An "Eastern" perspective: three ancient Indian ideas In Part 3 of this series we considered the character of general ideas of reason as ideal limiting concepts and hence, the need for finding ways to "approximate" their intent and to unfold their meaning in real-world contexts of practice. We also considered the eternal tension of the particular (or contextual) and the general (or universal) in the quest for such meaning clarification and described two basic "critical movements of thought" involved as a contextualizing
and a decontextualizing movement. We concluded that the notion of a cycle of critical contextualization (or "critically contextualist cycle") might provide an elementary heuristic for reflective and discursive processes of "approximation."
In view of the fundamental nature of these two movements of
thought, it is to be expected that they can be found under varying names in many different traditions of human thought and will be employed in conjunction with many different types of "general ideas." I therefore suggest we try and complement the
"Western," basically Kantian perspective that we have adopted thus far with an entirely different perspective, drawn from
an "Eastern" tradition of thought. I have selected to this end the
Hindu (or Vedic) tradition of ancient Indian philosophy as it is
represented by the Vedanta scriptures and among these particularly by
the Upanishads. My hope is that they can throw a new or additional spotlight on
the emerging notion of critical contextualism.
Sources To many of my readers, the tradition of thought we are about to explore is likely to represent rather unfamiliar territory, just as for myself. They
may appreciate to have a list of some basic sources that I have found useful. I can recommend them to those readers who, beyond reading what follows, would like to see for themselves and to study this
tradition of thought in more detail. The list (see Box) will be
followed by an introduction to the world of the Vedanta as I have come to understand it based on these sources, along with some additional sources referenced in the text. Thus prepared,
we will then turn to an examination of three essential ideas of
Upanishadic thought that I have selected for discussion.
BOX: RECOMMENDED BASIC SOURCES
Introductory texts on ancient Indian thought: As a first introduction to ancient Indian thought that is available in open-access mode, I recommend the very substantial and informative entry on "Hinduism" of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica (2013c, also compare 2013a and b), an encyclopedia entry that includes no less than 59 web pages. Not quite as substantial but still useful for a first approach are the Wikipedia entries on "Hinduism,"
and the "Upanishads,"
along with many more specific entries to which I will
provide links where they are relevant. Short entries
on Hindu philosophy in general and on the teachings of
the Vedas, Vedanta, and Upanishads
in particular can also be found in many
standard philosophical dictionaries. A concise introductory text on Indian philosophy in general, for those interested in the larger picture, is Hamilton (2001); however, the Upanishads are not given a central part in this account. For the purpose of the present essay more useful are the two short but inspiring introductions by Navlakha (2000) and Easwaran (2007) to their respective translations of the Upanishads (cited below). For further study, the pioneering accounts of Monier-Williams (1877; 1891), an early
outstanding scholar of ancient Indian thought and also
the renowned author of an influential Sanskrit dictionary (see below), continue to be rich and insightful sources, although their language is now
somewhat outdated and at times may strike contemporary
readers as being "politically incorrect" (an
observation that should not distract attention from the scholarly merits of Monier-Williams' work).
English translations of
the Upanishads: Probably still the most authoritative, because scholarly and faithful, translation is Müller's (1879 and 1884). It is the translation on which I have relied primarily for checking my understanding, along with Navlakha's contemporary revision of that early translation (see Müller and Navlakha, 2000). Easier and elegant reading
is offered by Easwaran's (2007) translation; it is the one I have mostly used where I quote some literal passages from the Upanishads, although occasionally in slightly edited form (made transparent as such) as
inspired by Müller and Navlakha. On a number of
occasions where Müller/Navlakha and Easwaran diverge
considerably or where I had reasons to doubt the
accuracy of their translations for other reasons, I
also consulted Nikhilananda's
(1949, 1952, 1956, 1959; 2003) and Olivelle's
(1996) translations as neutral third sources, both of high scholarly quality. Nikhilananda's
translation is particularly useful with a view to
avoiding the trap of a one-sidedly "Western" reading
of the Upanishads, as it is based on, and includes
literal extracts from, the famous commentary of
Adi Shankara (also known as Sankara or Shankaracharya), a major early Vedanta philosopher who probably lived from 788 to 820 CE and whose writings
were seminal in reviving interest in the then almost
Introductory commentaries on the Upanishads:
Early and still influential, if somewhat
dated sources (now in the public domain) are Müller's (1879 and
1884) Preface and Introductions to his two-volume translation of what he calls the eleven "principal" or "classical" Upanishads (1884, p. ix). I found them an excellent place to begin my reading, apart
from being of historical interest. In
addition, Müller's (1904/2013)
three lectures on the Vedanta are still very readable. Nikhilananda's (1949-59, 2003) introductions and commentaries, along with his translation, are equally a very relevant source, for the reason already mentioned; I have been drawing on them, for example, in my (hopefully, as a result, not merely "Western") reading of the Mundaka and the Isha Upanishads. Among the many contemporary introductory commentaries, I found the introductory
essay of Nagler (2007) particularly well written and
informative, and that of Easwaran (2007) particularly engaging. I would recommend these two latter, relatively short texts particularly at an early stage
of reading the Upanishads. For further introductor
reading, both Navlakha
(2000) and Olivelle (1996) offer rather extensive,
scholarly introductions to their translations. Readers looking for a broader scholarly overview and critical account of all major traditions of Indian thought, including the Upanishads, may want to consult Sharma
(2000). Likewise, Ganeri (2001) offers a comprehensive and demanding scholarly analysis of Indian philosophy, with a focus on its rational rather than mystic side (a focus that I share); I should mention, however,
that its analytical approach and historical erudition reach far beyond the limitations of the present essay and are not conceived for introductory reading. Some
further sources on which I have relied will be indicated in the contexts where I draw on them.
Sanskrit dictionaries and on-line translation tools: I have relied mainly on the Sanskrit-English Dictionary of Monier-Williams (1899 and less frequently 1872; as a searchable online tool, see also the HTML version by Monier-Williams et al., 2008, also accessible via Cologne Project, 1997/2008). Other dictionaries that I have used are Apte's (1890/2014 and 1965/2008) and Macdonnell's (1929) Practical Sanskrit Dictionaries, both of which also come in online versions that allow direct entering of either Roman or Devanagari script; the latter option helps avoid frequent transliteration problems. In addition, the two Böthlink dictionaries, the Greater and the Smaller Petersburg Sanskrit-German Dictionaries (Böthlingk and Roth, 1855, and Böthlingk and Schmidt, 1879/1928), occasionally also proved useful, as did Whitney's (1855) dictionary of Sanskrit verbal roots and their derivatives. Finally, on some occasions I consulted the earliest of all Sanskrit dictionaries (Wilson, 1819/ 2011) as well as the Apte English-Sanskrit Dictionary (Apte, 1920/2007), the latter allowing me to check my understanding by means of reverse translation of terms. As a last hint, searchable, digitized versions of most of these dictionaries are now accessible through Cologne (2013/14).
Transliteration tools: For occasionally converting Roman letters into the Devanagari letters used by Sanskrit texts, or vice-versa, as well as for looking up contemporary meanings of Sanskrit words, the SpokenSanskrit site (n.d.) and the Tamilcube English to Sanskrit Converter Tool (n.d.) are useful tools, along with the already mentioned
HTML version of the Sanskrit-English
Monier-Williams et al. (2008), which also offers a transliteration function (choose "Devanagari Unicode"
as output or input). Concerning my handling of transliterations into Roman letters, I decided to use
the (approximate, simplified) phonetic spelling that
many texts and dictionaries have adopted, rather than
adhering to the diacritical conventions of Sanskrit
scholars which, I fear, might not be reproduced
properly by the default character encoding and computing platforms of many of my readers.
Introduction to the Upanishad
"Upanishad" means as much as "secret teaching," or literally also "sitting nearby devotedly," suggesting the notion of students listening to the teachings of a spiritual master. The Upanishads belong to the Vedas, the oldest collection of ancient Sanskript scriptures or shruti (also written sruti), that is, "revealed" or "heard"
texts that traditionally were not considered to be of human authorship; they were passed down in oral tradition already
thousands of years ago before being written down. They count
among the oldest known texts in any Indo-European
language and of humanity in general. They also represent the main spiritual and theoretical basis of Hindu religion and philosophy.
comes from the Sanskrit verbal root vid-, which means as much as to know or find (see Whitney, 1885, p. 159f). In its derivatives it also means "to understand,
perceive, learn, become or be acquainted with, be conscious of,
have a correct notion of" (Monier-Williams, 1899/2014, p. 963);
compare the Latin verb videre (= to see, cf. Bopp, 1847, p. 319f) and the related German verb wissen (= to know), as well as the Middle-English noun wit (= intelligence, sharp reasoning, esprit). To simplify, we might say that the root term vid means "seeing" in
all these various senses. The name Veda is thus best
translated as referring to "knowledge" in a wide sense
that includes insight, vision, and efforts of learning.
development of the Vedas began with the Samhitas, archaic hymns and mantras that offer
postulations about the cosmic reality that lies behind human existence and governs it. There are four collections of Samhitas – the Rig Samhitas, the Yajur Samhitas, the Sam Samhitas, and the Atharva Samhitas – and accordingly there are also four collections of Vedas, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sam Veda, and the Atharva Veda (a distinction that will not matter to us in the following, so I will mostly refer
to "the Vedas" in general). In addition to the Samhitas, each of these four Vedas consists of three more categories of scriptures. First, the Brahmanas were appended to each of the four Samhitas, discussing their meaning and describing rules and rituals for contemplation, worship, offerings, sacrifice, and purification. Subsequently, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads were added as commentaries on the Brahmanas, explaining and
inviting contemplation of their speculative, cosmological and
religious contents (in the Aranyakas) and later also of their increasingly spiritual and philosophical contents (in the Upanishads). Thus it comes that each of the four Vedas is made up of the four mentioned strands of shruti: the Samhitas
(hymns and mantras), the Brahmanas (rules and rituals), the
Aranyakas (cosmological and religious contemplations) and finally, the Upanishads (spiritual and philosophical contemplations).15)
In Western terms we might think of the Samhitas, Brahmanas, and Aranyakas as liturgy, that is, texts that can be recited in ritual ceremonies and also provide rules and guidelines for it. The underlying world view, briefly summarized, is that there are two levels of order in the universe: the visible, phenomenal and changing reality in which we live, and the cosmic, transcendent and unchanging reality that lies beyond
what we can perceive. The importance of ritual action (e.g., ritual sacrifice and purification) is that it is to mediate between and connect these two levels of order or spheres, the world of human experience and that of cosmic (and partly also divine) reality. Note that the mediating power of ritual action is understood in these early Vedic texts to depend directly on its symbolic and ethical quality; it
is a matter of cause and effect rather than of an appeal to divine intervention. This makes it understandable why the well-known notion of an individual's "karma," an Anglicized form of the Sanskrit noun karman (= action, work, or performance), refers to one's record of both ritual action and ethical deeds. The ritual and the ethical are closely intertwined in early Vedic thought, at least as much as the ritual and the divine (the usual emphasis in the predominantly mystic and religious readings that abound in both the Western and the Eastern reception of the Veda; for brief but careful accounts of the ritual origins of the Vedas that avoid this trap see, e.g., Olivelle, 1996, p. xlvii, and Hamilton, 2001, p. 19f, also in the latter account divine intervention does play a role).
We have, then, three essential concerns in early Vedic thinking: the cosmic order (the cosmological
sphere); the human place in it (the human, biological and psychological sphere); and ritual action to mediate between the two (the ritual sphere).
The central concern of all Vedic thinkers, including the authors
of the Upanishads, is to discover the connections that bind elements of these three spheres to each other. The assumption then is that the universe constitutes a web of relations, that things that appear to stand alone and apart are, in fact, connected to other things. A further assumption is that these real cosmic connections are usually hidden from the view of ordinary people; discovering them constitutes knowledge, knowledge that is secret and is contained in the Upanishads. And it is this knowledge of the hidden connections that gives the person with that knowledge power, wealth, and
prestige in this world, and heavenly bliss and immortality after death. (Olivelle, 1996, p. lii, italics added)
epistemological and analytic terms, we might speak today of first-order knowledge (the cognitive level of each individual’s awareness of the world and of itself) and second-order knowledge (the cognitive level at which we conceive of universal and unchanging ideas and principles that help us understand first-order knowledge). Similarly, in Vedic
terms, knowledge is twofold: para (lit. = higher, i.e., postulational or suppositional, second-order) and apara (lit. = lower, i.e., observational or practical, first-order). Para vidya leads to spiritual knowledge of eternal truth and to self-realization; apara vidya to worldly knowledge of material things. These two
epistemological levels run largely parallel, but should not be confused, with the basic two metaphysical spheres mentioned above, relating to the cosmic and the human order. It is the latter conception which is prevalent in the early Vedic texts that lead to the Upanishads. It teaches that a state of perfect dharma ("order, law”) exists when the two spheres or levels of order
– the individual micro-cosmos and the cosmic macro-cosmos – are in harmony (cf. Hamilton, 2001, p. 64f). The usual state, however, is a-dharma, "disorder”; the sacrificial rituals of the Veda are to reestablish a state of harmonv. This explains why particularly the Brahmanas focus on sacrificial rituals and other instructions for living
up to one’s individual dharma (svadharma, ”one’s own
law"), as the assumed only way to live according to the cosmic order (sanatana dharma, "the eternal law") and thus to help maintain it.
Apart from that early metaphysical conception, little philosophical thought (and none in the sense of active philosophical inquiry and reflection) is to be found in the Brahmanas. They are, philosophically speaking, dogmatic texts. Only with the Aranyakas
(from aranya = "wilderness" or forest, thus "wilderness
texts" or "forest scriptures"), things begin to change. They can be said to mark the transition from a mainly ritualistic to a more philosophical orientation of Vedic thought. As their name suggests, they offer interpretations of the brahmanic rituals (especially the sacrifices) for
contemplation in the calm and solitude of the wilderness or forests. This new reflective stance leads on to the Upanishads, the most intensely spiritual and philosophical expression of Vedic thought (cf. Sharma, 2000, p. 14).
With the Upanishads, things change indeed. They represent the first and probably also the most important source of the Vedanta, the late-Vedic texts that embody the more intellectual and scholarly part of the Vedic tradition. It is worth mentioning
that although the name "Vedanta" (literally = "Veda-end)
is now commonly taken to refer to the temporal end (i.e., the concluding parts) of the Veda, it originally referred to the object or highest purpose rather than just to the last
portions of the Veda (see Müller, 1884, p. lxxxvi,
note 1). Th
two other major Vedanta texts are the Bhagavadgita (also simply called the Gita) and the Brahma Sutras (also called Vedanta Sutras; sutra = aphorism). Together, these three Vedanta scriptures are now customarily considered the foundational texts of orthodox ancient Hindu philosophy, an ill-defined concept that is understood here to refer to the Vedic tradition (including the
Vedantic tradition) of Indian philosophy rather than to Indian
philosophy as a whole and which is therefore better replaced by references to Vedic philosophy.16)
While the first three strands of the Vedas (the Samhitas, Brahmanas,
and Aranyakas) can be dated back
to about 1,500 to 1,000 BCE (e.g., Monier-Williams, 1891, p. 7) or perhaps in the main to 1,500 to 1,200 BCE (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013c, subsection "Veda"), that is, to the late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age of India, the dating of the Upanishads and other Vedanta texts stretches over a larger period of time and is less certain. Some ten Upanishads are now generally considered to count as the principal Upanishads (mukhya upanishads) and these are also the earliest ones, although a number of authors count a few texts more. For example, the 8th / 9thh century mystic and philosopher Shankara (cited in Müller, 1884, p. ix) counts eleven, as do Nikhilananda (2003) and Sharma (2000); Prabhavananda and Manchester (1984) and Olivelle (1996) count twelve; Hume (1996) and Müller and Navlakha (2000) count thirteen. These "primary" Upanishads (primary in terms of both time of origin and importance) can be dated approximately between 900 and 500 BCE.17) In subsequent centuries, over 100 more texts were composed
that understood themselves as Upanishads. As newer texts have continued to be discovered, there is no definitive list and thus also no definitive dating. As to the other late-Vedic or Vedanta scriptures, the Gita dates between the 5th and 2nd centuries BCE and the Sutras probably originate in the first few centuries CE.
The dawn of philosophical reflection: the discovery of the knowing subject The Vedanta and particularly the Upanishads are considered mankind's oldest known philosophical texts. Like the earlier Veda scriptures, they often come in the forms of aphorisms, hymns, and poetry and use metaphors along with narratives and dialogues as didactic means; characteristic of the latter are teacher-student dialogues. Unlike the earlier Veda scriptures, however, their aim is no longer mainly to offer liturgy and instruction for contemplative or ritual practice, so as to win the favor of the cosmic and divine powers that control the human destiny. The essential new idea is that the power to control and change man's destiny resides in man himself, in the ability to improve one's individual
consciousness and understanding. Accordingly important it now becomes to know and discover one's inner reality, so as to
expand one's self-awareness and ultimately, to achieve spiritual autonomy rather than devotion to cosmic forces and gods. The earlier focus on speculation about what lies beyond
the phenomenal reality around us gives way to a new focus on
discovering man's inner self, the spiritual and intellectual reality within. The Vedanta scriptures can
thus be understood as an inquiry into human capabilities and
ways to develop it. As Ganeri (2007, pp. 117, 125 and passim)
puts it, their aim is both philosophical and protreptic (i.e., instructive or educational).18)
Notably in the Upanishads, developing one's capabilities and self-understanding become all-important demands. They can be met through both philosophical study (ideally with a teacher) and spiritual practice (ideally with some meditative or contemplative experience leading to a higher state of consciousness). The major aim now is to encourage an inquiring mind, along with a dedication to clarity of thought, self-reflection, and self-discipline as sources of
orientation for good practice, that is, the right way to live. The idea is that one can find a proper path of self-realization through right thought and conduct according to one's inner nature and place in the social order (the earlier-mentioned svadharma). "Right thought" includes awareness of the extent to which this path often fails to live up to the principles of the all-encompassing cosmic order (sanatana dharma). There is a normal tension between these two levels (or sources) of order in the world, one’s individual and the cosmic dharma, of which "right thought and conduct" must not lose sight. In terms more familiar to the readers of my essays, the tension confronts us with a challenge to reason that is both intellectual (right thought) and moral (right conduct), whereby the two modes (and subjects) of reflection are closely interdependent. Such reflective efforts and conforming conduct are now, for the first time in the history of ancient Indian thought, understood to replace at least partly the brahmanic rituals, sacrifices, and other traditional efforts to improve one's karma – the record and future consequences of one's good deeds, thought of as causes of one's fate. They can lead to eventual liberation (moksha) from the perpetual cycle of rebirth and transmigration of souls (samsara). Knowledge, not work, is the true liberating power. Ignorance, by contrast, is the origin of evil.
Despite their poetic language and often metaphorical character, the Upanishads thus place a previously unseen emphasis on learning and acquisition of knowledge (prama), rather than mere observance of rules and rituals, as the sources of right thought and conduct. As the Mundaka Upanishad puts it, with explicit reference to the two levels of order and related knowledge to which we have referred above in terms of first- and second-order knowledge:
Knowledge is twofold, higher and lower.
The study of the Vedas, linguistics,
rituals, astronomy, and all the arts
can be called lower knowledge. The higher
is that which leads to Self-realization.
The rituals and the sacrifices described
in the Vedas deal with lower knowledge.
The sages ignored these rituals
and went in search of higher knowledge.
(Mundaka, 1.1.4-5 and 1.2.1, as transl. by Easwaran, 2007, pp. 185-187)
We may understand “higher knowledge” as referring both to the traditional Vedic notion of an all-pervading, immutable universe that lies beyond the visible world and about which we cannot know through experience, and to the new Upanishadic notion of second-order knowledge in the sense of knowledge about knowledge, its sources and nature and limits, which includes knowledge about the knower – "the higher [knowledge] which leads to Self-realization."
It is the acquisition of such knowledge that the Mundaka Upanishad, in one of the earliest known references to the Vedanta, describes as the aim of a "full knowledge of the Vedanta" (Mundaka, 3.2.6, as transl. by Olivelle, 1996, p. 276, cf. p. 266; similarly Müller and Navlakha, 2000, p. 54, and Nikhilananda, 1949, pp. 262-264). There
is a tacit criticism here of the older Vedic texts, if not outright rebellion against them. The Upanishadic mind no longer contents itself with a metaphysical
focus that comes at the expense of epistemological clarity, nor with an unquestioned reliance on the power of rituals and rules that ignores the power of systematic inquiry and truth. The new and liberating motto is that spiritual and religious merit comes from the effort of overcoming ignorance (avydia) and hence, from studying the nature of the world and man's relationship with it, rather than just engaging in ritual practice. Those seeking for higher knowledge will, for example, ask questions such as these:
- What can we know about this world we live in? (first-order knowledge, observational)
- How can we achieve such knowledge systematically (second-order knowledge, epistemological)?
- What may we hope to learn about that other realm of reality behind and beyond the visible world, what principles govern it and also manifest themselves in this world of ours and in our lives? (second-order knowledge, postulational/ metaphysical)
- How do we live properly? (first-order knowledge, practical)
- How should we think properly about practical concerns and needs, and about adequate ways to handle them? (second-order knowledge, practical in the philosophical sense of the term, that is, postulational/ ethical)
- And finally, how may we hope to grow as individuals, so as to develop reflective practices of inquiry and action and gain deeper awareness with regard to all the previous points? (second-order knowledge, spiritual, intellectual, and professional)
(Questions inspired through exchange with D.P. Dash, 2014)
"Active search for truth" In sum, how can we orient ourselves in this world and think
and act properly, if not on the basis of well-understood, and reflectively practiced, principles of inquiry and action that would reach beyond the surface of mere appearance and habit? And hence, how may we hope to acquire such higher understanding, except by an active search for truth and by cultivating our skills and attitudes accordingly? Or, as the Mundaka Upanishad continues the lines cited above in powerfully simple words (especially in Easwaran's translation):
Truth is victorious, never untruth.
Truth is the way; truth is the goal of life.
Reached by sages who are free from self-will.
(Mundaka, 3.1.6, as transl. by Easwaran, 2007, p. 193)
In Müller and Navlakha's similarly concise translation:
The true prevails, not the untrue;
by the true that path is laid out
[...] on which the old sages, satisfied in their desires,
proceed to where there is that highest place of the true one.
(Mundaka, 3.1.6, as transl. by Müller and Navlakha, 2000, p. 53)
And finally, in Nikhilananda's (1949) commented version:
Truth prevails, not falsehood.
By truth the path is laid out,
the Way of the Gods, on which the seers, whose every desire is satisfied,
proceed to the Highest Abode of the True.
(Mundaka, 3.1.6, as transl. by Nikhilananda , 1949, p. 300)
TRUTH: That is to say, the truthful person.
LAID OUT: That is to say, the Way of the Gods is built and constantly maintained by truthful persons.
THE WAY OF THE GODS: By this path the seers arrive at the Abode of Brahma (Brahmaloka).
WHOSE EVERY DESIRE ETC: That is to say, who are freed from deceit, delusion, pride, and falsity, and also from worldly desires. They have renounced all desires and all longing for worldly enjoyments.
HIGHEST ABODE ETC: The supreme realization to be attained by the practice of truth.
(Nikhilananda's comment on Mundaka 3.1.6 (based on Shankara), 1949, p. 300f; italics added)
As Nikhilananda makes clear, "truth" is to be understood here not just as an epistemological quality of knowledge but also and more basically as an ethical quality of those who seek knowledge. Active and sincere search for truth, rather than
traditional ritual conventions and brahmanic authority, lead toward higher knowledge, that is, towards "realizing" (in the double sense of the word) the true.
How truly revolutionary these words must have been in their time, comparable perhaps in our own epoch to the revolutionary force of Mahatma Gandhi's (1957) quest for active nonviolence (ahimsa) grounded in the power of truth, to which the title of
his autobiography significantly refers as a succession of Experiments of Truth. As the experiment showed, truth still unfolds revolutionary and emancipator power in our "modern" epoch. The “attitude of experimenting, of testing what will and will not bear close scrutiny, what can and cannot be adapted to new circumstances” (Bok, 1993, p. xvi) is of timeless merit and virtue; but first in the history of human thought we find it formulated in the Upanishads.
In recognition of this insight, and surely also in deference to Mahatma Gandhi, the first line of the Mundaka’s above-quoted verse was chosen as the Sanskrit motto of the modern Indian nation-state: satyam eva jayate, nanritam, "truth alone prevails, not untruth or falsehood." Its main clause, written in Devanagari letters, is also inscribed at the base of India's national emblem, as well as on one side of all Indian currency: satyameva jayate, "truth alone prevails." The added clause nanritam
(literally = na anritam = not against the rite or
ritual = not unethical) makes it clear that "truth" (or its absence, "falsehood") refers to the practical and ethical, not
just epistemological, dimension of truth; the true triumphs over
the unethical (J. Dash, 2015). This understanding conforms to the rich meaning of the root term
satya (= "the real, actual, genuine, sincere, honest, truthful, faithful, pure, virtuous, good, successful, effectual, valid," Monier-Williams, 1899/2014, p. 1135), whence comes the verbal noun satyam = "to make true, ratify, realise, fulfill."
Good deeds, good practice The remarkable shift of focus that the Upanishads brought
to ancient Indian spirituality had significant consequences for what could count as good practice (ritam rather than anritam). For the first time, proper practice and adequate knowledge became closely interdependent, in that the quality of each now
depended on the other. Not only was the search for true knowledge and understanding now appreciated as the highest source of right thought and action, but good practice was equally understood to be a valuable source of knowledge itself. The insight is as relevant today as it was then: practice is a form of inquiry, just as inquiry is a kind of practice.
The Vedic demand for doing good deeds remained valid, but the nature of good deeds had changed. Knowledge and understanding are a better basis for them than just ritual exercise (e.g., a ritual sacrifice). What is more, not only the search for knowledge matters but also the inner attitude or "spirit" with which it is conducted. As the Mundaka
Upanishad puts it in the above-quoted verse 3.1.6, inquiry should be a practice "free from self-will" or "desire." In today's terms we might think, for example, of a professional practice that engages with multiple stakeholders rather than just pursuing its own (possibly even undisclosed) agenda. So both the quest for knowledge and the attitude that guide it matter for the value and power of a "good deed."
It is clear, then, that the traditional brahmanic rituals could no longer meet the standards of Upanishadic reflection. As we read in the Chandogya Upanishad:
Side by side, those who know the Self and those who know it not do the same thing; but it is not the same: the act done with knowledge, with inner awareness and faith, grows in power.
(Chandogya, 1.1.10, as transl. by Easwaran, 2007, p. 126)
Those who know this and those who do not both perform [the same rites]. But knowledge and ignorance are two very different things. Only what is performed with knowledge, with faith, and with an awareness of the hidden connections (upanishad) becomes truly potent.
(Chandogya, 1.1.10, as transl. by Olivelle, 1996, p. 98, referring to the root meanings of closeness and connection in the up- term of Upanishad, cf. the earlier quote above from Olivelle, 1996, p. lii)
[The results of] knowledge and ignorance are different. Work that is done with knowledge, faith and the Upanishad (i.e., meditation on the deities) produces more powerful fruit.
(Chandogya, 1.1.10, as transl. by Nikhilananda, 1959, p. 116
KNOWLEDGE ... DIFFERENT: Rituals without meditation produce quite different results from rituals performed with meditation. If a jeweler and a mere fool each sells a precious stone, the knowledge of the former bears better fruit than the ignorance of the latter. […] One must perform rituals with knowledge arising from meditation on the deity, and not mechanically.
(Nikhilananda's comment, based on Shankara, on verse 1.1.10 of the Chandogya Upanishad [in his spelling: Chhandogya]; 1959, p. 116f)
Again, what a powerful and perennially "modern" thought, particularly
in Easwaran's succinct formulation, which in the light of the two highly respected, scholarly translations by Olivelle and Nikhilananda can certainly be said to capture the Chandogya's intent while at the same time obviating a one-sidedly religious reading. And what an equally modern consequence the Upanishadic sages drew from it: along with the search for insight into the nature of reality and the meaning of human existence in it, the search for ways to obtain such knowledge had to become a primary
focus of study. Are there reliable
sources of knowledge or pramanas (lit. = proofs or measures), that is, means
and methods of careful inquiry? Perhaps for the first time in the history of mankind, the knowing subject emerges as an object of systematic inquiry and (self-) reflection. This explains why the Upanishads continue to be of philosophical interest to date: they combine mankind's
age-old metaphysical interest in "ultimate" reality with a newly emerging epistemological, as well as logical and psychological, interest in modes of thought and inquiry that would be conducive to gaining knowledge and, based on it, to living properly. Upanishadic epistemology is pramana-sastra, the theory or study of the pramanas or of how knowledge arises (e.g., Phillips, 2011, p. 1; 2012, p. 17). We will return to this subject a little later; suffice it here to point out that pramana-sastra is once again a type of second-order knowledge.
Unity in diversity: the metaphysics of "this" and "that" There is a second major shift of focus that the Upanishads brought to ancient Indian thought and which has been of lasting importance to this date. In the Upanishads emerges, probably equally for the first time in the history of human thought, the remarkably modern teaching that the world is an
expression of cosmic forces and principles – and ultimately,
of a single, universal principle as the source of all true being
(satyam) and good practice (ritam) – that exist independently of a personified creator or, as in
the earlier Vedas, of a multitude of more or less important
and more or less regional deities and demons. Rather, such all-encompassing principles embody an impersonal, pantheistic source of power, of consciousness, and of intelligence. As the early scholar of ancient Indian philosophy, R.E. Hume, wrote in 1921:
If there is any one intellectual tenet which, explicitly or implicitly, is held by the people of India, furnishing a fundamental presupposition of all their thinking, it is
this doctrine of pantheism. The beginnings of this all-pervading
form of theorizing are recorded in the Upanishads. In these
ancient documents are found the earliest serious attempts at
construing the world of experience as a rational whole. (Hume, 1996, p. 1f)
From a contemporary Western perspective one might be inclined to dismiss such achievements as "just metaphysics"; but that would mean to miss the point. The point, methodologically speaking, is not to avoid metaphysical assumptions but to be aware of them and to handle them carefully. As the English novelist and poet Aldous Huxley, who thought highly of the Vedanta and also wrote about them, said quite accurately: "The choice is not between metaphysic and no metaphysic; it is always between a good metaphysic and a bad metaphysic.” (cited in Sharma, 2000, p. 13) Or, perhaps more in line with the spirit of this series of essays, it is between reflected and unreflected metaphysics – which is to say, what matters primarily is not
what metaphysics we have but how we handle them epistemologically. Metaphysical ideas can be a source of valuable orientation, so long as we are aware of their postulational (i.e., conjectural, based on incomplete or uncertain evidence) character and of the role they play in our thought and conduct.
Related to the pantheistic turn of the Upanishads is another metaphysical idea that was to become an all-pervading theme of Hindu philosophy and remains of methodological relevance today, the notion of a fundamental unity in all that exists. It proposes a monistic rather than dualistic view of all reality, a world view in which all aspects of reality,
whether material or spiritual, mundane or divine, phenomenal
or transcendent, are seen to originate in and to be governed
by a single, all-encompassing cause or principle that inheres
and governs the world. Due to the same underlying forces that shape it, there is a unity in its infinite diversity that helps us to understand it and to deal successfully with it for practical ends. Although the Upanishads differ in the ways they interpret and often poetically (with artistic license, as it were) describe this unity, there is a remarkable unanimity in them about its importance, both in spiritual and philosophical respect:
There is an essential unity of purpose in them [the Upanishads].
They emphasize the same fundamental doctrine which may be called monistic idealism or idealistic monism. These poetic-philosophic works are full of grand imagery
extremely charming and lucid expression abounding in crystal clarity (prasada guna). To the mind, they bring sound
philosophical doctrines and to the heart, peace and freedom. (Sharma, 2000, p. 18, italics added)
the Upanishads formulate it, this world of an infinite
variety of finite phenomena, and that infinite world of a cosmic reality of which our world is just an ever-changing expression, are one and the same. They are "one
without a second" (Chandogya Upanishad, 6.2.1-2), so that we cannot properly appreciate either without appreciating the other. I find it striking – and helpful indeed – to see how carefully the Upanishads, notably in the Chandogya Upanishad and in some of the so-called "Invocations" (introductory formulas) that precede most of the principal Upanishads, differentiate and combine their references to "this" world and "that" world so as to help the student understand. For example, in the Chandogya's account of the wisdom of Shandilya, we read this about the nature of brahman, a central concept that we will analyze in the next essay of this series:
About the nature of brahman
This universe comes forth from brahman, exists in brahman, and will return to brahman. Verily, all [this] is brahman (sarvam idam brahman).
(Chandogya, 3.14.1 as transl. by Easwaran, 2007, p. 126, with "[this]" and the Sanskrit formula added)
This whole universe is brahman. Let a man in all tranquility meditate on this visible world as beginning, ending, and breathing in the brahman. [...]
He from whom all works, all desires, all odours and all tastes proceed, who encompasses all this world, who is without speech and without concern, he, my self within the heart, is that brahman.
(Chandogya, 3.14.1-4, as transl. by Müller and Navlakha, p. 166)
Brahman, you see, is this whole world. With inner tranquility, one
should venerate it [...].
This self (atman) of mine that lies deep within my heart – it contains all actions, all desires, all smells, and all tastes; it has captured this whole world; it neither speaks nor pays any heed. It is brahman. On departing
from here after death, I will become that.
(Chandogya, 3.14.1, as transl. by Olivelle, 1996, p. 123f)
All this is Brahman. From It the universe comes forth, in It the
universe merges, and in It the universe breathes. Therefore a man should meditate on Brahman with a calm mind.[...]
He whose creation is this universe, who cherishes all desires, who contains all odours, who is endowed with all tastes, who
embraces all this, who never speaks, and who is without longing – He is my Self within the heart, he is that Brahman.
(Chandogya, 3.14.1-4, as transl. by Nikhilananda, 1959, p. 206f)
It helps indeed to know that phrases such as "this universe" and "all this" refer to the visible world in which we live, or perhaps more precisely, to our particular descriptions
and narratives about it, as distinguished from "that"
other, invisible world of universal notions and principles, a world about which we cannot say much except that it is brahman,
the ultimate, unchanging, infinite reality behind and beyond the world of finite things and changing descriptions.
Similarly, there is the Chandogya's story
about Shvetaketu, the son of Uddalaka, who returns to his father after studying the Vedas for 12 years, in a vain hope
to fully know and understand the world, and who is urged by
his father to search instead for a better understanding of himself. The son thus asks his father to tell him more about the nature of the Self, as a way to comprehend the origin and
nature of the world. To appreciate the father's response, it is again crucial to understand the just mentioned meaning of "that":
The origin of the universe
"Yes, dear one, I will," replied his father.
"In the beginning was only Being.
One without a second.
Out of itself it brought forth the cosmos
and entered into everything it is.
There is nothing that does not come from it.
Of everything it is the inmost Self.
It is the truth; it is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that." (tat twam asi)
(Chandogya, 6.2.2-3, as transl. by Easwaran, 2007, p. 133; italics added, slightly edited. The part beginning with "There is nothing …" is subsequently being repeated eight times in verses 6.8.7-6.15.3. Note that the numbering of the relevant verses differs among the various translations; moreover, a majority of them introduce the famous "you are that" formula in verse 6.8.7 only, but then repeat it until verse 6.16.3. Easwaran's translation is probably not the most accurate here but certainly the most readable; he may have introduced the formula as early as in the quoted verse 6.2.3 to facilitate its understanding)19)
"In the beginning," that is, before space and time existed and brahman manifested itself in this world of ours, there was only that "one without a second," pure being "prior to the manifestation of names and forms" (Nikhilananda, 1959, p. 294, referring to Shankara's commentary). Ever since, that all-pervading unity of being continues to inhere everything that exists and to
express itself in it, including the human individual and its innermost sense of self. We can and must seek brahman within
ourselves! This is what Uddalaka means to teach his son first of all: "You are that, Shvetaketu,
you are that." The path to knowledge and understanding leads through knowing oneself.
But of course, the abstract notion of "pure being" is not easy to grasp. We easily confuse it with the nihilist notion that nothing existed before the world – all that exists – emerged from the non-existent, yet it is difficult to explain how that should be possible. To avoid such a misunderstanding, Uddalaka, still in the Chandogya's story of Shvetaketu, uses two other famous metaphors to explain to his son the essential unity of "this" and "that" (note again the careful use of the two terms):
The metaphor of the seed
"Bring me a fruit from the nyagrodha [or banyan] tree." (a fig tree)
"Here it is, sir."
"Break it. What do you see?"
"These seeds, Father, all exceedingly small."
"Break one. What do you see?"
"Nothing at all."
"That hidden essence you do not see, dear one,
from that a whole nyagrodha tree will grow.
There is nothing that does not come from it.
Of everything it is the inmost Self.
It is the truth; it is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that." (tat twam asi)
(Chandogya, 6.12.1f, as transl. by Easwaran, 2007, pp. 136, slightly edited)
The metaphor of salt water
"Place this salt in water and bring it here tomorrow morning."
The boy did [as his father asked him].
"Where is that salt?" his father asked [on the next morning]. .
"I do not see it."
"Sip here. How does it taste?"
"And here? And there?"
"I taste salt everywhere."
"It is everywhere, though we see it not.
Just so, dear one, the Self is everywhere,
within all things, although we see it not.
There is nothing that does not come from it.
Of everything it is the inmost Self.
It is the truth; it is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that." (tat twam asi)
(Chandogya, 6.13.1-3, as transl. by Easwaran, 2007, pp. 136f, slightly edited)
The two metaphors make it clear what Uddalaka means to explain to his son: to understand this world of ours, its origin and nature and our place in it, we need two different aspects or modes of inquiry into it (two research perspectives, as we might
say today), the one dealing with observable things and the other
with non-observable things. But although we cannot do without these two different perspectives, we need not therefore assume that there is an observable world that exists and another that does not exist. Just as salt dissolved in water exists and can be tasted although we can't see it, thus the unobservable inheres the observable all the time. Without it, we have no
proper conception of that which exists. We cannot possibly explain how the existent originates in the non-existent; to the extent we try, we will entangle ourselves in contradictions and confusion. But there is indeed no need to assume such an emergence of the existent from the non-existent. We are facing, in terms that Uddalaka did not have available, an epistemological rather than an ontological distinction. Epistemologically speaking, it is useful to distinguish between the two object-domains and corresponding modes of inquiry, but
ontologically speaking, it is misleading.
In the terms of the linguistic rule that the referring and describing functions of a sentence go together, we may say that the determiners "this" and "that" in all these formulations refer to one and the same reality. However, they describe that one reality in the light of two different aspects or modes of inquiry into it. References to "this" world entail an experiential mode of inquiry into the infinite diversity of the phenomenal aspects of the world, which requires us to make our descriptions and narratives clear by pointing to the specific phenomena we mean: "look, this is what I am talking about." References to "that" world, on the other hand, entail a postulational (i.e., contemplative, inferential, and reflective) mode of inquiry into the non-observable (because "inner," intellectual and spiritual) world of ideas, that is, notions and concepts that help us understand the order and ultimate unity in the manifold of the phenomenal, and without which we therefore cannot achieve meaningful and consistent descriptions of the experiential world. It is in fact due to this idea of an
intrinsic order that the phenomenal world, despite its infinite diversity, is at all intelligible to human inquiry; science works by finding order in the diversity of the phenomena it studies. To that underlying source of order and
unity, the Upanishads refer as brahman, a concept we will analyze in detail. We already begin to understand, however, that since "that" all-pervading order also inheres the human self about which Shvetaketu was asking his father, it is to be expected that in Upanishadic thought the self and brahman, too, are "one [i.e., a unity] without a second."
Monist, but pluralist at heart All-encompassing as it is, this monist world view of the Upanishads does not ignore or rule out diversity at all, it merely has us deal with it more attentively and carefully. Thus an Upanishadic perspective does not deny the observation that everything that is alive and moves in "this" world tends to be different from everything else, for example, concerning the shape it assumes and the state of consciousness it reaches. At the same time though, this perspective also emphasizes that there is always unity in such diversity, inasmuch as the latter only expresses
different shapes and states of the former. This interplay between unity and diversity matters because it has important implications, regarding both the quest for knowledge and the proper conduct of life. I have already mentioned the
example of science, the success of which depends on the assumption that meaningful unity can be recognized in diversity.
second example of important implications concerns the ways we
deal with human affairs. The Upanishadic message in this respect is: we have reasons to be tolerant. That is, we are well advised to be aware of all the
differences among human beings, natural, cultural, social, and spiritual, yet at the same time to respect their intrinsic
unity and sameness. Mahatma Gandhi (1957) made this theme of unity-in-diversity
a guiding principle of his political vision, by advocating
what he called a "heart unity" among all, a sense of
toleration of differences embedded in a deep concern for the dignity and welfare of others:
"Heart unity" means that no matter how different you are from me – in religion, outlook, caste, level of affluence, culture, race, or sex – I identify with your well-being; I want you
to be happy. Not to be like me, but to thrive in your own way.… As long as there is heart unity underneath, even our
active disagreement by nonviolent means will not cause us to feel hostility to one another; on the contrary, it will bring us closer together in our joint search for truth." (Mahatma Gandhi, cited in Nagler, 2006, p. 256; cf. Nagler, 2007, p. 328).
What an inspiring, genuinely Upanishadic and yet timeless thought:
we think properly about diversity when in our hearts, thoughts, and actions we search for a kind of unity that lets others thrive in their own ways. This same theme of unity-in-diversity
appears to have inspired the national motto of contemporary Indonesia, which like the earlier cited motto of India is part of Indonesia's national emblem: bhinneka tunggal ika
("many, yet one").
Beyond metaphysics: analytical, second-order considerations Much of the discussion on the Upanishads has gone into metaphysical direction; but I find it important that the discussion does
not stop there. The two examples of science and politics, briefly hinted at above, illustrate that the Upanishads'
monistic metaphysics of “this” and “that” has implications that reach further and can be of epistemological (or, a bit more
generally speaking, methodological) as well as ethical (practical-philosophical) relevance. They concern the
nature of second-order knowledge and reflection in all conceivable domains, for example, in everyday practice, professional practice, the logic of inquiry and science, the logic of rational argumentation and discourse, research practice,
ethics, and politics. What the Upanishads have to tell us – the kind of reflections they inspire – will depend on the type of second-order enterprise (or reflective practice) one is engaged in, as well as on the specific (first-order) situation at hand; but as a common denominator, the analytical scheme of first and second-order knowledge appears to be useful. It can remind us that it is always a relevant idea to ask what the Upanishads have to tell us, beyond (but inspired by) their
monist metaphysics, about the logic and ethics of good research and practice.
Sources of knowledge: inquiry and ideas
philosophy means "love of knowledge" and thus, of learning. The Upanishads are among the earliest documents of humanity that invite us to control our destiny through learning. More than that, they also explain why it is possible: it is,
as we have just seen, because there is unity in diversity. Since there is a unity of the forces or principles that shape the cosmic and the human (social) order, as well as our individual nature and consciousness, we can learn – with due effort – to better understand the world we live in and our fate in it, and thus can progress on the path to knowledge. In this invitation to study and learning, rather than just to worshipping, I see the deeply philosophical orientation of the Upanishads and their continuing relevance today.
F. Max Müller, the eminent Western scholar of Hindu philosophy and translator of the Upanishads, emphasizes the break that the Vedanta's reorientation from ritual to reflection entails in the history of ancient Indian thought:
The Upanishads are philosophical treatises, and their
fundamental principle might seem with us to be subversive of all religion. In these Upanishads the whole ritual and sacrificial system of the Veda is not only ignored, but directly rejected as useless, nay as mischievous. The ancient Gods of the Veda are no longer recognized. And yet these Upanishads are looked upon [today] as perfectly orthodox, nay as the highest consummation of the Brahmanic religion.
This was brought about by the recognition of a very simple fact which nearly all other religions seem to have ignored. It was recognized in India from very early times that the religion of a man cannot be and ought not to be the same as that of a child; and again,
that with the growth of the mind, the religious ideas of an old man must differ from those of an active man of the world. (Müller, 1904/2013, p. 16)
To this reorientation conforms the shift from worship and sacrifice to learning and knowledge as major guides towards a proper practice of life (including religious as well as everyday practice), and a corresponding interest not only in metaphysical but also in epistemological questions. Upanishadic
epistemology, as we noted, is pramana-sastra, the theory or study of
the pramanas (sources of knowledge or modes and tools of inquiry).
Major sources of knowledge are seen in the triad of perception, of
inference, and of testimony by others (see, e.g., Phillips,
the most important of the three, is mainly but not exclusively thought of as sensory perception (there are
different views as to whether "inner" consciousness is also to be considered as a valid source of perception).
the second most important, stands for oral evidence offered
by a competent speaker (e.g., a sage or a brahmin,
or a person well educated or experienced in the subject at
hand) or for a statement from the Vedas or some other source
acknowledged as authoritative.
finally, provides derived knowledge in the form of
conclusions gained from certified perception or trustworthy
testimony through careful reflection (e.g., early forms of syllogism, conclusion from analogy, and "suppositional" reasoning, the latter being a form of inference not unlike what Kant later meant with "transcendental" reasoning or Habermas today with "presuppositional analysis," e.g., by means of "universal-pragmatic" or "formal-pragmatic" reasoning), as well as through dialogue (e.g., characteristically, teacher-student dialogue).
Consequently also logic, understood as the study of valid forms of
argument and inference (tarka-vidya, "science of^
argument," e.g., Ganeri, 2001, p. 7, cf. pp. 151-167) rather
than of deductive logic only, becomes a subject of pramana-sastra.
So does the study of language as a means to formulate, transmit, and preserve knowledge, specifically of course Sanskrit, the language of the shruti. There are early developments of linguistic disciplines such as phonetics, syntax, semantics, etymology, and grammar. Panini's (1977) Ashtadhyayi,
a collection of some 4,000 grammatical rules (in the form of sutras)
written in the 6th to 5th century BCE (Encyclopaedia Britannica,
2013d; other sources locate it in the 4th century BCE, e.g. Hamilton, 2001, p. 60) stands out as an impressive work
that covers all the just mentioned subdisciplines of a philosophy of language and employs them to clarify the meaning of Sanskrit words and the rules of their proper employment; it has been instrumental in establishing the "classical" form and usage of Sanskrit as a ceremonial and learned language and has
remained an authoritative source that is still used and cited
today (see Hamilton, 2001, pp. 60-62, for a short but interesting appreciation of the historical merits of Panini's grammar).
early interest of the Vedic tradition in the philosophies of
knowledge and language is influential to this date, in that
India has developed a long-standing tradition of epistemological and language-analytical scholarship, not only but also as applied to the ancient scriptures. Remarkably, unlike today's analytical tradition in "Western" philosophy,
the ancient Indian interest in the sources of knowledge and
the role of language did not bring about a diminished appreciation of metaphysical questions but rather, it lead to a more careful way of dealing with them. Perhaps this is due in part to the fact that the Upanishadic metaphysics of "this"
and "that" makes it so clear how limited ordinary experiential
knowledge is bound to remain in the face of the world of the "that," which nevertheless shapes this world of ours. Clearly (at least, for a Vedic thinker), additional sources of insight
are needed, beyond the pramanas already mentioned.
One need not think of mystic experience and other esoteric sources of insight only in this context. In addition to the just mentioned study of language and logic, there is surely also a role, in Eastern no less than in Western thought, for the
study of the nature and role of general ideas – ideas of reason that lead us beyond what we can know empirically but
which are bound to remain problematic concepts. Since both the
outer, transcendent reality of the cosmos and the inner, spiritual reality of the
human self (the two main themes of the Upanishads) reach beyond what we can hope to know through
inquiry, it is indeed to be expected that general ideas play no less an epistemological and methodological role in the Upanishads than in Western philosophy (e.g., of particular
interest to us, in practical philosophy). Although they are
basically metaphysical ideas, there is no reason why they should not lend themselves to methodological analysis.
is the topic to which we must now return. Are there examples
of major concepts in the Upanishads that do play such a double role as metaphysical and methodological concepts? And
if so, how do the Upanishads conceive of their proper use and perhaps also of related basic "movements of thought" as we
have sketched them out in the previous essay of the series with respect to Western ideas of reason? With this sort of
questions in mind, I have selected three concepts that play a
particular role in the Upanishads and which I also find particularly interesting from a methodological point of view,
the first two well known in Western philosophy, the third less
so – brahman,
atman, and jagat. Their analysis and discussion will be in the center of the next part of this excursion into the
world of ideas of ancient India.
(To be continued)
For a hyperlinked overview of all issues of "Ulrich's Bimonthly" and the previous "Picture of the Month" series, see the site map
Revised version of
5 March 2015*
*Note: With this revision of the Bimonthly essay of September-October 2014, I deviate for once from my practice of limiting revisions to editorial corrections prior to uploading PDF versions, so as to ensure stable web content and URLs.
The present revision reaches further. It reviews the original text with a view to even more consistently avoiding the one-sided emphasis often given in the reception of the Upanishads on their religious, metaphysical and mystic aspects. The aim is to give equal – not equally one-sided – importance to their philosophical and methodological content.
I offer this revision as a separate version, so that readers can compare the two versions and also because I am far from claiming that either account is the only correct one.
I plan a similar revision of the second part of my excursion into the world of ancient Indian thought, as published in the Bimonthly of November-December 2014. It will follow in the next Bimonthly, before we will then continue the series with the third part of this excursion into ancient Indian ideas (Part 5 of the series overall).
Apte, V.S. (1890/2014). The Apte 1890 Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Based on the Apte Sanskrit-English / English-Sanskrit Dictionary, 3rd. edn. Poona: Prasad Prakashan, 1920. Searchable online edition by the Cologne Project, Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, University of Cologne, Germany, 2014 edition.
Apte, V.S. (1920/2014). Apte English-Sanskrit Dictionary. Based on the Apte Sanskrit-English / English-Sanskrit Dictionary, 3rd. edn. Poona: Prasad Prakashan, 1920. Searchable online edition by the Cologne Project, Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, University of Cologne, Germany, 2014 edition.
Apte, V.S. (1965/2008). The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary. 3 vols., Poona, India: Prasad Prakashan, 1957-1959. 4th, rev. and enlarged edn., Delhli, India: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1965. Online version, last updated in June 2008.
[HTML] http://dsal1.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/apte/ (searchable)
(facsimile of 1965 edn.)
Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Aristotle (1985). Nicomachean Ethics. Translated, with Introduction, Notes, and Glossary, by Terence Irwin. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.
Aurobindo, S. (1996). The Upanishads: Texts, Translations and Commentaries. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Light Publications (orig. 1914;1st US edn.).
[PDF] http://www.aurobindo.ru/workings/sa/12/isha_e.pdf (transl. of Isha Upanishad)
Baier, K. (1958). The Moral Point of View: A Rational Basis of Ethics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Abridged edn., New York: Random House, 1965.
Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage.
Beck, U. (1995). Ecological Politics in an Age of Risk. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Bok, S. (1993). Foreword. In M. Gandhi (1957); An Autobiography: The Story of my Experiments With Truth, Boston, MA: Beacon Press (reprint edn. of the orig. 1957 edn.,with this new foreword). Boston, MA: Beacon Press, pp. xiii-xviii.
Bopp, F. (1847). Glossarium Sanscritum. Sanskrit-Latin Dictionary. Berlin: Dümmler.
[HTML] https://archive.org/details/glossariumsanscr00boppuoft (facsimile reprint edn)
Böthlingk, O., and Roth, R. (1855). Sanskrit-Wörterbuch. Herausgegeben von der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Sanskrit-German Dictionary. So-called Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch [Greater St. Petersburg Dictionary, 7 vols.]. St. Petersburg, Russia: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1855-1875.
[HTML] http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/pwgindex.html (facsimile reprint edn)
Böthlingk, O., and Schmidt, R. (1879/1928). Sanskrit-Wörterbuch in kürzerer Fassung. Herausgegeben von der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Sanskrit-German Dictionary. So-called Kleines Petersburger Wörterbuch [Smaller St. Petersburg Dictionary]. St. Petersburg, Russia: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, two parts, 1879-1889, mit Nachträgen von R. Schmidt, 1928.
[HTML] https://archive.org/stream/sanskritwrterb01bhuoft#page/n3/mode/2up (facsimile of Part 1, 1879 edn.)
Carnap, R. (1928). Der Logische Aufbau der Welt. Leipzig, Germany: Felix Meiner Verlag. English transl. by R.A. George: The Logical Structure of the World: Pseudoproblems in Philosophy, University of California Press, 1967 (new edn. Chicago, IL: Open Court, 2003).
Cologne Project. (1997/2008). Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (2008 revision). Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, Cologne Sanskrit Dictionary Project. Cologne University, Köln, Germany, orig. 1997, rev. edn. 2008.
Cologne Project (2013/14). Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries. Access page to all the Sanskrit lexicons prepared by the Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, Cologne University, as of October 2014 (in progress).
[HTML] http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/ (2014 version, last updated Oct 1, 2014)
[HTML] http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/index_prev.html (2013 version, last updated June 21, 2014)
Dash, D.P. (2014). Personal communication, 6 Oct. (4:41 p.m.).
Dash, D.P. (2015). Upanishadic thinking: comments from J. Dash. Personal communication, 8 Feb 2015.
Dash, J. (2015). Comments on the original published version of the present essay, noted down in January, 2015, and transmitted by D.P. Dash (2015) on 8 Feb 2015.
Dewey, J. (1930). The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action. London: George Allen & Unwin. (Orig. Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1929; republished by Capricorn Books, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, 1960).
Easwaran, E. (2007). The Upanishads, Introduced and Translated by Eknath Easwaran; Afterword by Michael N. Nagler [with short introductions to each Upanishad by M.N. Nagler]. 2nd edn. Berkeley, CA /Tomales, CA: Blue Mountain Center of Meditation /Nilgiri Press (1st edn. 1987).
Encyclopaedia Britannica (2013a). Entry "Atman." Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (2013b). Entry "Brahman." Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (2013c). Entry "Hinduism." Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (2013d). Entry "Panini." Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Gandhi, M. (1957). An Autobiography: The Story of my Experiments With Truth. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Pb. reprint edn. with a new foreword by S. Bok, 1993. (Note: there exist various editions from different publishers, the 1957 edn. is the original American edn.)
Ganeri, J. (2001). Philosophy in Classical India: The Proper Work of Reason. London and New York: Routledge (also Dehli: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 2006, pocket book edn. 2009).
Ganeri, J. (2007). The Concealed Art of the Soul: Theories of the Self and Practices of Truth in Indian Ethics and Epistemology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Habermas, J. (1975). Legitimation Crisis. Boston, MA: Beacon Press (German orig. Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1973).
Habermas, J. (1984). The Theory of Communicative Action. Vol. 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press (German orig. Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns, 2 vols. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1981).
Habermas, J. (1990a). The new obscurity: the crisis of the welfare state and the exhaustion of utopian energies. In J. Habermas, The New Conservatism: Cultural Criticism and the Historian's Debate. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press (also Boston, MA: MIT Press; German orig. Die Neue Unübersichtlichkeit, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1985).
Habermas, J. (1990b). Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press (German orig.: Moralbewusstsein und kommunikatives Handeln, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1983).
Habermas, J. (1990c). Discourse ethics: notes on a program of philosophical justification. In J. Habermas (1990). Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, pp. 43-115.
Habermas, J. (1993). Justification and Application: Remarks on Discourse Ethics.
Habermas, J. (1998). The Inclusion of the Other: Studies in Political Theory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Habermas, J. (2009). Philosophische Texte. 5 vols. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp. Vol. 2: Rationalitäts- und Sprachtheorie.
Hamilton, S. (2001). Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. (Very Short Introductions.) Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (orig. 2000).
Hare, R.M. (1981). Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press /Clarendon Press.
Hindi-English Dictionary (n.d.). Hindi to English and English to Hindi Online Dictionary and Transliteration. Allows transliteration of Hindi terms from Devanagari to Roman letters.
Heidegger, M. (1968). What is Called Thinking? New York: Harper & Row (German orig.: Was heisst Denken? Tübingen, Germany: Max Niemeyer, 1954).
Hume, R.E. (1996). The Thirteen Principal Upanishads. Translated from the Sanskrit with an Outline of the Philosophy of the Upanishads and an Annotated Bibliography, 2nd edn. London: Oxford University Press (orig. 1921).
[HTML] https://archive.org/details/thirteenprincipa028442mbp (facsimile of 1921 edn.)
Husserl, E. (1970). The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Illich, I. (1971). Deschooling Society. New York: Harper & Row.
Illich, I. (1975). Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health. London: Calder & Boyars. Pocket book edn. New York: Random House /Bantam Books, 1976.
W. (1907). Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking. Longman Green & Co: New York.
Jung, C.G. (1966). Two Essays in Analytical Psychology. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 7. New York: Bollingen Foundation / Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C.G. (1968a). The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 9, Part I. 2nd edn. New York: Bollingen Foundation / Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C.G. (1968b). A study in the process of individuation. In Jung, C.G. (1968a), The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 9, Part I. 2nd edn. New York: Bollingen Foundation / Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, pp. 290-354.
Kant, I. (1786). Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. 2nd edn. [B] (1st edn. [A] 1785). Transl. by H.J. Paton. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1964. German orig.: Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, 1st edn. [A] and 2nd edn. [B], in: W. Weischedel (ed.), Werkausgabe Vol. VII, Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1977 (orig. 1968), pp. 9-102.
Kant, I. (1787). Critique of Pure Reason. 2nd edn. [B] (1st edn. [A] 1781). Transl. by N.K. Smith. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1965 (orig. Macmillan, New York, 1929). German orig.: Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1st edn. [A] 1781, 2nd edn. [B] 1787, in: W. Weischedel (ed.), Werkausgabe Vols. III and IV, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp 1977 (orig. 1968).
Kant, I. (1788). Critique of Practical Reason and Other Writings in Moral Philosophy. Transl. by L.W. Beck. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1949. German orig.: Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1st ed. [A], in: W. Weischedel (ed.), Werkausgabe Vol. VII, Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1977 (orig. 1968), pp. 105-320.
Kant I. (1793). Critique of Judgment. 2nd ed. [B] (1st ed. [A] 1790). Transl. by T.H. Bernard. New York: Hafner, 1951. German orig.: Kritik der Urteilskraft, in: W. Weischedel (ed.), Werkausgabe Vol. X, Kritik der Urteilskraft, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1977.
King, R. (1999). Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.
Kohlberg, L. (1981). Essays on Moral Development, Vol. 1: The Philosophy of Moral Development – Moral Stages and the Idea of Justice. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
Macdonell, A.A. (1929). A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary. With Transliteration, Accentuation, and Etymological Analysis Throughout. London: Oxford University Press, 1929 (= facsimile reprint edn. of A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1893).
[HTML] http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/macdonell/ (digitized version)
Menand, L. (2001). The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Monier-Williams, M. (1872). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Rev. edn. 1899. (Note; the standard edn. now used is the 1899 edn., cited below and in the text as Monier-Williams, M. (1899.)
Monier-Williams, M. (1877). Hinduism. (Series Non-Christian Religious Systems). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and New York: Pott, Young & Co. (also E. & J.B. Young, 1885; facsimile reprint edn., Charleston, SC: BiblioLife Reproduction Series, 2009, and Hong Kong: Forgotten Books, 2013).
[HTML] https://archive.org/details/hinduism00wilgoog (facsimile edn. of 1877/2013)
Monier-Williams, M. (1891). Brahmanism and Hinduism; or, Religious Thought and Life in India, as Based on the Veda and Other Sacred Books of the Hindus. 4th edn., enlarged and improved edn. London: John Murray. (Various facsimile reprint editions, e.g. Boston, MA: Delaware/Adamant Eilibron Classics, 2005, and online editions, e.g. Hong Kong: Forgotten Books, 2012).
[HTML] https://archive.org/details/brahmanismhindui00moni (facsimile of 1891 edn.)
Monier-Williams, M. (1899). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages, rev. edn., Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (Orig. edn. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 1872; reprint edn., Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press /Clarendon Press, 1951; "Greatly enlarged and improved edn.," Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1960, and Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1995).
[HTML] http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MWScan/2014/web/index.php (2014 digitized and searchable version)
[HTML] http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/monier/indexcaller.php (2013 digitzed and searchable version)
[HTML] https://archive.org/details/sanskritenglishd00moniuoft (facsimile of enlarged 1960 edn.)
[HTML] https://archive.org/stream/sanskritenglishd00moniuoft#page/n3/mode/2up (facsimile of enlarged 1960 edn.)
[HTML] http://lexica.indica-et-buddhica.org/dict/lexica (online search tool)
(Note: Compare the entries "Cologne Project, 1997/2008" and 2013/14, as well as "Monier-Williams et al., 2008" in this list of references).
Monier-Williams, M., Cappeller, C., Leumann, E., Malten, T., Mahoney, R. (2008). Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, HTML Version. Conversion to HTML from Cologne source version by R. Mahoney. Oxford, North Canterbury, New Zealand: Indica et Buddhica.
[HTML] http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/mwquery/ (2008 digitized version)
[HTML] http://lexica.indica-et-buddhica.org/dict/lexica (source version, searchable)
[HTML] http://indica-et-buddhica.org/repositorium/dictionaries (restricted access)
Müller, F.M. (1879) The Upanishads. Translated by F. Max Müller, in two parts, Part I (Vol. 1 of The Sacred Books of the East, Translated by Various Oriental Scholars and Edited by F. Max Müller). Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.
[HTML] https://archive.org/stream/upanishads01ml#page/n7/mode/2up (facsimile edn.)
[HTML] http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe01/index.htm (e-book version)
Müller, F.M. (1884) The Upanishads. Translated by F. Max Müller, in two parts, Part II (Vol. 15 of The Sacred Books of the East, Translated by Various Oriental Scholars and Edited by F. Max Müller). Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.
[HTML] https://archive.org/stream/p2upanishads00mluoft#page/n7/mode/2up (facsimile edn.)
[HTML] http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe15/index.htm (e-book version)
Müller, F.M. (1904/2013). Three Lectures on the Vedanta Philosophy, Delivered at the Royal Institution in March, 1894. London: Longman, Green & Co., 1904. Facsimile reprint edition, Hong Kong: Forgotten Books, 2013.
[HTML] http://www.forgottenbooks.org/readbook/Three_Lectures_on_the_Vedanta_Philosophy_1000175359 (facsimile edn.)
Müller, F.M., and Navlakha, S. (2000). The Thirteen Principal Upanishads. Transl. by F.M. Müller (1879.84), rev. and ed. by S. Navlakha. Ware, Hertfordshire, UK: Wordsworth Edtions.
Nagler, M.N. (2006). The constructive programme. In: R.L. Johnson (ed.), Gandhi's Experiments with Truth: Essential Writings by and about Mahatma Gandhi. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, pp. 253-262.
Nagler, M.N. (2007). Afterword: A religion for modern times. In E. Easwaran (2007). The Upanishads, Introduced and Translated by Eknath Easwaran. Berkeley, CA /Tomales, CA: Blue Mountain Center of Meditation /Nilgiri Press (2nd edn., orig. 1987), pp. 295-336.
Navlakha, S. (2000). Introduction. In: Müller, F.M., and Navlakha, S. (2000), The Thirteen Principal Upanishads. Transl. by F.M. Müller, rev. and ed. by S. Navlakha. Ware, Hertfordshire, UK:Wordsworth Edtions, pp. ix-xxxi.
Nikhilananda, Swami (1949). The Upanishads, Translated from the Sanskrit with Introductions, Vol. 1: Katha, Isha, Kena, and Mundaka. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Nikhilananda, Swami (1952). The Upanishads, Translated from the Sanskrit with Introductions, Vol. 2: Shvetashvatara, Prashna, and Mandukya with Gaudapada's Karika. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Nikhilananda, Swami (1956). The Upanishads, Translated from the Sanskrit with Introductions, Vol. 3: Aitareya and Brihadaranyaka. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Nikhilananda, Swami (1959). The Upanishads, Translated from the Sanskrit with Introductions, Vol. 4: Taittyria and Chhandogya. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Nikhilananda, Swami (2003). The Principal Upanishads. Mineola, NY¨: Dover Publications (orig. London: George Allen & Unwin, and New York: Bell, 1963, an abridged edn. of the orig. four-volume edn., New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949ff).
Nobel Committee (2006): The Nobel Prize in Physics 2006, Press Release. Stockholm: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 3 October 2006,
Olivelle, P. (1996). Upanisads. Translated from the Original Sanskrit. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press / Oxford World's Classics.
Panini (1977). The Ashtadhyayi of Panini. Edited and translated into English by S.C. Vasu (2 vols.). Dehli: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.
Peirce, C.S. (1878). How to make our ideas clear. Popular Science Monthly, 12, January, pp. 286-302. Reprinted in C. Hartshorneand P. Weiss (eds) (1934), Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Vol. V: Pragmatism and Pragmaticism, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, para. 5.388-5.410.
Phillips, S.H. (1996). Classical Indian Metaphysics: Refutations of Realism and the Emergence of New Logic. Chicago, IL: Open Court.; improved Indian edn., Dehli: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1997.
Phillips, S.H. (2011)., Epistemology in classical Indian philosophy. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Spring 2011 Edition. E.N. Zalta (ed.)..
Phillips, S.H. (2012). Epistemology in Classical Indian Philosophy: The Knowedge Sources of the Nyaya School. New York: Routledge.
Polanyi, M. (1958). Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Polanyi, M. (1966). The Tacit Dimension. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Popper, K.R. (1959). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson. New ed. London: Routledge 2002 (German orig. 1935).
Popper, K.R. (1968). Epistemology without a knowing subject. In B. van Rootselaar and J.F. Staal (eds.), Proceedings of the Third International Congress for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, 25 Aug. to 2 Sept. 1967, Amsterdam, pp. 333–373: reprinted in Popper (1972), pp. 106-152.
Popper, K.R. (1972). Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.
Prabhavananda, Swami, and Manchester, F. (1984). The Upanishads: Breath of the Eternal. New York: Penguin/Signet Classics (orig. Hollywood, CA: The Vedanta Society of Sourthern California, 1948).
Prince, G.M. (1970). The Practice of Creativity: A Manual for Dynamic Group Problem Solving. New York: Harper & Row.
Reichenbach, H. (1938). Experience and Prediction: An Analysis of the Foundations and the Structure of Knowledge. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Rudner, R.S. (1966). Philosophy of Social Science. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Sanscrit Dictionary (no ed., n.d.). Entry "Jagat." Sanskrit Online Dictionary,
Schlick, M. (1918). Allgemeine Erkenntnislehre. Berlin: Springer (2nd edn. 1925). English transl. by A.E. Blumberg: General Theory of Knowledge, Chicago, IL: Open Court, 1985.
Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books. Paperback edn. Aldershot, UK: Arena/Ashgate Publishing, 1995.
Schön, D. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Towards A New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Sharma, C. (2000). A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy. Dehli: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers (orig. London: Hutchinson/ Rider & Co., 1960; in addition, an U.S. American version was published under the title Indian Philosophy: A Critical Survey, New York: Barnes & Noble, 1962).
Simon, H. (1957). Models of Man. New York: Wiley.
SpokenSanskrit.de (n.d.). Sanskrit to English and English to Sanskrit online Dictionary and Transliteration. Allows transliteration of Sanskrit terms from Roman to Devanagari letters.
Tamilcube.com (n.d.). English to Sanskrit Translation, and Converter Tool To Type in Sanskrit. Allows transliteration of Sanskrit terms from Devanagari to Roman letters.
Toulmin, S.E. (2003). The Uses of Argument. Updated edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (orig. 1958).
Tugendhat, E. (1993). Vorlesungen über Ethik. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp.
Ulrich, W. (1975). Kreativitätsförderung in der Unternehmung: Ansatzpunkte eines Gesamtkonzepts. Bern, Switzerland, and Stuttgart, Germany: Paul Haupt.
Ulrich, W. (1983). Critical Heuristics of Social Planning: A New Approach to Practical Philosophy. Bern, Switzerland: Haupt. Pb. reprint edn. Chichester, UK; and New York: Wiley, 1994.
Ulrich, W. (1993). Some difficulties of ecological thinking, considered from a critical systems perspective: a plea for critical holism. Systems Practice, 6, No. 6, pp. 583-611.
Ulrich, W. (1996). A Primer to Critical Systems Heuristics for Action Researchers. Hull, UK: University of Hull Centre for Systems Studies. .
Ulrich, W. (2000). Reflective practice in the civil society: the contribution of critically systemic thinking. Reflective Practice, 1, No. 2, pp. 247-268.
Ulrich, W. (2001). The quest for competence in systemic research and practice. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 18, No. 1, pp. 3-28.
Ulrich, W. (2005). Can nature teach us good research practice? A critical look at Frederic Vester’s bio-cybernetic systems approach (book review). Journal of Research Practice, 1, No. 1, 2005, article R2.
Ulrich, W. (2006b). Critical pragmatism: a new approach to professional and business ethics. In L. Zsolnai (ed.), Interdisciplinary Yearbook of Business Ethics, Vol. I, Oxford, UK, and Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang Academic Publishers, 2006, pp. 53-85.
Ulrich, W. (2006c). A plea for critical pragmatism. (Reflections on critical pragmatism, Part 1). Ulrich's Bimonthly, September-October 2006.
Ulrich, W. (2006d). Rethinking critically reflective research practice: beyond Popper's critical rationalism. Journal of Research Practice, 2, No. 2, article P1.
Ulrich, W. (2007a). Theory and practice II: the rise and fall of the "primacy of theory." (Reflections on critical pragmatism, Part 3). Ulrich's Bimonthly, January-February 2007.
Ulrich, W. (2008a). Reflections on reflective practice (1/7): The mainstream concept of reflective practice and its blind spot. Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April 2008 (1 March 2008).
Ulrich, W. (2008b). Reflections on reflective practice (3/7): In search of practical reason. Ulrich's Bimonthly, September-October 2008 (8 Sep 2008).
Ulrich, W. (2008c). Practical reason: "Drawing the future into the present." Ulrich's Bimonthly, November-December 2008.
Ulrich, W. (2009a). Reflections on reflective practice (4/7): Philosophy of practice and Aristotelian virtue ethics. Ulrich's Bimonthly, January-February 2009.
Ulrich, W. (2009b). Reflections on reflective practice (5/7): Practical reason and rational ethics: Kant. Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April 2009.
Ulrich, W. (2009c). Reflections on reflective practice (6a/7): Communicative rationality and formal pragmatics – Habermas 1. Ulrich's Bimonthly, September-October 2009.
Ulrich, W. (2009d). Reflections on reflective practice (6b/7): Argumentation theory and practical discourse – Habermas 2. Ulrich's Bimonthly, November-December 2009.
Ulrich, W. (2010a). Exploring discourse ethics (1/2). Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April 2010.
Ulrich, W. (2010b). Exploring discourse ethics (2/2). Ulrich's Bimonthly, May-June 2010.
Ulrich, W. (2011a). What is good professional practice? (Part 1: Introduction).
Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April 2011.
Ulrich, W. (2011b) Kant's rational ethics. Review of I. Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, transl. by H.J. Paton, New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1964. Amazon Customer Review, 7 July 2011.
Ulrich, W. (2011c). A note on the convergence of Kant's concepts of rationality, morality, and politics. Ulrich's Bimonthly, September-October 2011.
Ulrich, W. (2012a). Operational research and critical systems thinking – an integrated perspective. Part 1: OR as applied systems thinking. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 63, No. 9 (September), pp. 1228-1247.
Ulrich, W. (2012b). Operational research and critical systems thinking – an integrated perspective. Part 2: OR as argumentative practice. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 63, No. 9 (September), pp. 1307-1322.
Ulrich, W. (2013a). Reflections on reflective practice (6c/7): Discourse ethics and deliberative democracy, or the difficult path to communicative practice – Habermas 3 (1st half). Ulrich's Bimonthly, May-June 2013.
Ulrich, W. (2013b). Critical systems thinking. In S. Gass and M. Fu (eds.), Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, 3rd edn. (2 vols). New York: Springer, Vol. 1, pp. 314-326.
Ulrich, W. (2013c). The rational, the moral, and the general: an exploration. Part 1: Introduction, discourse ethics. Ulrich's Bimonthly, September-October 2013.
Ulrich, W. (2014a). The rational, the moral, and the general: an exploration. Part 2: Kant's ideas of reason. Ulrich's Bimonthly, January-February 2014.
Ulrich, W. (2014b). The rational, the moral, and the general: an exploration. Part 3: Approximating ideas – towards critical contextualism. Ulrich's Bimonthly, July-August 2014.
Ulrich, W. (in prep.). Reflections on reflective practice (6d/7): Discourse ethics and deliberative democracy, or the difficult path to communicative practice – Habermas 3 (2nd half). Ulrich's Bimonthly (in prep.).
Vester, F. (2007). The Art of Interconnected Thinking: Tools and Concepts for a New Approach to Tackling Complexity. Munich, Germany: MCB Verlag (German orig.: Die Kunst vernetzt zu denken, Stuttgart, Germany, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 1999).
Weber, M. (1958). The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism. Transl. and ed. by H.H. Gerth and D. Martindale. Glencoe, IL: Free Press (reprint edn. Dehli: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1995).
Whitney, W.D. (1885). The Roots, Verbs, and Primary Derivatives of the Sanskrit Language. Leipzig, Germany: Breitkopf and Härtel, and London: Trübner & Co.
Wittgenstein, L. (1922). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.