[Advaita-l] Fwd: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Natural Realism & Contact theory of Perception

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 9 22:25:56 EST 2019


Great scholars may try to prove Reality of outside world but they all
miserably fail without exceptions.

Why? Because if objects are Real it brings a Duality of Observer and
Observed object.

Therefore we have to reject this and accept Jagan Mithyatva.

On Tue, Dec 3, 2019 at 11:50 AM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: Chittaranjan Naik <chitnaik at gmail.com>
> Date: Mon, Dec 2, 2019 at 10:55 PM
> Subject: Re: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Natural Realism & Contact theory of
> Perception
> To: भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत् <bvparishat at googlegroups.com>
> Namaste Sri Pattanayak-ji,
> I read Boyer’s article. I will have to read it again to get a full grasp of
> the recent approaches in the philosophy of science that the author is
> referring to, but I believe my first reading is sufficient for me to make a
> broad comparison between the article and my book.
> 1.      While Boyer’s article and my book both draw from Vedic sources in
> our endeavors to provide viable explanatory accounts of Direct Realism, the
> goals of the two are vastly different. The main goal of Boyer’s article
> seems to be to justify Direct Realism as a valid premise of science given
> that this premise has been challenged by both philosophy and the
> counter-intuitive theories of science itself which scientists have been
> compelled to build in the areas of Quantum and Relativity physics. The aim
> of my book is different. It is to establish Direct Realism as part of a
> larger enterprise aimed at reinstating the Vedic worldview in the
> contemporary world.
> 2.      Boyer’s article does not attempt to remove the main hindrance that
> stands in the way of postulating a Direct Realism thesis in any meaningful
> manner: the almost ubiquitously held belief that our perception is
> occasioned by a stimulus-response process. For, as long as the physicalist
> stimulus-response theory of perception is held to be valid, it would
> logically result in a dualism of a *phenomenal world* and a *non-linguistic
> world bereft of the datum of consciousness*. The espousal of the
> stimulus-response model of perception would therefore logically lead to
> Representationalism (or Indirect Realism) and not to Direct Realism. This
> is not a problem with the Boyer article alone; I find it characteristic of
> all Western attempts to postulate Direct Realism, perhaps because the
> stimulus-response theory of perception is deeply ingrained in the Western
> tradition from the time of Aristotle. In consideration of this factor, my
> book makes the theory of perception the main focus of the book, or of the
> endeavor to posit Direct Realism. It addresses the very possibility of
> Direct Realism rather than focus on the ontological features of reality.
> 3.      Boyer’s article tries to introduce *Structural Realism / Ontic
> Structural Realism* as possible avenues for postulating a kind of Direct
> Realism, the main argument for it being that even though scientific
> theories may not be able to speak validly about the descriptive aspects of
> reality, there is a structural continuity in science and, in consideration
> of the fact that scientific theories do work, it would be reasonable to
> assume that this structure represents a legitimate structure of reality.
> According to me, this argument does not hold because as long as the
> stimulus-response theory of perception is held to be valid, the reality
> that we can perceive, or form a conception of, would be a reality presented
> within a *phenomenological enclosure* having the brain as its physical
> substrate. The structure that Boyer talks about would then not be a
> structure of reality but a structure of the presentative field of the
> phenomenological enclosure correspondent to a structure in the
> non-linguistic external world. In other words, it would result in Indirect
> Realism and not Direct Realism.
> 4.      Again, Boyer’s article does not mention whether it accepts
> Cartesian dualism or rejects it. It may be noted that both contemporary
> philosophy and science reject Cartesian dualism, so much so that to even
> speak of the self as a distinct substance has become anathema. It is for
> this reason that all speculations and explorations in the field of both
> philosophy and science predominantly look towards neuroscience for a
> solution to the ‘problem of consciousness’.  Even Chalmers, who claims
> consciousness to be non-reductive, considers the physical universe to be a
> closed system (displaying causal closure) and says that we must look for
> the causal mechanisms of the subjective features of the field of
> consciousness in the physical substrate of the brain. According to me, it
> would be a futile exercise to attempt to incorporate the *Three Levels of
> Vedic reality*, as Boyer’s article attempts to do, into any theory of
> science without first addressing the question of whether the self is a
> distinct substance or not. The question of the unity of objects with a
> transcendental Consciousness arises only at the fourth level – the level of
> Turiya or linguistically at the level of Para-vak – whereas at the level of
> a transactional reality, reality does appear as a duality of conscious-self
> (purusha) and inert- matter (prakriti) and a theory that seeks to explain
> reality must address this level of reality too. Otherwise, to speak of
> incorporating Vedic conceptions of reality while remaining silent on the
> modern proclivity to reject Cartesian dualism would amount to a mere
> pretense. In my book (Chapter 4), I have explained why it is necessary to
> consider the self as a separate substance; while this may not constitute a
> formal proof of the existence of the self (I hope to take up that topic in
> my next paper/book), I have shown how by not considering the self as a
> distinct substance, it leads to all kinds of logical conundrums,
> essentially of the kinds that beset Representationalism.
> 5.      My book does not attempt to delve into the ontological features of
> reality as Boyer’s article does. The main reason for it is that I find the
> ontology already provided in the Indian tradition to be comprehensive. For
> example, the twenty-four tattvas of Samkhya provide the basic material
> constituents of the universe, the seven categories (or padarthas) of Nyaya
> explain the irreducible logical compositions of the complex objects that
> constitute the furniture of the world formed through admixtures of the
> twenty-four tattvas of Samkhya, and Vedanta provides the nature of a
> Transcendental Reality and its relation to the universe and to the
> conscious beings that inhabit the universe. I do not believe that the
> scientific model is anywhere close to providing such a comprehensive view
> of reality.
> 6.      Boyer’s article tries to incorporate the Vedic conception of *Three
> Levels of Reality* without consideration of the praxis of the Vedic logical
> tradition. For example, he refers to the problem of defining what
> individual objects are, or of identifying what the thingness of a thing is,
> but these kinds of problems are really self-inflicted problems inasmuch as
> they arise from the Western tradition (i.e., since the time of Descartes
> and British Empiricism) having rejected the categories. Even though the
> categories of Aristotle – the Predicamentia, as they were called – were not
> as well defined, or as well argued for, as the padarthas of the Indian
> tradition were, they had still provided a logical foundation to explain how
> ‘thingness’ may be apprehended but the rejection of the categories has left
> the Western tradition – and unfortunately the field of contemporary
> discourse which follows in the footsteps of the Western tradition – without
> a foothold to comprehend even basic things like object-hood, etc. If we are
> to truly draw from the Indian Vedic tradition, we cannot afford to ignore
> the padarthas which form the bedrock of the Indian logical tradition. In my
> book, I have included a section (in Chapter 4) on the categories
> (padarthas), and, in Chapter 8, I have argued from a logic based on the
> categories to counter the main objections raised against Direct Realism.
> 7.      While Boyer mentions *Logical Positivism* and *Kuhnian revolution*
> in his article, he doesn’t seem to consider the ramifications that the work
> done by the Logical Positivists and Thomas Kuhn would have on the attempts
> to incorporate Vedic conceptions in a unified theory of science. Both the
> Logical Positivists and Kuhn held that the empirical observations of
> science are theory-laden by the symbolic framework within which scientists
> operate and that when the basic parameters of the symbolic framework
> change, it would result in the rise of a new paradigm that would be
> incommensurable with the old paradigm. According to me, it is naïve to
> undertake a project to combine Vedic conceptions of the universe with those
> of science without first ascertaining whether the two paradigms are
> commensurate with each other. Indeed, in my book (Part II of the book) , I
> have shown that the scientific experiments conducted to measure the
> velocity of light with respect to an observer are theory laden with the
> assumptions of the physicalist framework of science, primarily with the
> assumption that a measuring instrument is equivalent to an observer, and
> that the velocity of light measured between an object and the observer is
> false. The measured velocity of light is actually the velocity of light
> between one object (the source of light) and another object (the object
> illuminated by the source of light) and not between an object and the
> observer as is believed by scientists. I have proposed a new experiment in
> (Part II of) my book to actually verify whether the observation of an event
> in space is instantaneous or whether it occurs after a time-lapse.
> 8.      The entire phenomenon of paradigms and the incommensurability
> problem is, according to me, a result of the Western tradition not having a
> culture of pramanas. I believe there is a good opportunity here for the
> scholars of the Indian vidyas, especially Nayyayikas, to put the entire
> framework of science under the lens of scrutiny of a philosophical
> investigation based on the principles and methods of Nyaya Shastra. I am
> convinced that if this is done, it will not only give rise to a new
> discipline – which we may call the Nyaya Philosophy of Science – but also
> demonstrate that the Indian logical tradition is not dead, that it has the
> potential to forge new frontiers of knowledge.
> I would have been more comfortable if someone else had provided the
> comparison between my book and that article, but yours was a reasonable
> request all the same as it allows me to let the members of this forum know
> where I am coming from in writing the book. Thank you for showing interest
> in my book.
> Regards,
> Chittaranjan
> On Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 8:01:46 AM UTC+5:30, Deva Pattanayak
> wrote:
> >
> >  The direct realism may be  related to the sixth sense. A tiger is
> lurking
> > around before one actually spots it in a forest.
> > Here is a quote from an article by R.W. Boyer, that I came across which I
> > have attached for your reference.
> >
> >   "Again, in completely holistic Vedanta all objects and observers are
> > nothing other than the universal Self. That ultimate reality is said to
> be
> > directly verifiable in unity consciousness as the simultaneity of
> > part/whole, reductivism/holism, individual/universal. It is expressed
> > simply and fully in the Vedic statement: “Aham Brahmasmi (Brihad-Aranyak
> > Upanishad, 1.4.10)  "
> >
> > How do you view your work in relation with this paper by Boyer? A brief
> > one page reply will be much appreciated and open up for furthe
> discussions.
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Nov 29, 2019 at 1:32 PM Chittaranjan Naik <chit... at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> "It would also mean that the finite time taken for light to travel from
> a
> >> distant star to our physical eyes is not part of the perceptual process
> and
> >> that the physical bodies we possess somehow do not interfere in the
> >> perceptual process."  This is from Naik_ji 's writing.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> I would like to clarify here that this statement was made in the context
> >> of Direct Realism and what it entails. For the thesis of Direct Realism
> to
> >> stand, we would need to posit a theory of perception in which the world
> >> would be transparently revealed to the percipient, that is, without the
> >> transforming mechanisms of the gross body interfering in the perceptual
> >> process.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> It may be noted that the Indian theory of perception offers such a
> model.
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >> Chittaranjan
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 10:57:12 PM UTC+5:30, Deva Pattanayak
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> "It would also mean that the finite time taken for light to travel from
> >>> a distant star to our physical eyes is not part of the perceptual
> process
> >>> and that the physical bodies we possess somehow do not interfere in the
> >>> perceptual process."
> >>> This is from Naik_ji 's writing. This example of delayed perception of
> >>> star light is not only based on science, but the part that is left out
> that
> >>> the star knew that so many light years later some one will be
> observing the
> >>> light.
> >>> Actually the net perception is a shuttle combination of what has
> >>> happened in the past as well as what is there to come.
> >>>
> >>> While comparing western philosophy with that of Indian philosophy, it
> is
> >>> perhaps important to bear in mind that in the west  the reigning
> mentality
> >>> is to make a new beginning rather than stay pinned to  many ideas of
> the
> >>> past that are not relevant today  or even true. The winning mentality
> for
> >>> mankind should be that  it is ok  to try new things without invisible
> >>> strings of the past.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On Sat, Nov 2, 2019 at 7:46 PM Hari Kiran <kiran.v... at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Pranaams to all,
> >>>>
> >>>> We are happy to announce the 8th book published by Indic Academy
> >>>> written by Chittaranjan Naik..
> >>>>
> >>>> Members of the list interested in reviewing the book for publication
> on
> >>>> www.indictoday.com may please write to us at nam... at indica.org.in and
> >>>> we will send you a review copy.
> >>>>
> >>>> Regards
> >>>>
> >>>> Hari
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> http://www.indictoday.com/announcements/natural-realism-contact-theory-of-perception/
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> http://www.indictoday.com/interviews/indian-philosophys-challenge-to-contemporary-worldview-interview-with-chittaranjan-naik/
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> --
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