Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jivaraja Jaina Granthmala, No. 20

General Editorial
Preface to The First Edition
Preface to The Second Edition
Synoptic Philosophy
  Approach to Reality
  The Jaina Theory of the Soul
  Critique of Knowledge
  The Doctrine of Karma in Jaina Philosophy
  The Pathway to Perfection
  In this Our Life
  Men and Gods




3. A survey of the course of philosophy in the past shows that philosophy continually faced this impasse.  The a priori deductive method took us to the lion's den. At the height of its speculation, it built superstructures of philosophy and was cut off from common sense. The empiricists were led to solipsism and to the feverish denial of metaphysics.

To save philosophy from this impasse, we have to adopt a synoptic view towards the problems of philosophy. We should realize that reality is complex and life is a many-coloured dome. Idealism was unable to see the trees in the wood, while empiricism could not see the wood in the trees.[22]These were two ways of approaching the problem; but they are not the only ways, nor were the approaches absolute.  This is the synoptic outlook. In this sense, philosophy is to see life steadily and see it whole. Broad says, "If we do not look at the world synoptically we shall have a very narrow view of it". He thinks that a purely critical philosophy is arid and rigid.[23]

The Jaina view of anekanta comes nearer to this approach. Anekanta consists in a many-sided approach to the study of problems. Intellectual tolerance is the foundation of this doctrine. It is the symbolisation of the fundamental non violent attitude. It emphasizes the many-sideness of truth. Reality can be looked at from various angles.

Whitehead's fundamental attitude in philosophy is essentially the same as the anekanta view of life. Whitehead' defined speculative philosophy as the endeavour to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted.[24]

We have to note that the function of philosophy is not merely an academic pursuit of reality. It is a way of life.  Philosophy has had the dual purpose of revealing truth and increasing virtue. Philosophers have sought to provide a principle to live by and purposes to live for. For this practical end, philosophers have striven to achieve a synoptic view of the universe.[25] The consciousness of the finiteness of our being makes us yearn for the beyond, in the spirit of the Upanisads, from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, and from death to iternal life.[26]

For this, we have to look to the spiritual experience of the great seers. Broad says there is one thing which speculative philosophy must take into most serious consideration and that is the religious and mystical experiences of mankind.[27] It is they who are in constant touch with the innermost depth of life and to them we are to look for guidance. Such 'enlightened ones' or 'sages' are the first-hand exponents of philosophy.[28]



1. Aristotle: Metaphystis, i, 2


2. sarva-viya-pratistha.


3. RADHAKRIISHNAN (S): Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 45.


4. Brhadaranyaha ll. IV-5 atma vare drstavyah.


5. RADHAKRISHNAN(S): Indian Philosophy, Vol (1945) P. 25 2.


6. RADHAKRISHNAN(S): Indian Philosophy, Vol, II, (1947) P.447


7. Prabodhacandrodaya, Act II.


8. RADHAKRISHNAN(S): Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 644.


9. REID: Works, p. 109.


10. STENIUS (Eric) : Tractatus-A critical exposition of its main lines of thought (1960)
      p. 226.


11. RUSSELL (B) : My Philosophical Development (1959) pp.  216-217.


12. Encyclopedia of Western Philosphy and Philosphers.  Edited by URMSON (J.C.)


13. AYER .(J.A) : Language, Truth and Logic, p. 35.


14. AYER, (J.A) : Language, Truth and Logic, p. 48.


15. AYER, (J. A.): Philosophical Essays (1954) No. 142.


16. AYER, (J. A.): Language, Truth and Logic (1946), Preface to second edition.


17. JOAD (C. E. M.): A Critique of Logical Positiuism, p.  149.


18. JOAD (C. E. M ): A Critique of Logical Positivism, p.  29.


19. TYRRELL ( G. N. N.) : The personality of men (Pelican) p.  265.


20. RADHAKRISHNAN(S.) : The Ineternational Insitute of Philosophy and indian
      Philosophical Congress. Entretiens edited by N.A NILE.


21. JOAD (C> E> M>) : A Critique of Logical Positivism, p.  149.


22. BOARD (C.D.) : Contemporary British Philosphy, ed.  MUIRHEAD (j. H.) Vol. I (1924),
      Critical and Speculative Philosophy.


23. PASSMORE (Joan) : A Hundread Years of Philosophy, (1957) p. 350


 24. Process and Reality (1929) Part I, Chapter I, p. 4 and Adventures of Ideas (19330
       p. 285.


25. JOAD (C. E. M. ) : A Critique of Logical Positivism, (1950) p. 29.


26. asato ma sad gonaya; tamaso majyotir gamaya; mrtyor ma amratam gamaya.


27. Contemporary British Philosophy: edited by MUIRHEAD (J.  H.) (1924) Critical ond
      Speculative Philosophy.


28. HUXLAY ALDOUS: The Perennial Philosophy, (1959) 10, 11.