The Paradox of Being Human

Item Code: IDJ317
Author: Ramakant Sinari
Publisher: Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR)
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 8185636974
Pages: 254
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 40 gm
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Book Description

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.


  Preface xi
  Introduction xiii
Chapter 1: Phenomenology and Existentialism  
  Man's 'Thrownness' in the World 1
  The Quest for the Meaning of One's Own Existence 5
  The Ultimate Aim of Transcendental Reduction 12
  Deification of the Goal of Man's Existence 16
Chapter 2: Man-and-the-World Syndrome  
  The Meaning of Experience 25
  Qualia and Noeses 29
  Cartesianism in Phenomenology 32
  The Phenomenology of the Witnessing (saksin) Consciousness in the Sankhya School 38
  Kant's Inability to Capture the Noumenal 40
Chapter 3: The Subjective and the Objective in Knowledge  
  Kant: the Constitution of the Human Mind 44
  The Division of Reality into the Subject-pole and the Object-pole 46
  Intentionality 48
  Jean-Paul Sartre on the Notion of 'Pour-Soi' 58
  Phenomenology and Atmalogy 60
  Karl Popper's World-3 Scheme 69
Chapter 4: Man as a Restless Being: Existentialist Sensibilities in Indian Philosophy  
  The Human Alienation from Being 73
  Christian and Hindu Search for the Ultimate 79
  The Existential Mood in the Bhagavad-Gita 81
  Being as Brahman, God, Sunya 88
Chapter 5: The Mystery of Subjectivity  
  Subjectivity and Knowledge 94
  The Samkhya Concept of 'Iness' in Knowledge 96
  The Ontology of Consciousness's Intentionality 104
  Kierkegaard's Anti-rationalism 105
  Between the Worldly and the Otherworldly 107
Chapter 6: Naturalism, Physicalism, Behaviorism, and the Problem of Human Consciousness  
  Naturalism and Kant's Apriorism 115
  What is Consciousness? 118
  Experience and Knowledge 121
  Consciousness and 'the First-Person Perspective' 123
  Representationism 124
  Locke's Rejection of Innate Knowledge 132
  Hume and the Meaning of 'Impressions' or 'Ideas' in Empiricism 135
  Husserl and Subjectivity 136
  The Noesis-Noema Relation 141
  Husserl and Thomas Nagel 143
  Jean-Paul Sartre 144
  Existentialism 147
  Is there a Self, a Consciousness? 157
Chapter 7: Being as the Destination of Human Consciousness  
  The Meaning of Human Existence 163
  Human Existence in the Upanisads 165
  The Phenomenal and the Transcendental 167
  The Carvaka's Rejection of the Self 172
  God as the a priori Existence 175
  Science and Human Existence 177
  The Challenge of Cartesian Dualism 180
  Science and Human Existence 186
Chapter 8: Uncertainty: The Concept Disguised in the Fact of Existence  
  The Perennial Ambiguity of Being Human 192
  Atmalogy as Philosophical Anthropology 200
  Science and the Meaning of Being Human 207
  Life-World and Beyond 222
  The Crisis of Science 227
  The Ambiguity of Man-in-the-World: To Be and Not To Be 241
  Index 250

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