Sunday, January 24, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
Martin Hägglund develops a neo-Marxist politics that is deeply informed by qualitative individualism – quite appropriately, since qualitative individualist ideas inform Marx himself, especially in the theory of alienation. Hägglund wants to envision what a social world without alienation would look like.
Possibly the core distinction in Hägglund's thought is between a "realm of freedom" and a "realm of necessity" – and he identifies time as central to both of these.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Sunday, November 01, 2020
- Onward, and Upward, Beyond the Supramental Manifestation - There is little reason to suppose that once the supramental manifestation takes place, that evolution will at that point come to a halt. Humanity has been ...
- Countering narratives against Hinduism during Kartika Masam in Odisha - In this auspicious lunar month we try to inculcate some noble qualities to march in the path of Bhakti and shed negative attributes of our body-mind. The...
- The Academik Genius Brothers – The Making Off… ep.5 - *THE ACADEMIK GENIUS BROTHERS * Present *The Making Off* of the Show: *” THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS OF PRINCESS POUR TOUS*” A Regular Radio Series of 14 E...
- Experience between the secular and the divine: Conclusion - Why have religious philosophers and theologians been drawn to phenomenology in particular? The essays in this forum suggest several answers to this question.
- A New Book on The Bhagavad Gītā by Ithamar Theodor - I am excited to share with you this exciting news! I am teaching a writing seminar on the Bhagavad Gītā at Cornell this semester and this is truly what we ...
- Consciousness between Science and Philosophy (response to Philip Goff on panpsychism) - tl;dr Panpsychism = All is psyche, which is to say human consciousness and visible Nature take place within the World-Soul. Most moderns have accepted as a...
- An Integral Spiritual Approach to Development – Concept and Practice – M. S. Srinivasan - (A review of the book, Integral Rural Development: A Rural Transformation Experiment, by Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry by G. Palanithurai … An Integral...
- Of Ram and Ramlīla - “It is a singular and as yet unexplained phenomenon in the psychology of mankind that out of so many magnificent civilisations, so many powerful, cultured ...
- The Greeks of antiquity did not like to learn foreign languages - The image of India in classical antiquity remains largely a mirror of Hellenic self-affirmation, self-exploration and self-questioning. In its very opennes...
- India’s handling of the Corona crisis is the best in the World - COVID-19: Is India testing enough? Myth vs Truth There is a lot of cry in the media, specially the western
- Distorting Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga – Anirjeet - Peter Heehs and his American supporters at the Archives of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, should be packed off to Donald Trump’s country and made to fe...
- Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol—Urdu Translation By Satpal.: The Book of the Traveller of the Worls, The Descent into Night ,رات کے اندر نزول , Canto VII , II:vii Section 4, [58.01-58.10]- ،اِک زیادہ تاریکی تھی منتظر، اِک حکمرانی بدتر इक ज़्यादा तारीकी थी मुंतज़िर,इक हुक्मरानी बदतर, A greater darkness waited, a worse reign,
- Pronouns in Savitri: 172: Pronouns in Sentences 30.1-30.6 - (Note: The personal and "who" pronouns within Savitri lines are marked in bold and the possessive pronouns are marked in bold and italics. The square brack...
- Sightings from the Symbol Dawn: 01: Does Savitri, the ambassadress twixt eternity and change, consult Astrology? - Savitri is the ambassadress twixt eternity and change who comes down, descends on earth, in the following passage from the opening section:Almost that day ...
- National Education: 78: Subjects for general grounding of children - Classification by subject is important when one wants to study one or several subjects in depth, once an overall grounding that is useful for everyone has ...
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
And while Śaṅkara was perhaps nondualism's purest and most famous exponent, it was taken up by many others in various ways – including by very different enemies of Śaṅkara. The later theistic thinker Rāmānuja wanted to assert against Śaṅkara that the plurality of things in the world is real, and yet he accepted Śaṅkara's basic nondualism: his philosophical system was called Viśiṣṭādvaita, differentiated or qualified nondualism. He aimed to produce a harmonious synthesis: the plurality of the world is not an illusion, as Śaṅkara would have it, but the parts of the divine One.
Now while Rāmānuja could be harshly critical of Śaṅkara himself, he remained in Śaṅkara's basic camp of loyalty to the Vedas and especially the Upaniṣads. Śaṅkara had much greater hostility to the Buddhists, who rejected the entirety of the Vedas and Upaniṣads. And yet – here is the striking thing – a very large number of Buddhists themselves accepted nondualism. The Yogācāra school had been taking up some form of nondualism since before Śaṅkara's time, enough that to other Vedāntic thinkers Śaṅkara's school just looked like the Buddhism they were familiar with; for that reason they even called him a "crypto-Buddhist" (pracchanna bauddha).
But it is crucial that most of the thinkers I've named here do not cite experience as the ground of their claims. Wilhelm Halbfass in India and Europe reminds us that Śaṅkara never refers to any experiences of his own; Chinese nondualists like Zhiyi didn't either, according to John McRae and Robert Sharf. But if anything, I think that nondualism's non-experiential provenance gives it more plausibility. That is, nondualism's exponents did not merely see it in an altered state of consciousness, but viewed it as somehow a logical necessity.
Divine and Divine-Human Speeches of the Devi: The Speech Contexts and the Dynamics of Authority in the Devi Gitas
Monday, August 31, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
What Lele does is to invent a new concept. He deletes the idea that karma operates across former and future lives. This immediately raises the problem of how karma can possibly work, given that many people act in good ways and experience bad results, and act in bad ways and experience
good results. Lele’s answer is that karma works probabilistically: good actions are more likely to produce experienced good results in this life, and bad actions are more likely to produce bad experienced results in this life. Karma is “probabilistic this-world karma.”
I’d call this shwarma, not karma.
If Lele were to say something like this, I’d have no objection (at least not yet). This is what philosophers do, in contrast to historians and philologists. He’d be owning up to cherry picking, and so wouldn’t be trying to have his cake and eat it too
(to mix metaphors). He’d be thinking as a Buddhist and as a cosmopolitanist (in
the philosophical sense of cosmopolitanism I advocate in Why I Am Not a
Buddhist). I’d say, “I sympathize with your situation, more power to you,
let’s see what you can do, and let’s see how others inside and outside the tradition respond.” For me, the proof would be in the pudding (to add another metaphor).
In the case at
hand, the pudding is “probabilistic this-world karma.” This is the conceptual
engineering we’re being offered. I don’t think it works.
properly speaking applies to a scientific causal model. When we have a causal
model consisting of a set of variables, we can define a probability measure
over propositions about the variables and their values. But what is the model
in the case of eudaimonistic karma? What are the variables and parameters? Unless
we can specify these, we don’t really know what we’re talking about. Are we supposed
to use game theory and decision theory to answer these questions? But these
theories typically abstract away from individual moral virtue, which is the key
concept of eudaimonistic thought. These theories and the concept of karma don’t
seem to fit together very well.
I worry that we’re
dealing with the same kind of scientism that infects much of Buddhist
modernism. By “scientism” I mean using scientific concepts where they’re not
appropriate. “Eudaimonistic karma” is a normative concept. It refers to good
and bad individual mental intentions and actions. Normative concepts operate in
the logical space of reasons—the logical space of being able to justify what
you say in relation to norms and values. The concept of probability, however,
is a descriptive one that operates in the logical space of causes. When you say
“probabilistic karma” you just code switch between the normative and
descriptive languages without helping us to think about their relation.
There are other
problems. As I wrote before, ...