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Charvakism is one of the unorthodox systems of Indian philosophy.

Charvakism is materialism. It is believed to have stemmed in the post-Upanishadic era, but before the rise of Buddhism. A sage, Charvaka, is believed to be the founder of this Indian system of materialism.

Like other schools of philosophy, Charvakism explores the sources and validity of man’s knowledge of reality. The Charvaka materialists validate ‘Pratyaksa’ (perception) as the sole source and criterion of knowledge. For the materialist, the sense perception (pratyaksa) is the only acceptable source and hence they rule out ‘inference’ and ‘testimony’ as the source and criterion of knowledge. The materialists emphasize that what you perceive with your senses alone is true. They challenge the inference as the source or criterion of knowledge. They argue, “The man you have encountered are mortal.  May be, yes.  But how can you say that all men in the past, present and future are mortal?”  They contend that  limited, perceived instances cannot lead to unrestricted universal generalizations. 

The materialists hold that matter is the only reality.  They straight away reject gods and souls, as they are beyond perceptual experience.  They also regard heaven and hell as non-existent as they are not perceivable.  For the Charvakas, matter has always existed and will always exist.  Matter is both the material and efficient cause of the universe.  Hedonism seems to be a feature of Charvakism.  However not all followers seem to endorse them.  Many of them acknowledge the importance of society, law and order.