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The Paradox of Being Human

The Paradox of Being Human


Item Code: IDJ317

by Ramakant Sinari

Hardcover (Edition: 2007)

Indian Council of Philosophical Research and Munshiram Manoharlal
ISBN 8185636974

Size: 8.7" X 5.8"
Pages: 254
Price: $30.00
Discounted: $22.50   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 5th Jul, 2010


From the Jacket:

The main tenor of The Paradox of Being Human is philosophical aimed at empowering man to look upon the transcendental as the primordial essence of the human. An attempt is made here to develop the Samkhya and the Vedanta schools where the essence of Indian Philosophy is verbalized. Man is paradoxical - he is here in the world and yet not consumed by the fact of worldliness. The paradox is not arbitrary - it is woven within the very structure of human consciousness. The paradox is that man is worldly and otherworldly a the same time - it is objective and the subjective or, as Sartre puts it, the en-soi and pour-soi, are two facets of the same humanness. They are to be justified vis-à-vis the ultimate Being in which man is anchored. The intensification of the subjective is thus an opening into the ontology of Being which is perennial to our metaphysical source.

Ramakant Sinari, Professor Emeritus and former Professor and Chairman of the Department of the Humanities and Social Science, IIT Mumbai, was earlier a Fullbright-Smithmunddt Scholar in the USA. He has studied under the guidance of Marvin Farber, a British Council grantee and a Visiting Professor of Philosophy in USA. The author has several papers to his credit as also books The Structure of Indian Thought, Reason in Existentialism, and The Concept of Man in Philosophy (Ed.). Presently Professor Sinari is a visiting Professor of Consciousness Studies at the Bhaktivedanta Institute, Mumbai.


As a professor of phenomenological philosophy lecturing in various universities and centres of learning, and as a professor of Consciousness Studies at the Bhaktivedanta Institute in Mumbai, I have come to see the tilt towards the integrations between phenomenology and naturalism which I learnt and appreciated years ago when I heard Marvin Farber and other professors in the University of Pennsylvania and the State University of New York at Buffalo. Some of them happen to be Professor William Fontaine, Professor Elizabeth Flower, Professor Dale Riepe and Professor Rollo Handy, who awakened tremendous insight in me in the domain of this integration.

Back at home, Professor Ravi Gomatam, the present Director of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, is a pioneering philosopher at the Consciousness Studies Center whom I admire not only for his ardent endeavour to get the Consciousness Studies and physical sciences married but also for his insightful work of building the methodology of modern science and transcendentalism. Dr Gomatam shows how phenomenology as a study of subjectvity and physicalist view regarding human consciousness could be integrated. Such an integration was taught to me initially by Professor Marvin Farber.

Something novel has been attempted by me in this book. The book has for its main focus human reality. It tries to indicate that there is an ambiguity at the root of the phenomenon of being human. The ambiguity arises from the fact that although man can be studied empirically, as physical sciences do, the meaning given by man to his own existence cannot be studied objectively. In this sense, man is in the world and yet he does not totally belong to the world.

There have been many experts in philosophy (particularly, Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya, Professor R. Balasubramanian, Professor Daya Krishna, Professor Bhuvan Chandel, Swami Lokeswarananda, Professor Prabhat Misra, Professor B.D. Nag Chaudhuri and Professors on the Editorial Board of Dialectics and Humanism) whom I would like to express my thankfulness for their prompt readiness to allow me to use my writings in the works published by them.

Lastly, I must say that the present book would not have seen the light of the day had not the Indian Council of Philosophical Research given me very handsomely a grant and its extremely efficient Director (P&R), Dr. Mercy Helen, had not given me constant encouragement to ply through the material to complete it. I am indebted to the ICPR for all this that they have done to me. I lastly, am grateful to Dr. Amita Sakhalkar for her having taken pains to go through the typescript and prepared the Index of the book. Despite Dr. Amita's meticulousness many mistakes have crept into the script and the Index. I am solely responsible for these mistakes.

Ramakant Sinari


Chapter 1:Phenomenology and Existentialism
Man's 'Thrownness' in the World1
The Quest for the Meaning of One's Own Existence5
The Ultimate Aim of Transcendental Reduction12
Deification of the Goal of Man's Existence16
Chapter 2:Man-and-the-World Syndrome
The Meaning of Experience25
Qualia and Noeses29
Cartesianism in Phenomenology32
The Phenomenology of the Witnessing (saksin) Consciousness in the Sankhya School38
Kant's Inability to Capture the Noumenal40
Chapter 3:The Subjective and the Objective in Knowledge
Kant: the Constitution of the Human Mind44
The Division of Reality into the Subject-pole and the Object-pole46
Jean-Paul Sartre on the Notion of 'Pour-Soi'58
Phenomenology and Atmalogy60
Karl Popper's World-3 Scheme69
Chapter 4:Man as a Restless Being: Existentialist Sensibilities in Indian Philosophy
The Human Alienation from Being73
Christian and Hindu Search for the Ultimate79
The Existential Mood in the Bhagavad-Gita81
Being as Brahman, God, Sunya88
Chapter 5:The Mystery of Subjectivity
Subjectivity and Knowledge94
The Samkhya Concept of 'Iness' in Knowledge96
The Ontology of Consciousness's Intentionality104
Kierkegaard's Anti-rationalism105
Between the Worldly and the Otherworldly107
Chapter 6:Naturalism, Physicalism, Behaviorism, and the Problem of Human Consciousness
Naturalism and Kant's Apriorism115
What is Consciousness? 118
Experience and Knowledge121
Consciousness and 'the First-Person Perspective'123
Locke's Rejection of Innate Knowledge132
Hume and the Meaning of 'Impressions' or 'Ideas' in Empiricism135
Husserl and Subjectivity136
The Noesis-Noema Relation141
Husserl and Thomas Nagel143
Jean-Paul Sartre144
Is there a Self, a Consciousness? 157
Chapter 7:Being as the Destination of Human Consciousness
The Meaning of Human Existence163
Human Existence in the Upanisads165
The Phenomenal and the Transcendental167
The Carvaka's Rejection of the Self172
God as the a priori Existence175
Science and Human Existence177
The Challenge of Cartesian Dualism180
Science and Human Existence186
Chapter 8:Uncertainty: The Concept Disguised in the Fact of Existence
The Perennial Ambiguity of Being Human192
Atmalogy as Philosophical Anthropology200
Science and the Meaning of Being Human207
Life-World and Beyond222
The Crisis of Science227
The Ambiguity of Man-in-the-World: To Be and Not To Be241
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