Philosophy vs science


(From a discussion in Quora on science vs philosophy)

http://www.advaita-vision.org/science-vs-philosophy-in-three-parts-part-i/#more-3988

— Max Planck: “I had always looked upon the search for the absolute as the noblest and most worth while task of science.”

 

M – ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’… Objectivism in science was given up long ago (no doubt you know it, from what you are saying). I said previously that knowledge or truth is the relationship /’adequatio’ of ‘rei’ (subject matter) and/with the intellect. I still like that medieval definition of ‘truth’.

In advaita philosophy all truths, being merely conceptual, are relative (mithya) – all of them; they are not only falsifiable but sublatable or stultifiable. The only ‘thing’ that is unsublatable is experience of the transcendental ‘something’ (Consciousness, Atma… the name is not important – “sages call it by many names”), which is indescribable, the only reality there is, and which pervades everything (like the Tao in that other tradition). I happen to be interested in/attracted by this ‘thing’ and this way of thinking about it. The evidence? Purely subjective – in a metaphysical sense, different from the subjectivism of science referred to above). You can call it mysticism if you wish, but it is something more than that, and not just mental speculation… and I cannot provide any evidence for you.’

Y – “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Yep, and what is the best way to find out what those things are?  Rational inquiry, or just making stuff up?  Personally I’ll stick with rational inquiry.

M – – ‘It cannot be found by searching, but only those who search may find it’ (Nicolas of Cusa). I am not particularly fond of entering into a (forced) marriage between science and philosophy or “spirituality”, so I don’t particularly recommend dipping into a site called ‘Non-duality North America’, or something like that – where a bunch of physicists and cosmologists have their say. Rationality? Why not say ‘(searching), unbiased Intelligence’? That includes the former.

P.S. I said that the evidence is ‘purely subjective’, and that is because there is only one ‘Subject’ – with no object/s. Consciousness reflects on itself, ‘knows’ itself. It cannot be said that Consciousness is aware of ‘anything’, or knows ‘anything’, but everything is known, etc. in its presence, as it were. There are no things; there is only Consciousness (I am no-thing).

 

 

 

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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4 Responses to Philosophy vs science

  1. saengnapha says:

    Martin said:
    In advaita philosophy all truths, being merely conceptual, are relative (mithya) – all of them; they are not only falsifiable but sublatable or stultifiable. The only ‘thing’ that is unsublatable is experience of the transcendental ‘something’ (Consciousness, Atma… the name is not important – “sages call it by many names”), which is indescribable, the only reality there is, and which pervades everything (like the Tao in that other tradition). I happen to be interested in/attracted by this ‘thing’ and this way of thinking about it. The evidence? Purely subjective – in a metaphysical sense, different from the subjectivism of science referred to above). You can call it mysticism if you wish, but it is something more than that, and not just mental speculation… and I cannot provide any evidence for you.’

    Why do you stop with consciousness? Keep going………….There is no ‘thing’ called consciousness. Why do you need an ‘ultimate’? If it is not graspable, then why name it and describe it as anything, and then proclaim it to be the goal? This is all part of the mental process of thinking and the tendency to grasp and fixate. We reify all insights, all concepts, over and over again. We continue down that road? You are not really different than when you started your search, just more full of ideas and the desire to have a position. This is just a mental habit.

    I am not questioning that there is something called consciousness. I am also not questioning your desire to understand all of this. I am only questioning why you choose to rest in your own subjectivity? Isn’t subjectivity a self created illusion? Why be attached to that and call it ‘your own’? It seems to me that the ‘evidence’ that might be ‘real’ is the absence of this mentation that keeps the mind looking for what cannot be found or held on to.

  2. According to Shankara, more attention should be paid to the means (upaya), like purification of the mind, than to the end (upeya), especially in the case of Self-realization, because the end of Self-realization is by its nature ever accomplished.

  3. saengnapha says:

    What kind of upaya does Sankara recommend?

  4. saengnapha says:

    You mention purification of the mind as upaya. Exactly how does Sankara instruct this purification? Has it worked for you? What are its signs?

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