My Pursuits in Philosophy

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Pradeep P. Gokhale


Though I loved Sanskrit, I had a skeptical and heretical attitude towards many beliefs cherished in Sanskrit knowledge systems. I found philosophy to be the right platform to pursue noble ideals without compromising my skeptical and heretical approach. While criticizing Śaṅkara’s Advaita-Vedānta perspective, I tried to present a reconstruction of the Lokāyata perspective, which is traditionally identified with Indian materialism, by making it more intelligible and relevant. The orthodox-heterodox division of Indian Philosophy was also important for me for its moral-social implications. Hence, I was interested in Jainism and Buddhism. My research interests in these schools covered their ethics, epistemology, and logic. My studies in Buddhism led me to take seriously the impact of Buddhism on Indian culture, and also the rational and secular reconstruction of Buddhism rendered by the thinkers like Satyanarayan Goenka, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, and B. R. Ambedkar. One of the driving forces in my intellectual journey has been my view that if the Indian social order is to be rid of the caste system and made more rational and moral as well as less superstitious and unjust, the centrality of Brahmanical schools has to be replaced by that of non-Brahmanical schools.

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Gokhale, P. P. (2018). My Pursuits in Philosophy. Journal of World Philosophies, 3(1), 135–141. Retrieved from
Intellectual Journeys
Author Biography

Pradeep P. Gokhale

Pradeep Gokhale was awarded a doctoral degree in 1980 for his research on “Fallacies Discussed in Ancient Indian Logic.” He taught courses in different areas of Indian Philosophy and logic for thirty-one years in the postgraduate Department of Philosophy in Savitribai Phule Pune University. He retired as Professor of Philosophy from S. P. Pune University in 2012 and joined the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath (Varanasi) and worked there as B. R. Ambedkar Research Professor for six years. Presently, he is associated with the Department of Pali, S.P. Pune University as an Honorary Adjunct Professor. He is the author of Inference and Fallacies Discussed in Ancient Indian Logic (1992), Vādanyāya of Dharmakirti: The Logic of Debate (1993), Hetubindu of Dharmakirti: A Point on Probans (1997) and Lokāyata/Cārvāka: A Philosophical Inquiry (2015). Major areas in which his research articles are published are Indian Epistemology and Logic, Indian Moral Philosophy, Social Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion.