Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Philosophy

The Personification of Knowledge

Modern logic is defined by three principles—identity (A is A), non-contradiction (it cannot be both and A and not-A), and mutual exclusion (it cannot be neither A and not-A). In Vedic philosophy, we will call this a dualistic logic in the sense that the categories neither and both are logically forbidden forever. This dualistic logic …

Philosophy

The Modal Conception of Reality

Epistemology in the West is defined as the “theory of knowledge”, especially with regard to the methods of knowing and questions about whether these methods deliver truth. However, owing to numerous dualisms in Western philosophy, including the strict separation between the observer and the observed, it has never been clear if knowledge is possible. Even …

Philosophy Physics Religion

What is a Machine?

A few articles ago, I discussed the nature of Personhood as six traits—self-awareness, intention, emotion, cognition, conation, and relation. Then we discussed Personalism vs. Depersonalization: A person is governed by free will and the depersonalized is governed by laws. As a follow-up, in this article, I will discuss what I mean by a machine in …

Philosophy

Differences Between Western and Eastern Personalism, Impersonalism, Voidism, and Materialism

Śrila Prabhupāda’s Praṇām Mantra describes the Western world as nirviśeśa and sūnyavāda, which are translated as impersonalism and voidism. This has always perplexed me because the West sees itself rooted in Christian theistic Personalism. In what sense can a society based on theistic Personalism be called impersonalism or voidism? The problem compounds if we consider …

Philosophy

Why Metaphysics is Pointless

Western philosophy has a famed distinction between appearance and reality. This distinction began with the idea that appearances are outward projection, while reality is the thing in itself. For example, consider a cheater, who talks suavely and pretends to have your best interests at heart, but in fact, he is trying to deceive you. Here, …

Philosophy

How to Debate an Impersonalist?

In a recent conversation, many good questions about the problems of Advaita Impersonalism arose, which we could not cover during the conversation itself. This post tries to respond to these questions. For those who might be unaware, Advaita Impersonalism can be summarized into four claims: (a) Brahman is real or true, (b) the material world …

Philosophy

How To Debate a Skeptic?

The following is an expanded version of the response I sent to someone after watching his debate with a Skeptic/Atheist. I had posted a critique of his approach on that video, which I have since deleted because I don’t want to be polemical about the efforts of people trying to do something. They are certainly …