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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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Cosmology, psyche and ātman in the Timaeus, the Ṛgveda and the Upaniṣads

Cosmology, psyche and ātman in the Timaeus, the Ṛgveda and the Upaniṣads

Chapter:
(p.71) 5 Cosmology, psyche and ātman in the Timaeus, the Ṛgveda and the Upaniṣads
Source:
Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought
Author(s):

Hyun Höchsmann

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410991.003.0006

This chapter compares the Rgveda, the early Upanishads, and Plato's Timaeus for their conception of the universe, the inner self, and the relation between them. All three texts envisage the universe as a hierarchically organised system in which order (rta in the Rgveda) prevails. But only in the Timaeus is there the motivation to create a cosmos endowed with beauty and goodness. Only in the Timaeus and the Upanishads is cosmology a prerequisite for self-knowledge and ethics, and both texts lay the foundations for moral realism, the belief in the objective validity of moral values.

Keywords:   Rgveda, Plato Timaeus, Upanishads, Universe, Atman, Psyche, Moral realism

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