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Early View

Pradeep P. Gokhale retired as professor of philosophy from Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune (India) after 31 years post-graduate teaching experience and subsequently worked as Research Professor in the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath (Varanasi). Presently he is an ‘Honorary Adjunct Professor’ in the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies in Savitribai Phule Pune University. His research areas include Classical Indian Philosophy, moral and social philosophy and modern Buddhism. The books authored by him include: “Inference and fallacies Discussed in Ancient Indian Logic” (Satguru Publications, 1992), “Lokāyata/Cārvāka: A Philosophical Inquiry” (OUP, 2015), and “Yogaūtra of Patañjali: A New Introduction to the Buddhist Roots of the Yoga System” (Rotledge, 2020). Recently he has edited Classical Buddhism, Neo-Buddhism and the Question of Caste (Routledge, 2020).


Dharmakīrti’s Dual Philosophical Identity

In the paper, “Dharmakīrti’s dual philosophical identity”, the author addresses the question of Dharmakīrti’s philosophical identity afresh. While acknowledging both the elements, external realism of Sautrāintika and idealism of Yogācāra, the author does disagree with the claim which is sometimes made, that Dharmakīrti’s idealism as his ultimate position and accepts realism only at conventional level. The author shows how Dharmakīrti in Pramāṇavārttika oscillates between the two positions and that he must have been attracted to both the positions for different reasons. He was attracted to idealism from critical point of view, when he was critical about the limitations of Sautrāntika realism (which itself can be called critical realism). He was attracted to realism for its capacity to explain the diverse phenomena and lead human beings to their goals. The author denies the claim made by some scholars that Dharmakīrti’s idealism can be called just an epistemic one. He argues that it did have a metaphysical dimension which is hard to defend. The author shows that Dharmakīrti’s idealist stance has adverse implications to the realist epistemology and logic which constitute his mainstream position; the implications, which Dharmakīrti does not take up for discussion.


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