19. When in Doubt: the Rise of Skepticism

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Skeptical tendences in Indian thought and responses to skepticism from the Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta schools.



Further Reading

• P. Balcerowicz, “Jayarāśi Against the Philosophers,” in J. Ganeri (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy (Oxford: forthcoming 2016).

• A. Carpenter and J. Ganeri, "Can you seek the answer to this question? Meno in India," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2009), 571-94.

• G. Dreyfus and J. Garfield, "Madhyamaka and Classical Greek Skepticism," in Moonshadows: Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford: 2010).

• E. Franco, Perception, Knowledge and Disbelief: a Study of Jayarāśi’s Scepticism (Delhi: 1994).

• J. Ganeri, The Lost Age of Reason (Oxford: 2011), chapter 9.

• B.K. Matilal, Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge (Oxford: 1986), ch. 2.

• B.K. Matilal, Logical and Ethical Issues in Religious Belief (Calcutta: 1982).


Tarun G on 28 August 2022

Giraffes—unanswered FAQs

What's with the giraffe references throughout the podcast? Is it a reference to your work on animals in pre-modern philosophy, and the animal philosophy mini-series? An inside joke on HOPWAG community? I even see giraffes reading your HOPWAG books (c.f. Twitter banner image).

In reply to by Tarun G

Peter Adamson on 28 August 2022


It just kind of happened - I mentioned them early on as an example to illustrate Aristotle's theory of teleology in nature and then just kept coming back to it. Plus, come on, giraffes are really cool!

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Tarun G on 30 August 2022


If HOPWAG launches merch to support the project—and I hope you do—Giraffe plushie and other references to giraffes would be fantastic! But also specific ones like ambiguous art (anekantavada or Jain standpoint theory), Indian philosophy movie starting with "The End" (Begin at The End or Highest Good), student asking their teacher on exam grades ("You say this is good, and gave an A. But how can I get the highest good?"). Of course these are just starting points, random ideas on the fly. I'm inspired by the Existential Comics series, especially the Philosophy News Network (PNN) satire headlines: there's merch with jokes that make sense only if you've read (or viewed) the comics.

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