3. A survey of the
course of philosophy in the past shows that philosophy continually faced
this impasse. The a priori deductive method took us to the lion's den. At
the height of its speculation, it built superstructures of philosophy and
was cut off from common sense. The empiricists were led to solipsism and
to the feverish denial of metaphysics.
To save philosophy
from this impasse, we have to adopt a synoptic view towards the problems
of philosophy. We should realize that reality is complex and life is a
many-coloured dome. Idealism was unable to see the trees in the wood,
while empiricism could not see the wood in the trees.These were two
ways of approaching the problem; but they are not the only ways, nor were
the approaches absolute. This is the synoptic outlook. In this sense,
philosophy is to see life steadily and see it whole. Broad says, "If we do
not look at the world synoptically we shall have a very narrow view of
it". He thinks that a purely critical philosophy is arid and rigid.
The Jaina view of
anekanta comes nearer to this approach. Anekanta consists in a many-sided
approach to the study of problems. Intellectual tolerance is the
foundation of this doctrine. It is the symbolisation of the fundamental
non violent attitude. It emphasizes the many-sideness of truth. Reality
can be looked at from various angles.
fundamental attitude in philosophy is essentially the same as the anekanta
view of life. Whitehead' defined speculative philosophy as the endeavour
to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms
of which every element of our experience can be interpreted.
We have to note
that the function of philosophy is not merely an academic pursuit of
reality. It is a way of life. Philosophy has had the dual purpose of
revealing truth and increasing virtue. Philosophers have sought to provide
a principle to live by and purposes to live for. For this practical end,
philosophers have striven to achieve a synoptic view of the universe.
The consciousness of the finiteness of our being makes us yearn for the
beyond, in the spirit of the Upanisads, from the unreal to the real, from
darkness to light, and from death to iternal life.
For this, we have
to look to the spiritual experience of the great seers. Broad says there
is one thing which speculative philosophy must take into most serious
consideration and that is the religious and mystical experiences of
mankind. It is they who are in constant touch with the innermost depth
of life and to them we are to look for guidance. Such 'enlightened ones'
or 'sages' are the first-hand exponents of philosophy.
1. Aristotle: Metaphystis, i, 2
3. RADHAKRIISHNAN (S): Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, p.
4. Brhadaranyaha ll. IV-5 atma vare drstavyah.
5. RADHAKRISHNAN(S): Indian Philosophy, Vol (1945) P.
6. RADHAKRISHNAN(S): Indian Philosophy, Vol, II, (1947)
7. Prabodhacandrodaya, Act II.
8. RADHAKRISHNAN(S): Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 644.
9. REID: Works, p. 109.
10. STENIUS (Eric) : Tractatus-A critical exposition of
its main lines of thought (1960)
11. RUSSELL (B) : My Philosophical Development (1959)
12. Encyclopedia of Western Philosphy and Philosphers.
Edited by URMSON (J.C.)
13. AYER .(J.A) : Language, Truth and Logic, p. 35.
14. AYER, (J.A) : Language, Truth and Logic, p. 48.
15. AYER, (J. A.): Philosophical Essays (1954) No. 142.
16. AYER, (J. A.): Language, Truth and Logic (1946),
Preface to second edition.
17. JOAD (C. E. M.): A Critique of Logical Positiuism,
18. JOAD (C. E. M ): A Critique of Logical Positivism,
19. TYRRELL ( G. N. N.) : The personality of men
(Pelican) p. 265.
20. RADHAKRISHNAN(S.) : The Ineternational Insitute of
Philosophy and indian
Philosophical Congress. Entretiens edited by N.A
21. JOAD (C> E> M>) : A Critique of Logical Positivism,
22. BOARD (C.D.) : Contemporary British Philosphy, ed.
MUIRHEAD (j. H.) Vol. I (1924),
Critical and Speculative Philosophy.
23. PASSMORE (Joan) : A Hundread Years of Philosophy,
(1957) p. 350
24. Process and Reality (1929) Part I, Chapter I, p. 4
and Adventures of Ideas (19330
25. JOAD (C. E. M. ) : A Critique of Logical
Positivism, (1950) p. 29.
26. asato ma sad gonaya; tamaso majyotir gamaya; mrtyor
ma amratam gamaya.
27. Contemporary British Philosophy: edited by MUIRHEAD
(J. H.) (1924) Critical ond
28. HUXLAY ALDOUS: The Perennial Philosophy, (1959) 10,