This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Nyaya Vaisesika ways of perceiving the world

V.N. Jha — Pune.

An attempt will be made here to present the ways by which we perceive the world of our experience. It will be based on the model of cognitive analysis developed by Vatsyayana , the commentator of Gautamanyayasutra. It is suggested in this model that any cognitive analysis has four components :a) the knower, b) the knowable, c)the process of knowing, and d) the resultant knowledge. None of the contemporary cognitive models of analysis address all these four components and hence the results are not comprehensive and we do not arrive at the true nature of reality. For instance, no scientific model addresses who a knower is, and what role he plays in apprehending the world of our experience within which we act out. Similarly, we do not have any scientific answer to the question what knowledge is. Not only that we do not have answers to these questions, but we do not even feel it is necessary to address these questions. This has led to a very sad situation. In the Indian analytic traditions, however, these are the basic questions. Therefore, based on the traditional Indian model of enquiry, this paper will present the process through which a perceptual cognition arises in the Nyaya Vaisesika system.

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