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date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa (c.800–840), one of the most original Indian philosophers, a skeptic with a strong affiliation to the materialists, launches a devastating project against all philosophical schools: to demonstrate the existence of inherent flaws in any philosophical system one may construct. He does this by demonstrating systemic inconsistencies primarily involving the mutual dependence of our knowledge, on the one hand, and the means and categories, epistemic and ontological, we adopt in order to establish its validity and certitude, on the other. The upshot is that no consistent philosophical system is possible in which its fundamental premises can be proved by a valid, effective procedure. Perhaps the most significant outcome of Jayarāśi’s project is that all philosophical claims are necessarily made within a particular set of beliefs, or a particular closed system, the foundations of which are based on arbitrarily accepted criteria, definitions, and categories.

Keywords: Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa, skepticism, epistemology, materialism, refutation of philosophical systems, Cārvāka, Lokāyata, reductio ad absurdum

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