Recently, Jonardan Ganeri reviewed the collaborative translation of the first chapter of Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi by Stephen H. Phillips and N. S. Ramanuja Tatacharya (Ganeri 2007). The review is quite favorable, and we have no desire to dispute his kind words. Ganeri does, however, put forth an argument in opposition to a fundamental line of interpretation given by Phillips and Ramanuja Tatacharya about the nature of pramāṇa, knowledge sources, as understood by Gaṅgeśa and, for that matter, Nyāya tradition. This response is (...) meant to answer the argument and reassert an understanding of pramāṇa as factive, that is, as knowledge sources that are inerrant. We argue that this is the best reading of Gaṅgeśa himself .. (shrink)
Religious pluralis does have, as James Kraft says, a negative impact on the epistemic confidence with which one holds a religious position, when epistemology is thought on both the externalist and internalist lines. I also conclude both that there is a resulting epistemic humility and that a tolerance of religious diversity results from it, but I reach these conclusions for entirely different reasons. Epistemic humility and religious tolerance are fostered by the realization that many religions are striving for the infinite, (...) though all have limited views of it. (shrink)
One of the hallmarks of human cognition is the capacity to generalize over arbitrary constituents. Recently, Marcus (1998, 1998a, b; Cognition 66, p. 153; Cognitive Psychology 37, p. 243) argued that this capacity, called universal generalization (universality), is not supported by Connectionist models. Instead, universality is best explained by Classical symbol systems, with Connectionism as its implementation. Here it is argued that universality is also a problem for Classicism in that the syntax-sensitive rules that are supposed to provide causal explanations (...) of mental processes are either too strict, precluding possible generalizations; or too lax, providing no information as to the appropriate alternative. Consequently, universality is not explained by a Classical theory. (shrink)
The great Advaita Vedāntin Śaṅkara puts forth a mystic parallelism thesis that is identified and examined here: mystical and sensory experiences are epistemically parallel. Among the conclusions drawn are that the Advaita metaphysics precludes successful defense of a Brahman-centered philosophy on the basis of such a thesis because Advaita precludes a story about how the experience of its Brahman could arise. Thus Śaṅkara needs "scripture" (śruti) to secure important parts of his view. A truly mystical Vedānta, in contrast, would not.