Many of us, and I am no exception, have been led to assume, almost un-consciously, that Śankara is India's greatest philosopher and that the non-dualist philosophy he consolidated, Advaita Vedānta, is the supreme spiritual philosophy of India, if not of the whole world. Dualist opponents like Madhva, on the other hand, have usually been appreciated very little, if at all. Several of my colleagues think of Madhva as a reactionary, if brilliant, theist whose philosophy best serves as a foil to (...) Śankara's. Madhva, it almost seems, is studied not for his own philosophical virtues but as a means the better to appreciate Śankara's. I believe that we must weigh more carefully the dualist position, particularly its trenchant critique of non-dualism. We may discover in the process that Śankara, whatever else he was – brilliant stylist, mystic par excellence , deft polemicist – was not the originator or consolidator of anything like an internally consistent metaphysics. (shrink)
The three major schools of Vedanta— a kara's Advaita, R m nuja's Viśi dvaita, and Madhva's Dvaita—all claim to be based on the Upanishads, but they have evolved very different views of Brahman, or the Supreme Reality, and the soul's relation to that Reality once it is liberated from rebirth, when mok a or eternal life commences. Advaita teaches that liberated souls merge into the seamless blissful Brahman, the only Reality, and finally escape their earth dreams of sin and suffering, (...) even to the point of forfeiting individuality. Both Viśi dvaita and Dvaita are resolutely realist systems and see essential differences between Brahman and souls that are never transcended, even in the world of the liberated, visualized in these systems as a glorious paradise where God (Vishnu) reigns in splendor over blissful souls devoted to Him everlastingly. But whereas Madhva sees innate differences in souls, each with a greater or lesser capacity for bliss, R m nuja sees a universal sameness in the quality and degree of bliss, even to the point of equating it with the bliss of God Himself. The author points out these and other contrasts between the three views of mok a , critiques each, then develops a view of the liberated state more satisfactory (in his view) than any of the three in a marriage of East and West. (shrink)
Contemporary materialist theories purporting to account for experience are seriously flawed, for they fail to accommodate the full range of human experience, especially paranormal experience. Substance Dualism (SD) is re-examined in light of this experience,including telepathy and clairvoyance, mediumship, the near-death experience, and reincarnation cases involving children’s memories. A different kind of materialism postulating degrees of fi neness and vibration—one prefigured by the ancient Stoics and developed hereunder the heading Transcendental Materialism (TM)—is also explored. The inadequacies of both reductive and (...) non-reductive materialism are shown. McGinn, Chalmers, and Searle are given special attention. (shrink)
Abstract Sankara's philosophy fails definitively at the point where he leaves the human experience??sinning and suffering??unaccounted for. What in each of us, he asks, sins and suffers? Is it the antahkarana, the ?mental organ? giving rise to the series of mental states (buddins) that file by illumined by the atman? Impossible, he says, for the antahkarana by itself is material (jada,) and therefore unconscious (acit). Then is it the ?tman, upon which the antahkarana is superimposed? Inconceivable, he says, for the (...) atman is identical with Brahman, and Brahman is by definition pure bliss?consciousness, as far removed from sin and suffering as can be imagined. Then is the atman in conjunction with the antahkarana?a partnership that Sankara calls the jiva (or soul)?the sinner and sufferer? Yes, he says, as long as you remember that the sin and suffering are ultimately illusory, as illusory as the antahkarana itself. I show why Sankara's answer fails and what the failure implies, then suggest a fruitful way to approach Sankara and teach his philsophy to our students. (shrink)
At a time when mysticism is at last emerging as a respectable field of study for philosophers and religious phenomenologists, we find this new field in considerable disarray. We see, for example, Eliot Deutsch defending as philosophically intelligible and as significant śankara's non-dualistic interpretation of the mystic's experience. 1 There is R. C. Zaehner, on the other hand, labelling śankara's mysticism ‘profane’ and sharply distinguishing it from the fuller, or ‘sacred’, mysticism of the theist. 2 A third modern-day interpreter, W. (...) T. Stace, finds both the ‘monism’ of śankara and the dualism of the theist inadequate and proposes ‘pantheism’ as the most plausible interpretation of the mystic's experience. 3 Still another interpreter, Ben-Ami Scharfstein, rejects, as did Bertrand Russell much earlier, 4 every metaphysical claim put forward by the mystic; any such claim, be it monist, pantheist, or dualist, is but an ‘ontological fairy tale’. 5. (shrink)
Betty Joseph's work has become an outstanding influence in the development and theory of psychoanalytic technique in the Kleinian tradition. This collection of her most important papers examines the development of her thought and shows why a crucial part of her theory and practice is concerned with the detailed, sensitive scrutiny of the therapeutic process itself. Fundamental and controversial topics explored and discussed include projective identification, transference and countertransference, unconscious phantasy, and Kleinian views on envy and the death instinct.
Why is it that we watch _Mad Men_ and think it represents a period? Flashes of patterned wallpaper, whiskey neat, babies born that are never mentioned, contact lining for kitchen drawers, Ayn Rand, polaroids, skinny ties, Hilton hotels, Walter Cronkite, and a time when Don Draper can ask ‘What do women want?’ and dry old Roger Sterling can reply ‘Who Cares?’ This essay explores the embrace of period detail in _Mad Men_ finding it to be both loving and fetishistic, and (...) belonging, like all period film, to the politics of the present. (shrink)
Esta obra recoge una selección revisada de ponencias presentadas en distintas ediciones del Seminario Internacional de Jóvenes Investigadores (IFS-CSIC). Su publicación como conjunto responde a la motivación de divulgar un cuerpo de cuestiones relevantes dentro de la investigación en humanidades y ciencias sociales de la última década. Una gran parte de los artículos incide directamente en cuestiones de interés para los ámbito de estudio de la ética y la ciencia política.