The Vaisesika philosophy has not hitherto been much studied, though it seems to
deserve a thorough investigation. As regards its scope, it differs considerably in
many respects from the metaphysical systems of the Samkhya and the Vedanta,
and its epistemological basis, natural philosophy, and consequently its
mechanical view are more consistently elaborated than might be expected in a
school of ancient Indian philosophy. The present little work does not attempt, as
will be apparent, to give a systematic and exhaustive exposition of all the theories
of the school; but I have tried, in the course of my explanations of the translation, to
expound some fundamental and characteristic thoughts, where they might be
helpful in the understanding of passage. The work is, however, designed primarily
not for scholars, but for beginners, in view of whom the bulk of the Introduction and
the Notes has been written.
I am fully aware of many imperfections. In particular, I ought to say that the
statements concerning the origin and development of the Nyaya reasoning (pp.
82-4 $ 2) are according to my subsequent investigations not correct. It is hoped
that the reader will not attach importance to the passage, which fortunately is not
essential to the main purpose of the Introduction.
Dr. F. W. Thomas has kindly corrected my English, and his rigorous
criticism has detected throughout the work many of my oversights. He has also
helped me in all matters connected with the reading of the proofs, the subject, the
arrangement, and the form. But no changes have been made without my assent,
and I retain a full responsibility for all the features of the work. For a kindness,
which is too great to particularize or to repay, and without which the work could not
have come into existence, I owe my most sincere thanks.
A special debt of gratitude is also due to Professor Garbe and
Professor Takakusu, to whose instruction I owe a part of he material used in the
Introduction, and to Professor dela Valle poussin, professor MacDonnell, Miss
Hughes, and Mr. E. J. Thomas, who have been kind to me in many ways.
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