Vedic religion. profit and loss in the field of trade and agriculture, and prudent and imprudent policy in political administration,  as well as their relative strengths and weaknesses, the study of critical inquiry (ānvīkṣikī) confers benefit on people, keeps their minds steady in adversity and in prosperity, and produces adeptness of understanding, speech, and action.”
By bringing an interdisciplinary  and international  group of scholars, this Workshop aims to bridge this gap between Nyāya and the World.

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