No Newton of the Grass Blade: On the impossibility of scientific genius in Kant’s “Critique of Judgment” - In preparation for a lecture on mind and nature in German Idealism, I’m working my way through Kant’s third of three critiques, the Critique of the Power o...4 hours ago
World's absurdity - human history is going nowhere - Schopenhauer's originality does not reside in his characterization of the world as Will, or as act — for we encounter this position in Fichte's philosophy ...4 hours ago
The Inner Spiritual Meaning of Swabhava and Swadharma - The Gita consistently holds that the true source and reality of our existence is the supreme divine spirit, the Purushottama and that all of manifested Nat...15 hours ago
Neurology and the New Emerging Diagram of Power and Control - I suspected this was on the way. Neurologists are now using brain scanning techniques to develop more effective forms of advertising. Advertising (and, m...1 day ago
Individuals, books, sites and institutions challenging materialism - I’ve put together here a list of books, scientists, philosophers and organizations (online and “physical”!) who are challenging the materialistic views whi...5 weeks ago
Waiting for emancipation: the prospects for liberal revolution in Africa - MP3 of the Audrey Richards lecture in African Studies at Cambridge University, 22nd May 2014 This was an improvised talk lasting 49 minutes. It contains se...1 month ago
Integrality and Embodiment in Jean Gebser and Sri Aurobindo – Debashish Banerji - This paper compares the idea of the "integral consciousness" in Jean Gebser and Sri Aurobindo in terms of their philosophies of history and draws out the i...9 months ago
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
Casey on May 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm said: Its interesting to tie Emerson into the discussion since he had an influence on James, of course, but also a still surprisingly little appreciated influence on Nietzsche. The emphasize on power seems to obviously reflect some of the same language that Emerson liked to use. I think that Emerson is perhaps in fact Nietzsche’s most important influence, not just in something as simple as the ideas that they shared, but in the style of thinking, what Charles Pierce might call the habits of thought that Nietzsche picked up from Emerson.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
justinon 10 May 2014 at 3:54 pm said: Thanks for this, Lyone, and my apologies for the late response. My worry with this approach: “The first few centuries of every religious tradition is pretty much the same in this regard: lacking in solid historic data” is that there are sometimes vastly different amounts of solid historical data among religions. So I couldn’t say “All we have is myth, legend, hagiography.” We do have those, but we also have archaeology, historians such as Josephus, linguistic analysis, etc. So I think we can and should do our best to separate out what is strictly claimed within the tradition (especially when the claims just appear much later in the tradition) and ideas and events which can be attested to from multiple sources.
justinon 10 May 2014 at 4:51 pm said: Dear Jayarava – many thanks for all of this. It’s a bit overwhelming in terms of what to try to respond do…
First, I’m not sure claims about “what the Buddha thought” aren’t a priori refutable. The body of texts we have can be used to argue for different interpretations and new texts may still be found to upset the whole thing. As you later stated, Gombrich is definitely a Popperian, so the (also later) point about “what counts as evidence” is really the key problem here. And as you also note, aside from Schopen’s possible contrarianism, the main arguments for distrusting texts come from Postmodernism.
Next, “Schopen in particular has pointed out that were we do have archaeological evidence it contradicts textual evidence –particularly with respect to how monks live and conducted themselves.” I think it’s fairer to say that *some* archaeological evidence contradicts textual evidence, and/or gives us new information. I think we have to be much more circumspect on what evidence Schopen presents and what conclusions he draws from it.
Schopen and others may have upped the game, so to speak, but I hope that in the process they have not also discouraged many great minds from looking at texts and thinking hard about what they mean and meant to Buddhists, past and present.
It is not about whether SSVC had an IndoAryan component or sarasvatI river or date of RV: These are separate even if related problems. Linguistic & philological evidence are superior to archaeological evidence as the latter is way more incomplete & pots don't speak
The core RV & older sections of ancestral AV shows signs of a mobile mixed pastoralist/agricultural society with evidence familiarity with regions closer to the Caspian sea & more northern latitudes than bhArata. The philological+linguistic evidence combined with genetics suggests that IA invasion was not likely product of elite dominance: it was a movement of a sizable population of IA speakers; thus genetic evidence supports not negates AIT hypothesis unlike what is spouted by those unfamiliar with such data in its original form.
Given the population movement & fact that IE appearance in Europe was comparable where autochthons likely overwhelmed, there's nothing wrong calling it an invasion: unlikely that it involved no military aspect at all, especially given that Indoaryans were a mobile warlike people
Willingness of certain Hs to kid themselves without grasp of primary data about autochthonism of original IA is a reflection of a certain intellectual cretinism stemming from the inability to transcend emotionalism while approaching a problem; this could come to bite them in more life-and-death and immediate geo-political issues than the origin of their long dead ancestors
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Demarcation between philosophy proper and history of Indian philosophy has been deep since the arrival of Sri Aurobindo in the scene. This year marks the Centenary of his magnum opus “The Life Divine” and other original works like “The Secret of the Veda.” The Evolutionary dialectic of his Integral Ontology seeks to establish a universal template of philosophy that acts as applied psychology as well by suitably incorporating poetic aesthesis. So, not to include him in the list would be an injustice to the future of human civilization and education. [TNM55]
Tusar Nath Mohapatra on 26 January 2014 at 6:16 am said:
Bringing in other names while thinking of Sri Aurobindo is a real problem; so is the period during which he wrote. Most of his books, fortunately, allow us to concentrate on the subject proper and a slim volume like “The Problem of Rebirth” or “Heraclitus” can introduce one elegantly to his philosophical project that dovetails into poetry too.
Though neither germane nor palatable, let me say as a nonspecialist here that it is Sri Aurobindo who has saved the modern day Indians from the tyranny of “Indian Philosophy” by offering an alternative set of literature in English reading which is transformative as well. [TNM55]
I like how you framed this, Jonathan. In an undergraduate education with some focus on Indian philosophy, there’s only so much time. Given this, I would say you did a pretty good job. I am an Aurobindo fan, but imho, you can be considered literate, on an undergraduate level, in Indian philosophy without ever having read him (or others in his broad category), but not if you haven’t read Nagarjuna, Vatsyayana, or Dignaga, etc.
I would also suggest one more criterion: if a certain school or tradition is deeply important, then one of it’s most important thinkers should be included, to allow for an appropriately wide coverage. On that score, is anybody missing?
Also, you mentioned Vacaspati Mishra, but we don’t read him merely as Vacaspati, but as a commentator on various texts. Which ones were you thinking of? Reply ↓
Amod Lele on 25 January 2014 at 4:07 pm said:
I think lists like this are a marvelous exercise, and I thank Jonathan for posting it. Having said that, I have a lot of problems with the list in its details.
My biggest concern with the list is the relative absence of ethics, especially Buddhist ethics. I think Candrakīrti and Śāntideva need a place here. Which I suppose ties to a related point: that the “enduring impact” of Indian philosophers shouldn’t be judged only on their influence in India, but outside its borders as well. That can mean Tibet, China, Southeast Asia in the premodern period… and it’s another reason to include the likes of Aurobindo in the modern. (Śāntideva never amounted to much in India proper, but he’s among the most important of all philosophers in Tibet.)
Jonathan Edelmann on 25 January 2014 at 7:22 pm said: Hello All,
1. My knowledge of Jain philosophers is woefully scant, so I appreciate Patrick’s suggestions. My list was only meant to generate discussion. It was partial and surely needs refining. I also appreciate the other names mentioned.
2. I do think there is a rationale for including philosophers like Sri Aurobindo. One might also mention Vivekananda, Ramakrishnan, and Matilal as well. Again, my list was partial. That also brings up another interesting question, however. Does one need to be Indian to be an Indian philosopher? Gerry Larson, for example, has recently published an article ...