48. Taking Perspective: the Jain Theory of Standpoints

Posted on 6 August 2017

The Jain theory of standpoints or non-onesidedness (anekāntavāda) makes truth a matter of perspective.

Further Reading

• N. Tatia (trans.), Tattvārtha Sūtra: That Which Is (London: 1994).


• P. Balcerowicz, Essays in Jaina Philosophy and Religion (Delhi: 2003).

• J. Cort, “‘Intellectual Ahiṃsā’ Revisited: Jain Tolerance and Intolerance of Others,” Philosophy East and West 50 (2000), 324-47.

• K.W. Folkert, Scripture and Community: Collected Essays on the Jains (Atlanta: 1993).

• B.K. Matilal, The Central Philosophy of Jainism (Ahmedabad: 1977).

• Y. J. Padmarajiah, Jaina Theories of Reality and Knowledge (Bombay: 1963).

• J. Soni, “Basic Jaina Epistemology,” Philosophy East and West 50 (2000), 367-77.

• F. Van Den Bossche, “Jain Relativism: An Attempt at Understanding,” in R. Smet and K. Watanabe (eds), Jain Studies in Honour of Jozef Deleu (Tokyo: 1993), 457–74.

Special issue on the philosophy of Jainism: Philosophy East and West 50 (2000).


Robert Jackson 12 October 2017

Peter, Thank you for the introduction to this different philosophy.   I did an internet search on Hegel and Jain philosophy and got a zero.   Do you know of any writers who have compared  Hegel and Jain?   I am now working on the Hegel's Phenomenologie der Geist and it appears to me that Hegel's argument is, in large part, based on the concept of standpoint (and least in Chapters 2 and 3).  Hegel appears to me to be first Western philosophy to work extensively on this concept.   Do you know of any other thinker who has worked comparing Hegel to Jain philosophy? 


No, I don't - I see why you would want to make the comparison though. I take it that Hegel wouldn't have known anything about the Jains so it would have to be a comparative project if someone wanted to look at the two alongside each other. (By the way maybe someone has done this and I just don't know about it.)

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