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Which Indian school of thought considers all knowledge as relative ?
1. Buddhism
2. Vedant
3. Jainism
4. Islam

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Correct Answer - Option 3 : Jainism

All schools of Indian philosophy recognize various sets of valid justifications for knowledge or pramana and many see the Vedas as providing access to truth.

School of thought

 

Explanation

Buddhism

  • In epistemology, the Buddha seeks a middle way between the extremes of dogmatism and skepticism, emphasizing personal experience, a pragmatic attitude, and the use of critical thinking toward all types of knowledge.
  • The Buddha's epistemology has been compared to empiricism, in the sense that it was based on the experience of the world through the senses.
  • The Buddha taught that empirical observation through the six sense fields (ayatanas) was the proper way of verifying any knowledge claims.

Vedant

  • Pramāṇa (Sanskrit: प्रमाण) literally means "proof", "that which is the means of valid knowledge" It refers to epistemology in Indian philosophies and encompasses the study of reliable and valid means by which human beings gain accurate, true knowledge.
  • The focus of Pramana is the manner in which correct knowledge can be acquired, how one knows or does not know, and to what extent knowledge pertinent about someone or something can be acquired
  • Ancient and medieval Indian texts identify six pramanas as correct means of accurate knowledge and truths:
    • Pratyakṣa (perception)
    • Anumāṇa (inference)
    • Upamāṇa (comparison and analogy)
    • Arthāpatti (postulation, a derivation from circumstances)
    • Anupalabdi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof)
    • Śabda (scriptural testimony/ verbal testimony of past or present reliable experts).

Jainism

  • Jainism made its own unique contribution to this mainstream development of philosophy by occupying itself with the basic epistemological issues.
  • According to Jains, knowledge is the essence of the soul.
  • This knowledge is masked by the karmic particles. As the soul obtains knowledge through various means, it does not generate anything new. It only shreds off the knowledge-obscuring karmic particles. 
  •  According to Jainism, consciousness is a primary attribute of Jīva (soul) and this consciousness manifests itself as darsana (perception) and jnana (knowledge).
  • According to the Jain textTattvartha sutra, knowledge (Jnana) is of five kinds:
    • Sensory knowledge
    • Scriptural knowledge
    • Clairvoyance (Avadhi Jnana)
    • Telepathy (manahparyaya jnana)
    • Omniscience (Kevala Jnana)

Islam

  • The core idea of Islamic knowledge evolves from the concept of Divine Law or absolute knowledge as obtained through faith from the Quran
  • Avicenna's most influential theory in epistemology is his theory of knowledge, in which he developed the concept of tabula rasa. He argued that the "human intellect at birth is rather like a tabula rasa, a pure potentiality that is actualized through education and comes to know" and that knowledge is attained through "empirical familiarity with objects in this world from which one abstracts universal concepts" which is developed through a "syllogistic method of reasoning; observations lead to propositional statements, which when compounded lead to further abstract concepts."

Conclusion: According to Buddhism whatever we perceive through our senses is true knowledge, Vedanta talks about pramana, and Islam tells that whatever is mentioned in the Quran is true knowledge. While Jainism tells that the true essence of knowledge is the soul itself. So, according to Jain's philosophy knowledge is relative. Hence, option (3) is correct.

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