Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions - Jain View of Life
INTRODUCTION
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 OR GODS
 

GENERAL INDEX


Chapter-1 : SYNOPTIC PHILOSOPHY

 

English empiricism repeats this logical movements but does not save itself from its own conclusions. We can see the empiricist method steadily marching from Locke to Berkeley to Hume. Berkeley denied matter, and Hume denied everything except impressions and ideas. Reid, summing up the English empiricist movement, states that ideas, first introduced for explaining the operations of the human understanding, undermined everything but themselves, pitifully naked and destitute, �set adrift without a rag to cover them.�  Knowledge became impossible and philosophy could go on further without a radical reconsideration of its fundamental position.

          But the Humean tendency has been recently revived, by the Cambridge philosophers who brought philosophy to the brink of extinction.  Wittgenstein�s Tractates discusses problems of meaning, the nature of logic, facts and propositions and the task of philosophy.  It states: �What can ve said at all can be said clearly, and whereof  one cannot speak, there one must be silent�.  �The world is the totality of facts not of things�.  There must be simple entities called objects because there are names, and there must be names because propositions have a definite sense.  Names have no sense expect in the context of propositions; and propositions are related to facts as �picture of facts�.  He states that all the truths of logic are tautologies, and logical proofs are only mechanical devices for recognising categories.  Mathematics consists of equations, and the propositions of mathematics are also without sense.  The metaphysician talks nonsense in the fullest sense of the world, as he does not understand �the logic of our language�.  Metaphysical suggestion is like the composition of a new song.  We are told that he made no essential change in his attitude towards the aim of philosophy.  Russell writes that the influence of the Tractates on him �was not wholly good�, and that the philosophy of the Philosophical Investigations remains to him completely unintelligible .

           Logical Positivism ia a philosophical movement emanating from �The Vienna Circle�.  It was a thorough going empiricism backed by the resources of modern logic and tempered by exaggerated respect for the achievements of Science.  Ayer�s Philosophy is the logical outcome of Hume�s empiricism.  Like Hume, he divides all genuine propositions into two classes: i) a priori propositions of logic and pure mathematics, which are analytic and therefore necessary and certain; and ii) propositions concerning empirical matters of fact which may be probable but never certain and need to be tested by the verification principle.  No statement which refers to a reality transcending the limits of all possible sense experience can possibly have any literal significance.  Ayer shows that the Logical Positivist charge against the metaphysician is not that he attempts to employ the understanding in a fields where it cannot probably venture, but that he produces sentences which fail to conform to the conditions under which alone a sentence can be literally significant.  A metaphysician talks nonsense because he is deceived by grammar.  Thus, Logical Positivists, claim that they have completely overthrown speculative philosophy.  Philosophy, to them, is only logical analysis; not a theory, but an activity.  Its function is analysis.  Logical clarification of concepts, propositions and theories proper to empirical science.  Thus, philosophy is identified with logical syntax, the higher-level discussion of languages, and the perennial problems of philosophy are dismissed as nonsense.  Philosophy classes are, accordingly, converted into super-grammar classes.

          However, Logical positivism has ceased to become a fashionable philosophy today, because I) its attack on metaphysics has damped the vigor and chastened the style of its remaining adherents, and ii) its approach to language is unnecessarily rigid and doctrinaire. Even Ayer is doubtful about carrying through the program of phenomenalism and uneasy about the verification principle.