The Charvaka epistemology holds perception as the primary and proper source of knowledge, while inference is held as prone to being either. Epistemological thought varies in Indian philosophy according to how (Mittal 41) The Lokāyata (Cārvāka) school recognized. The Carvaka Philosophy – Free download as Powerpoint Presentation .ppt /. ppsx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online.

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External perception is described as that arising from the interaction of five senses and worldly objects, while internal perception is described by this school as that of inner sense, the mind. Inference is described as deriving a new conclusion and truth from one or more observations and previous truths.

To Charvakas, inference is cagvaka but prone to error, as inferred truths can never be without doubt.

Inference is good and helpful, it is the validity of inference that is suspect — sometimes in epistemologgy cases and often in others.

To the Charvakas there were no reliable means by which the efficacy of inference as a means of knowledge could be established. Charvaka’s epistemological argument can be explained with the example of fire and smoke. While this is often true, it need not be universally true, everywhere or all epistemolgoy times, stated the Charvaka scholars.


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Smoke can have other causes. In Charvaka epistemology, as long as the relation between two phenomena, or observation and truth, has not been proven as unconditional, it is an uncertain truth. Such methods of reasoning, that is jumping to conclusions or inference, is prone to flaw in this Indian philosophy.

Charvakas further state that full knowledge is reached when we know all observations, all premises and all conditions. But the absence of conditions, state Charvakas, can not be established beyond doubt by perception, as some conditions may be hidden or escape our ability to observe.

They acknowledge that every person relies on inference in daily life, but to them if we act uncritically, we err. While our inference sometimes are true and lead to successful action, it is also a fact that sometimes inference is wrong and leads to error. Truth then, state Charvaka, is not an unfailing character of inference, truth is merely an accident of inference, and one that is separable.

We must be skeptics, question what we know by inference, question our epistemology. This epistemological proposition of Charvakas was influential among various schools of in Indian philosophies, by demonstrating a new way of thinking and re-evaluation of past doctrines.


Hindu, Buddhist and Jain scholars extensively deployed Charvaka insights on inference in rational re-examination of their own theories. Home Blogs The Charvaka Epistemology.

The Charvaka epistemology

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