"Is Cognitive Science of Indian Philosophy Possible? The Case of Indian Neurophilosophy"

NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme
Bengaluru 560 012

Invites you to a



Is Cognitive Science of Indian Philosophy Possible?

The Case of Indian Neurophilosophy


Marek Lyczka

Faculty of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland)


Monday, 7th December 2015 at 3.30 PM

Venue: Lecture Hall, NIAS, IISc Campus, Bengaluru 560012

Chairperson: Dr. Nithin Nagaraj, NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme


Abstract: Today, cognitive science is a fashionable and immensely popular subject, with cognitive science of religion, science, language being developed at a remarkable pace. So, can there be cognitive science of Indian philosophy? This question is in itself provocative, because it can be answered in two very different ways, revealing two important presuppositions in our attitude to Indian Philosophy. On the one hand we have Indian philosophy as a unique, subjective experience of reality, and on the other hand, following Jonardon Ganeri (2001), it can be seen as a “proper work of reason” – a conceptual scheme analysis. There is no doubt that consciousness, the self, and cognition are main concepts in Indian philosophy. These concepts may be said to be of equal importance to the Western tradition. Therefore, the proposed approach aims mainly to create the possibility of fruitful crosscultural discussion, leading to the dissolution of this artificial demarcation. The discussion may be enriched on both sides of the still present divide. The interdisciplinary research into the analytical philosophy of mind may benefit from Indian arguments. Conversely, it is important to see how this discussion, enriched by neuroscientific data, influences concepts within Indian philosophy. Thus, the key concepts mentioned above may be remodeled by the interplay between science and tradition. The lecture focuses on the presentation of a new method of approaching Indian philosophy, one that utilizes a conceptual structure of analytical approach, and methodological naturalism, in order to incorporate science into the philosophical discourse. Of particular relevance is showing that this way of approaching Indian philosophical can be identified within Indian philosophy itself, rather than being external to it – it is deeply rooted in the Indian tradition and should be seen as such. The inherence of this conceptual structure in Indian philosophy - will be shown using several examples drawn from advaita, and other schools, like nyāya. Neurophilosophy will be shown to be a direct consequence of this de facto classical approach. The proposed project attempts to solve classical philosophical problems by appealing to the contemporary results of neuroscientific research.


About the Speaker: Marek Łyczka [Lyczka], a PhD student at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland). He studied theology at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow where he studied philosophy of religion in light of the Christian-Hindu dialog, especially the works of Jules Monchanin (Swāmī Paramārubyānanda) and Henri Le Saux (Swāmī Abhishiktānanda). Later, he graduated Masters in philosophy from the Jagiellonian University. His MA thesis „Conscious Mind in Shankara’s System. Towards a Cognitive Analysis” constitutes the first phase of the current project of confronting the classical Indian models of the mind with the most recent research in cognitive sciences. He is interested in working at the interface of philosophy (Western and Indian) and science.


For more info write to: 
NIAS Consciousness Programme 


Monday, December 7, 2015