Cārvāka And Buddhism Analysis

1591 Words 7 Pages
Of the lines of inquiry within Indian Philosophy, two popular yet often opposed viewpoints are Cārvāka and Buddhism. Thus, this paper will begin with an analysis of the two schools, outlining their differing methods of thought. Next, I will show that Cārvāka could respond to the beliefs of Buddhism by arguing that a self, in at least a limited sense, obviously exists, especially if one accepts perception as a reliable means to knowledge. Finally, Buddhism could rationally respond by arguing against the epistemology of Cārvāka, showing that it presupposes the grounds needed for Buddhist to argue for lack of self. In order to highlight points of dispute between two philosophical schools, one must first gain foundational understanding of those …show more content…
For example, if one accepts that perception is the only reliable means to knowledge, then only the things one perceives exist (Sarma, 4). This creates quite a materialistic worldview, grounded in that with which you can causally and directly interact with. Moreover, this leaves no room for the supernatural or the afterlife; no, the world must be explained through material interactions and relationships. Thus, Cārvāka says, “There is, then, no eternal ātman (self), or even an all-pervading god to whom religious rites should be performed” (Sarma, 5). With no fear or hope of another life, the follower of Cārvāka then devotes himself to maximizing materialistic pleasure and minimizing personal …show more content…
That said, there does not seem to be a rational way for one to consistently utilize inference as a reliable means to knowledge, and yet simultaneously deny that it is a reliable means to knowledge. In similar fashion to a follower of Cārvāka inferring that certain things will maximize pleasure or minimize pain, Buddhism concludes that no self exists. Therefore, Buddhism argues from strong inference that no self exists. Furthermore, the lack of a self does not undermine perception, as a changing object can still perceive and reach knowledge from those perceptions. Nothing within perception states that a uniform, consistent essence or self must

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