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>> No.16123448 [View]
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Mukerji is more sympathetic to Green’s engagements with Kant, noting that both Green and Śaṁkara view consciousness as a reality which has none of the characteristics that belong to knowable objects (viṣaya) (NS, 144). He argues that Śaṁkara’s argument that every perceptual judgement involves two principles, namely an unchanging spiritual unity (cit) and a stream of transient cognitions (vṛtti-pravāha) of the mind (antaḥkaraṇa), is analogous to Kant’s distinction, later elaborated by Green, between the transcendental unity of apperception and the successive states of knowledge. Mukerji comments: ‘And what must be eminently interesting for a modern philosopher is the similarity of Green’s analysis with that of Sankara’ (NS, 175).

However, while both Śaṁkara and Green highlight the point that the self is the logical presupposition of experience and hence cannot be placed under the categories, there is a fundamental divergence in their conceptual systems regarding the question of knowledge of the self. While Green, following Kant, exhibits a ‘drift to agnosticism’ and regards the noumenal self as completely unknowable, the Advaita standpoint is that self-revealing consciousness (svayaṃprakāśa), which is both eminently real and yet not an object, is present in all empirical consciousness (NS, 129–130). According to Mukerji, the basic error of Kant, and of Green in his Kantian moments, is to view reality, on the one hand, and the phenomenal world, on the other hand, as congruent, and to conclude from this equivalence that the noumenal self, because it is unknowable, is merely an imaginary point. According to Advaita, however, reality is more expansive than Kant’s phenomenal world, so that the pure consciousness of Advaita, though indescribable, is not a completely inconceivable x, but rather ‘the indispensable support of all objects and of all relations among the objects’ (NS, 342).

Therefore, the Advaita of Śaṁkara gives us, according to Mukerji, a conceptual pathway that avoids the errors of Caird and Green: on the one hand, the Absolute of Advaita cannot be characterized in terms of any empirical categories which are relational, but, on the other hand, it is not a Kantian thing-in-itself which is entirely unknown. Sankara avoids the ‘opposite fallacies’ of viewing the self as an empirical object (which, according to Mukerji, is effectively Caird’s response to Kant) and as a pure nothing (which is the ‘drift’ of Green), for while Sankara emphasizes that the conditions under which objects are known cannot be applied to the knower, he also asserts that ‘what is thus beyond the conditions of the knowable objects is our very self. The self in this sense is said to be beyond the known and above the unknown’ (NS, 270). Thus, the Advaitic self is not unknown and unknowable in the same sense as the Kantian noumenon.

>> No.16076935 [View]
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