Classical Philosophies of India & China

Classical Philosophies of India & China

Essay #1 Assignment

Please survey a few of the many Ancient Indian metaphysical world-views (darana). You should identify and explicate the specific presuppositions regarding the cosmos in terms of intrinsic nature (svabhva).

For instance, the Buddhist Nāgārjuna rejects the premise that anything and nothing could possess intrinsic nature. Whereas, the Vedanta school espouses a form of monism that imbues Ātman/Brahman with intrinsic nature.

What do the other schools/thinkers say?

You should identify at least three supporters of intrinsic nature and two rejecters. (You may use the above if you wish.)

You are permitted to consult outside readings, but you will be graded on your mastery of the assigned materials. Please cite whenever necessary, but paraphrase (with citations) as much as possible. Be concise in your prose—don’t try to be poetic. I encourage you to begin your paper with a claim that you intend to explore. Start with a strong declarative statement that you then substantiate in the paragraphs that follow. Please feel free to read other sections of the Upanisadsand Life of Buddha if you wish.