Title

Truthfulness as a Standard for Speech in Ancient India

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-1989

Description

By revealing the link between truthfulness and spiritual liberation in Indian philosophy, this essay shows why truthfulness was the foremost standard for speech in ancient India. Next, it shows how Vedic and post‐Vedic texts define the practice of truthfulness. In contrast to earlier studies of the social functions of Indian rhetoric, the essay emphasizes Indian ideas about the consequences of truthfulness and deceit for speakers themselves. Following this, it discusses the influence of these ideas on rhetorical practice in ancient India, then considers how such ideas might contribute to current rhetorical and ethical studies.

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