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27 SEPTEMBER, 2017 (MAINS)

TODAYS ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM PHILOSOPHY PAPER – 1 – PART B

Q1. Why do Carvakas reject the concept of Akasa. Discuss. (2011/30)

Please write the answer in comments section

  • jaish

    Carvaka was materialistic, atheistic, positivistic and heterodox philosophy. Carvaka has accepted ‘perception’ as the only valid source of knowledge and rejected other source of knowledge like inference, testimony and comparison. In the process, he has rejected the transcendental entities like soul, god, law of karma etc.
    Carvaka has also refuted the akasa because acoording to the carvaka, knowledge of akasa is possible through inference and inference itself is not the valid source of knowledge. Inference is based on the ‘Vyapti’ knowledge and vyapti is the concomitant and unconditional knowledge between ‘hetu’ and ‘sadhya’. But as per carvaka, this vyapti relation cannot be proved undoubtedly.
    ‘Vyapti’ refuted by Carvaka:
    1)Vyapti relation is not proved by the perception- According to Carvaka, area of perception is very limited, we can find perceptual knowledge between smoke and fire only at some instances but universal relation on that cannot be drawn. Otherwise it will lead to fallacy of illicit generalisation.
    2)Not through inference: if vyapti is proved with taking the help of inference then it will lead to the fallacy of petitio principi.
    3)Not through the verbal testimony because to find the testimony we need a reliable person which is itself a inferential knowledge. Therefore, it will lead to the petitio principi.
    4)Vyapti is not proved by the causal theory because cause and effect it itself a vyapti therefore again it will lead to the petitio principi.
    5)Vyapti is accepted as unconditional relation between middle and majot term but unconditionality of vyapti is not proved.

    Therefore,Carvaka has refuted the validity of vyapti, hence rejected the validity of inference also which is based on the vyapti knowledge. Akasa is known by the inferential knowledge but inference is not valid knowledge, hence, Carvaka has rejected the Akasa.
    Criticism:
    Carvaka refuted the validity of inference is itself a process of inference.