Jain Philosophy

Jeffery D. Long, Elizabethtown College


Jainism shares the soteriological orientation of the Vedic systems and Buddhism, thereby blurring, as these systems do, the line drawn in the West between "philosophy" and "religion." This article focuses on those dimensions of Jainism of most interest to philosophers in the West-ontology, epistemology, logic, linguistics, and ethics-setting aside such dimensions as ascetic practice, meditation, and ritual activity, though with the understanding that these "religious" dimensions of the tradition are of vital importance to the Jains themselves, and important constituents of the total environment in which Jain philosophical reflection has occurred.