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>> No.16459577 [View]
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16459577

>>16459571

But as regards being revealed by an intelligence the lamp is on a par with the jar etc. Therefore the lamp is not an illustration in point to show that consciousness (of sensory perceptions etc) reveals itself; it is revealed by an intelligence just as much as the external objects are. Now, if consciousness is revealed by an intelligence, which consciousness is it?—the one that is revealed (the consciousness of the perception), or the one that reveals (i.e. the consciousness of the self)? Since there is a doubt on the point, we should infer on the analogy of observed facts, not contrary to them. Such being the case, just as we see that external objects such as a lamp are revealed by something different from them (the self), so also should consciousness— although it reveals other things like a lamp—be inferred, on the ground of its being revealed by an intelligence, to be revealed not by itself, but by an intelligence different from it. And that other entity which reveals consciousness (of perceptions) is the self—the intelligence which is different from that consciousness.

Objection: But that would lead to a regressus in infinitum.

Reply: No; it has only been stated on logical grounds that because consciousness is an object revealed by something, the latter must be distinct from that consciousness. Obviously there cannot be any infallible ground for inferring that the self literally reveals the consciousness in question, or that, as the witness, it requires another agency to reveal it. Therefore there is no question of a regressus in infinitum.

Objection: If consciousness is revealed by something else, some means of revelation is required, and this would again lead to a regressus in infinitum.

Reply: No, for there is no such restriction; it is not a universal rule. We cannot lay down an absolute condition that whenever something is revealed by another, there must be some means of revelation besides the two—that which reveals and that which is revealed, for we observe diversity of conditions. For instance, a jar is perceived by something different from itself, viz. the self; here light such as that of a lamp, which is other than the perceiving subject and the perceived object, is a means. The light of the lamp etc. is neither a part of the jar nor of the eye, But though the lamp, like the jar, is perceived by the eye, the latter does not require any external means corresponding to the light, over and above the lamp (which is the object). Hence we can never lay down the rule that wherever a thing is perceived by something else, there must be some means besides the two. Therefore, if consciousness is admitted to be revealed by a subject different from it, the charge of a regressus in infinitum, either through the means or through the perceiving subject (the self), is altogether untenable. Hence it is proved that there is another light, viz. the light of the self, which is different from consciousness.

>> No.16123530 [View]
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>>16123522

Mukerji notes, however, that this response ignores ‘the plain fact that the quid anterior to consciousness has no meaning for us, and so cannot be appealed to in explanation of anything …’ That is, the non-conceptualized quid that materialist theories of consciousness appeal to is a quid that is intelligible only insofar as it is presented to a self. This is how he reads Śaṁkara’s argument that while cognitions have specific temporal determinations, ‘that for which these temporal relations have a meaning cannot be itself in time; it is in this sense an eternal presence’ (NS, 144–45). Mukerji, in fact, suggests that Śaṁkara was an empirical realist about the phenomenal world. The statement that all empirical reality is rooted in the Absolute does not imply that everyday objects are dissolved into the Absolute, or that human moral and religious aspirations are demoted to the status of mere illusions: ‘To urge that my world would not exist if I had not existed is not to prove that the world I know is my ideas only’ (NS, 323). We should therefore understand the difference between ‘realism’ and ‘idealism’ in this manner: while the realist accepts as unproblematic the ‘fact’ that we inhabit an external world, the idealist asks for an analysis of the conditions under which this ‘fact’ is established.

Therefore, while the realist ‘takes the facts “at their face-value”, the idealist asks for the conditions involved in the factual nature of the so-called facts’ (Mukerji 2011: 475). Provided the terms are understood in this manner, we can see that in his response to Hume Kant not only ‘undermined the basis of realism’ but also developed a form of idealism which is opposed to subjective idealism. Mukerji argues that a Kantian can agree with a realist that the world is not composed merely of bundles of fleeting ideas, even while pointing out to the realist that the nature which is the subject of scientific investigation is not given to us in any way other than through our scientific theories, and it is therefore not possible to check whether these theories correspond to an extra-theoretical nature. As N. Bhushan and J. Garfield point out, Mukerji’s idealism is not subjectivist and it does not reject an extra-mental world; rather, ‘Mukerji defends a robust realism about the natural world and an intersubjective account of the constitution of our ontology’ (Bhushan and Garfield 2011: 461).



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