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Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought$
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Richard Seaford

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474410991

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410991.001.0001

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The common origin approach to comparing Indian and Greek philosophy

The common origin approach to comparing Indian and Greek philosophy

Chapter:
(p.12) 1 The common origin approach to comparing Indian and Greek philosophy
Source:
Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought
Author(s):

Nick Allen

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410991.003.0002

This chapter focuses on two kinds of similarity between the two cultures that relate to their shared Indo-European origin. One is a series of correspondences between the journeys to the next world in the Odyssey and in the Kausitaki Upanishad. The other arises from a critique of the Indo-European 'trifunctional ideology' found by Dumézil in Greece and India. The total of three and category of socila function are both too restrictive for a worldview. Dumézil's triadic structure should be replaced with a pentadic one, in which the triad acquires at the bottom what is undesirable and at the top something transcendent. A pentadic structure is found in, for axample, the philosophy known as Samkhya and in the Greek set of five elements.

Keywords:   Triadic, Pentadic, Indo-European, Dumézil, Odyssey, Kausitaki Upanishad, Samkhya, Elemets

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