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Philosophy of Science and Hinduism

In the colonial and postcolonial contexts, there have been many attempts both by Indians and western people to situate the darshanic or, loosely translated, the philosophical worldview of Hinduism as science. “Yoga is scientific” or “Vedas are scientific” is a very common refrain that one hears in contentions and discussions today. This course critically examines if the darshanic or philosophical underpinnings of Hinduism qualify as science or exceed the definition of science by gaining an in depth understanding of science as understood by its philosophers.

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Course Code: PHS 8302

Credit Hours: 3

Course Level: 800

In the colonial and postcolonial contexts, there have been many attempts both by Indians and western people to situate the darshanic or, loosely translated, the philosophical worldview of Hinduism as science. “Yoga is scientific” or “Vedas are scientific” is a very common refrain that one hears in contentions and discussions today. This course critically examines if the darshanic or philosophical underpinnings of Hinduism qualify as science or exceed the definition of science by gaining an in depth understanding of science as understood by its philosophers.

Registration for this course is not open yet

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Description

Science is a human activity, which has a certain philosophy behind it. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of science, one needs to know at least the enunciation of some important philosophers of science like Francis Bacon, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, and Imre Lakatos. In the backdrop of this understanding, this course will discuss if Hinduism and Yoga are science or they far exceed the construction of science as currently understood by philosophers and layman alike.

In this course, the student will 

  1. understand science, not from a commonsensical or ideational standpoint, but from a philosophical and practical viewpoint–the way science has been understood and practiced in the western world;
  2. develop the capacity to discuss in a nuanced way whether Hinduism and Yoga qualify as science as currently understood and practiced within the western world; 
  3. develop an understanding of the “science” of Hinduism and Yoga from their own philosophical and cosmological standpoints and not from the perspective of western philosophy of science.

Area of StudyPostcolonial Hindu Studies 

Required/Elective:  Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Kundan Singh

 

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