Jurisculture. 2,: India
Transaction Publishers, 1989 - 108 pages
This second in a definitive eight-volume work by Gray L. Dorsey explores the organization and regulation of society in traditional India in relation to prevailing beliefs about reality, knowing, and desiring.
Dorsey's central concept of jurisculture sees human societies as organized and regulated by cultural processes. Human beings can cooperate only when they understand in accordance with shared meanings, desire in accordance with shared values, intend in accordance with shared purposes, and guide and limit actions in accordance with shared principles. These shared meanings, values, purposes and principles are evolved from fundamental beliefs.
This second volume examines the roots of jurisculture in India, in the fundamental beliefs arising from the Vedas, Jainism, Buddhism, Carvakian materialism, the great epic poems (the "Ramayana "and the "Mahabharata), "and the six orthodox systems of Hindu philosophy. It traces the influence of these beliefs in the direction and control of the cooperative activities of society and also in individual actions .during the three millenia from 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D., with some echoes in the modern period. Dorsey explains why India, unlike Greece or Rome, did not experience a social revolution when the basis of fundamental beliefs changed from speculative faith to rational knowledge. Because ultimate reality came to be understood as being, instead of activity, the highest good became withdrawing from society into communion with the inner self. This good could be attained only by Individual action. Society, therefore, was not as important as in the West. Indians lived in two realms of existence: the realm of soul development, and the realm of moral cause and effect.
Philosophers of law, political scientists interested in the development of normative theory, and general readers who have thought of Indian culture as mystical and esoteric will find this volume of interest.