In the Press
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Originally published in Nanjanagudu Sri Raghavendra Mutt pontiff Suyamindra Thirtha Swamiji's 12th anniversary of ascension celebration souvenir.
"Savikalpaka and Nirvikalpaka Vada" by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri
'The Nature of Explanation' by Kenneth Craik (1967)
[Cambridge University Press]
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(One of the Pioneers of "Gestalt School of Thought")
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Charavaka School of Skepticism and Materialism
“Savikalpaka and Nirvikalpaka Vada”
by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri
The Problem of Determinacy and Indeterminacy of Knowledge in its two phases – Origin and Cognition has engaged the minds of the philosophers, in the East and the West from early times. The “Pure Sensation” of James; “a bare apprehension of the present” of Hobhouse; “a pure manifold” of Kant – this manifold of sense arising as a result of the actions of the things-in themselves (Ding an sich) which are different from the principle of consciousness; the “immediate experience or consciousness prior to the exercise of any discriminative activity” of Lossky, imply the existence of some form of indeterminate knowledge. In opposition to this view it is contended that “not even the crudest, vaguest consciousness of a content can be accounted for, either psychologically or epistemologically without calling to our aid in the exposition the notion of a discriminative activity” (Dawes Hicks).
Some realistic thinkers like Craik (The Nature of Explanation) have gone so far as to reduce man to a machine by assuming that the processes of reasoning are not fundamentally different from the mechanism of the physical nature. “On our model theory neural and other mechanisms can imitate or parallel the behavior and interaction of physical objects and so supply us with information on physical process which are not directly observable to us. Our thought, then, has objective validity because it is not fundamentally different from objective reality but is specially suited for imitating it (The Nature of Explanation p. 99). The principal of uncertainty exists but it is a limitation of not of reality itself but of our capacity for verification and observation. Still, according to this view, it does not justify the confusion between the limit of existence. The notion of probability must be based upon the notion of influence and interdependence of things or causality. Yet it is asserted that mind in all its activities has its position only within the sphere of the physical world and “thought is a term for the conscious working of a highly complex machine. Man’s brain is the greatest machine imitating within its tiny network