`Siva's Self-Recognition and The Problem of Interpretation
By David Lawrence

Philosophy East & West
V. 48 No. 2 (April 1998)
pp. 197-231

Copyright 1998 by University of Hawaii Press


 

 

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Introduction

    This essay will interpret aspects of the Pratyabhij~naa philosophical theology for monistic `Saivism of the ninth- and tenth-century Kashmiri thinkers Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, in their relevance and presumptiveness to contemporary Western thought. I claim that the Pratyabhij~naa system elucidates important features of our past and present deliberations about the role of interpretation in experience, and provides us with a sound way of arguing for the reality of God. In particular, I will show how the Pratyabhij~naa supports the presumption regarding the existence of God of the Christian philosophical theology of logos against the deconstructionism of Jacques Derrida and other forms of conceptual skepticism. Having argued for such a convergence between the Pratyabhij~naa and Christianity, I will also address one of their important divergences. I will briefly defend the `Saiva understanding of the identity of God with souls and the world against the traditional Christian understanding of their difference. First I will summarize the Indian ideas, and then I will make the connections with Western thought.

 

Exposition of the Pratyabhij~naa System

Religious and Philosophical Program. Utpaladeva, the originator of the Pratyabhij~naa system and his perhaps more brilliant commentator Abhinavagupta were adherents to the Trika form of Kashmiri monistic, tantric `Saivism. [1] The Trika is distinguished from other forms of such `Saivism by its doctrinal and practical organization in terms of a series of cosmological triads; however, we do not need to get into these here, and it will be most useful to describe the broader pattern of monistic `Saivism. [2] According to the monistic `Saiva traditions, the only reality is the supreme deity `Siva. `Siva, out of a kind of play, divides Himself from His consort and power `Sakti, and in sexual union emanates the universe through Her. The universe and the souls in it are real and not illusory as in Advaita Vedanta but, paradoxically, absolutely identical with `Siva. Spiritual liberation is the realization of one's true self as `Siva. This is approached through diverse kinds of ritual and contemplation, including the use of mantras, ma.n.dalas, and, sometimes, sexual rituals in which the partners recapitulate the cosmogonic union of `Siva and `Sakti.

    Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, both considered saints by their tradition, conceived the Pratyabhij~naa or "Recognition" system simultaneously as a philosophical apologetics and an intellectualized "spiritual exercise." Their explicit purpose is to lead all humanity to the recognition of identity with `Siva that they themselves had attained. [3] This very

 

 

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universalism of their redemptive project led them into considerations of philosophical intelligibility. Abhinavagupta explains that they follow the standards for publicly assessable argument developed by the Nyaaya-Vai`se.sika school so that their views will be seen as cogent by all humanity. [4] I believe that the Pratyabhij~naa thinkers' universalistic mission justifies the effort of dialogical imagination that is being attempted here.

The Challenge of the Buddhist Logicians. The Pratyabhij~naa thinkers are particularly concerned with justifying their soteriology by addressing certain dilemmas that had emerged in centuries of debates between schools of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy. [5] Their chief opponents are the school now often called "Buddhist logic," which was founded by Dignaaga and most influentially interpreted by Dharmakiirti. I must now briefly summarize some of the chief views of this school, and how the `Saivas understood the problems it raised to challenge their own tradition. [6]

    Buddhist logic has some similarities with the phenomenalism of David Hume. According to the Buddhist logicians, our only valid cognition is direct perception, which entirely lacks all linguistic, conceptual, and imaginative interpretation (nirvikalpakaj~naana), and has its objects, a flux of evanescent 'unique particulars' or 'point instants' (svalak.sa.na). From such perception they distinguish cognition with interpretation (savikalpakaj~naana), which synthesizes the unique particulars into ostensible objects characterized by universals (samanyalak.sa.na). According to the Buddhists there are no grounds in the svalak.sa.nas for the application of these syntheses.

    Though the Buddhists believe that all conceptual interpretations are ultimately illusory, they still have to explain a non-epistemic 'coordination' (saaruupya) between language and the particulars as the basis for successful reference in communication and behaviors. This they attempt with a semantic theory of 'exclusion' (apoha). According to this theory, words have no isomorphism with the sense data but only exclude other interpretations that would not lead to successful behavior. The only reference of the word "cow" to a perceived particular is that it excludes non-cows, for example, horses, cars, and so forth.

    In polemics spanning several centuries before the Pratyabhij~naa, the Buddhist logicians attempted to refute as invalid generalizations of evanescent experiences many of the commonsensical and religiously significant conceptions held by the Hindu schools -- external objects, ordinary as well as ritual action, an enduring Self, God, the sacred language of revelation, and so forth. A particular development in the debates was crucial in defining the immediate intellectual problematics that the Pratyabhij~naa thinkers attempted to resolve in their philosophical theology. The entire process of interpreting experience came to be

 

 

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viewed by both Buddhists and Hindus to be epitomized in the experience of recognition (Pratyabhij~naa).

    Recognition as understood in ordinary life is the realization that an object of a present experience is the same as an object of a past experience, as retained in the memory. It has the typical expression "This is that." The same process actually occurs in all applications of interpretation to experience. In our memory are stored the semantic conventions (sa.mketa) regarding the words that we use in interpretation. We apply interpretations to experience when the relevant mnemonic impressions (sa.mskaara) are activated. Thus all applications of interpretation, which in contemporary Western philosophy are described as "seeing as," came to be understood as comprising the "This is that" structure of a very general sort of recognition. [7]

    The Buddhists claimed that this process of recognition is invalid. They argued that memory has no epistemic relevance to present direct experience. A frequent assertion is that we see only blue and not the remembered word "blue." Their most energetic Hindu opponents, the realist schools of Nyaaya-Vai`se.sika and Puurva-Miimaa.msaa, argued that our recognitive seeing-as is grounded in and elucidates a world of genuinely independent objects possessing intrinsic qualities. [8] They also contended that the semantic theory of exclusion is only clever rhetoric veiling a positive understanding of reference. "Not non-cow" means "cow."

    Now the `Saivas formulate the soteriological realization that they wish to convey as a kind of recognition, that is, "I am `Siva," in order to set it up as having the recognitive structure of interpretation that has been problematized by the Buddhists. We cannot consider all the details of the `Saivas' interpretation of the challenge of the Buddhists against various categories logically related to this recognition. The basic point is that the Buddhists believe that there are no grounds in the flux of unique particulars for the recognition of any conception of a Lord-Self emanating the universe. [9]

The `Saiva Response to the Buddhists: The Pratyabhij~naa Theory of Divine Self-Recognition. [10] Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta respond to this challenge by developing in a highly creative manner the thought of the fourth- to sixth-century linguistic philosopher Bhart.rhari. Bhart.rhari had interpreted the Vedic revelation metaphysically as the Word Absolute (`sabdabrahman) or Supreme Speech (paraavaak). This impersonal principle is a super-linguistic plenum containing language and reality in a unity, and emanating into the universe of separated words and objects. Bhart.rhari's postulation of the Word Absolute as the source makes the entire universe of experience inherently linguistic, and thus provides the ground for the re-connection of words and objects in conventional linguistic reference. [11] His basic position is diametrically opposed to that of the Buddhists. [12]

 

 

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    Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta interpret Supreme Speech as `Siva's very self-recognition (ahampratyavamar`sa). [13] Extending Bhart.rhari's approach to the new problematics, they explain their cosmogonic myth of `Siva emanating the universe through `Sakti as His self-recognition. In this process there is a progressive fragmentation of the Lord's self- recognition from the unitary condition "I" into the recognitions of apparently separate objects as "This," or, more fully, "This is that," "This is blue," and so forth. [14] The Pratyabhij~naa thinkers' ascription of a primordial, cosmogonic status to the very realization that they aim to communicate makes their response to the Buddhists highly subversive. They are thereby able to argue that their system's goal constitutes the very facts that the Buddhists say preclude it.

    The Pratyabhij~naa thinkers develop their theory of the Lord's self-recognition to explain a variety of kinds of human experience and extend it to the treatment of ontological categories such as causality, time, and action. Here it will only be possible to consider their treatment of perceptual cognition. The `Saivas' arguments on perceptual cognition may be divided into those centered on two sets of terms: (1) prakaa`sa and (2) vimar`sa and cognates such as pratyavamar`sa and paraamar`sa.

    Prakaa`sa has the philosophical significance preliminary to the `Saivas' arguments about it of a 'bare subjective awareness' that validates each cognition, so that one knows that one knows. The thrust of the arguments about prakaa`sa is idealistic, to the effect that esse est percipi. The `Saivas contend that, as no object is known without this validating awareness, all objects are actually constituted by it.

If the object did not have the nature of awareness [prakaa`sa], it would be without illumination [aprakaa`sa], as it was before [its appearance]. Awareness [prakaa`sa] cannot be different [from the object]. Awareness [prakaa`sataa] is the essential nature of the object. [15]

Nor is it possible to make a representationalist inference of objects external to awareness as the causes of the diversity of awareness. For inference can only be made regarding things that have already been experienced, and not objects which by definition can never have been. [16]

    Furthermore, the `Saivas contend that there cannot be another subject outside one's own awareness. They conclude, however, not with solipsism as usually understood in the West, but with a conception of a universal awareness:

Even the cognition of others is nothing but one's own Self. Otherness is entirely due to accidental attributes [upaadhi] such as the body, and so forth. And that [an accidental attribute such as the body] has been determined no to be other [than awareness]. Thus everything falls under the category of the subject. The subject is really unitary. And He alone exists.... Therefore beginning with "Bhagavan Sadaa`siva [17] cognizes" and ending "The worm

 

 

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cognizes" -- there is only one subject. Consequently, all cognitions [by apparently different subjects really] belong to that [one] subject. [18]

    Vimar`sa and its cognates have the significance of judgment with a recognitive structure or, if you will, 'recognitive judgment'. In the vimar`sa arguments, the Pratyabhij~naa thinkers develop earlier theories of Bhart.rhari to refute the Buddhist contention that recognitive linguistic judgment is just a contingent reaction to direct experience -- by claiming that it is integral or transcendental to it. As Utpaladeva explains:

They attest that recognitive judgment [vimar`sa] is the essential nature of awareness [avabhaasa]. Otherwise, awareness [prakaa`sa], even though colored [upararakta] by the object, would be like that which is insentient, such as a crystal, and so forth. [19]

Some of the considerations they adduce to support this thesis are: Children must build upon a subtle, innate form of linguistic judgment in their learning of conventional language. There must be a recognitive ordering of our most basic experiences of situations and movements in order to account for our ability to perform rapid behaviors. And some kind of subtle application of language in all experiences is necessary in order to account for our ability to remember them. [20]

    Now the idealistic prakaa`sa arguments make the recognition shown by the vimar`sa arguments to be integral to all epistemic processes, constitutive of them and their objects. The following statement places recognition in the idealistic algebra (adding coherence as a secondary criterion of reality): [21]

Here, as the multiplicity of things are recognitively apprehended [vim.r`syate], so they exist. This is so because being [astitva] depends on awareness [prakaa`sa]. That is, there is the manifestation of being as depending on the recognitive judgment [vimar`sa] regarding what is brought about through this awareness [prakaa`sa].... Therefore, something exists as much and in whatever way it is recognitively apprehended [vim.r`syate] and uncontradicted. [22]

    The Pratyabhij~naa thinkers elaborate in a variety of ways their conception that all phenomena are generated through recognition. Thus they invert the Buddhists' point of view on the epistemic statuses of universals and particulars. They contend that the recognition synthesizing universals as designated by words comes first, and that particulars are generated at a secondary level through the synthesis of these syntheses, with the addition of the syntheses of place and time. [23] For example, we recognize a unitary particular in "this" "square" "blue" "object" "here" "now."

    Equally subversive is the `Saivas' treatment of the Buddhist conception of semantic exclusion. The `Saivas argue that exclusion itself depends on a comparative synthesis, or recognition, of what does and

 

 

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does not fit into categories. Thus we recognize that the cow is not a non-cow such as a horse. The very idea of difference requires this synthesis. The `Saivas have thus in effect explained difference itself as a kind of similarity. (We may identify it in various circumstances: here is a difference, there is a difference, and there is another difference.) The `Saivas contend that the Buddhists cannot account for this because of their understanding of cognitive objects as series of entirely discrete events. Thus they could not claim difference as an alternative explanation of reference. [24]

    Some points must now be spelled out. On the radical logic of the `Saivas' idealism, the recognition generating all things belongs to one subject. It must therefore be His self-recognition. As Abhinavagupta explains:

An ascertainment judges [paraam.r`santii] word and object, characterized by name and form, as one, in the manner "This is that." [This ascertainment really] ... appears only "as the Self," that is, non-separately from "I." However, it never appears as "this," that is, as separate [from the Self]. [25]

The recognition of an objective "This is that" is really the self-recognition "I." As it is through this unitary self-recognition that all phenomena are created, the Pratyabhij~naa thinkers have succeeded in demonstrating their cosmogonic myth of `Siva's emanation through `Sakti in terms of self recognition:

The Supreme Lord, who has the nature of awareness [prakaa`sa], makes His own Self into an object of cognition, even though it is not an object of cognition, because the cognizer is unitary. This is supposed by means of a firm inference making the supposition, which has shown the impossibility of another cause [that is the impossibility of external objects as the causes of the diverse things we experience -- which was demonstrated in the prakaa`sa arguments]. Therefore ... by reason of [His] agency, having the character of `Sakti which is recognitive judgment [vimar`sa] -- as He recognitively apprehends [paraam.r`sati] His Self, so, because everything is contained within Him, He appears as blue, and so forth. [26]

    Philosophy for the `Saivas is a kind of ambitious "transcendental" inquiry pointing out the necessity and ubiquity of `Siva's self-recognition. The student, by coming to see His self-recognition as the inner reality of all that is experienced, is led to full participation in it According to the `Saivas, their universally cogent arguments are not really proving anything, but only revealing to us what is always the case. [27] Abhinavagupta compares the recognition constituting ordinary, unenlightened experience to a point of rest in a paradoxical journey between the identical origin and goal of `Siva's self-recognition:

That which is called recognitive judgment [paraamar`sa] is the absolutely final and true place of rest. And it only has the form "I." The middle point of rest in

 

 

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traveling to a village, which is at the root of a tree, is explained to be created as expectant of that [final place of rest which is the village]... Thus also blue, and so forth, existing in the middle recognitive judgment [paraamar`sa] as "This is blue," are established to be constituted of the Self, because they rest upon the root recognitive judgment [paraamar`sa] "I." [28]

 

The Pratyabhij~naa, Western Skepticism, and the Christian Philosophical Theology of Logos

    To facilitate our consideration of the relevance of the work of these Indian thinkers, I suggest that we may heuristically generalize the problematics of recognition to frame our own debates about the nature and the groundedness of interpretation. Thus we may characterize a general class of conceptual skepticism as denying the validity of recognition. This would include such diverse modes of thought as modern phenomenalism, strong cultural relativism, and some of the best-known post-modern and deconstructionist philosophies, along with various other schools of Buddhism such as the Maadhyamika. All of these modes of thought may be understood as denying the groundedness of the application to present direct experience of the linguistic/conceptual/imaginative resources of interpretation stored in the memory. For conceptual skepticism, the formation and application of interpretative memory are wholly contingent upon the broadly "subjective" characteristics, modus operandi, purposes, and so forth of the rememberer, whether defined in terms of the individual, culture, or subculture. [29] Likewise we may view realism of greater degrees of "naivete," "objectivism," or scientific foundationalism, as arguing like the Nyaaya-Vai`se.sika and Puurva-Miimaa.msaa that recognition is grounded in identities of an external world.

    I believe that the `Saiva theory of recognition has its strongest parallelism with the Christian conception of God's logos, 'Word' or 'reason'. Of course, the logos in Christianity has been distinctively identified as a member of the Trinity incarnated as Jesus Christ. I am not concerned with this here, but rather with the Christian natural theological or philosophical conception of logos. There is a significant analogy between the ways in which the Pratyabhij~naa thinkers appropriated Bhart.rhari and the Church Fathers utilized various Greek and Biblical/Hebraic sources in constructing their respective theistic metaphysics. [30]

    The Christian philosophical theology of logos may be characterized as follows: The logos is an expression of God's own subjectivity through which He creates the universe. Our interpretations of the world, and thus the very underpinnings of our rationality, are grounded insofar as they reflect or participate in the language/rationality at the core of reality. Here we will be concerned with a schematization of this conception as a presumption, or what may be called a "logos argument," regarding the

 

 

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existence of God as the necessary grounds of our interpretations of the world.

    It is of special interest that in many formulations God's creative logos is conceived as something like His self-recognition. [31] This may be understood in the sense that God is existentially prior to His creation, whether this is conceived as ex nihilo or through emanation. Accordingly, His understanding of the rationality by which He constitutes the world must primordially be an understanding of something within Himself, which we may call a kind of self-recognition. This rationality is reflected in our interpretations of the world. In this way, according to the traditional Christian doctrine as well as the Pratyabhij~naa, it is God's self-recognition that provides the necessary grounds for all other recognitive seeing-as in the world.

    In the contemporary period the concept of God's logos has come to be thematized as a deep presupposition of Western thought and to be debated in connection with modern and postmodern dilemmas about the role of interpretation in experience. Heidegger formulated his hermeneutic conception of truth as disclosure (aletheia) with full understanding of its backgrounds in logos theology. [32] A number of physicists in this century, including Einstein, Jeans, and Pauli, have speculated that the understanding of the world achieved in mathematics and science is a reflection of the mind of God. [33] The logos tradition has been explicitly or implicitly invoked by the transcendental arguments for God or religion as grounding cognitive and ethical judgments by such diverse thinkers as Karl Rahner, George Steiner, John Macquarrie, Charles Taylor, Franklin Gamwell, Schubert Ogden, and David Tracy. And in the Orthodox world a closely analogous mode of thinking focusing on God's Sophia rather than logos was developed by thinkers such as Vladimir Sotovyov and Serge Bulgakov. [34] In varieties of postmodern thought and deconstructionism, including that of Derrida, Levinas, Lacan, and Foucault, this way of thinking has on the contrary been attacked as a device artificially privileging one mode of thought above others for access to reality. [35]

    I obviously cannot examine all of these discussions here. I believe that we may best figure the relevance and presumptiveness of the Pratyabhij~naa system to our intellectual context by considering the strongest contemporary arguments that have been made for and against the affirmation of God as grounding our judgments through His logos. I believe these to be found in the grammatology of Jacques Derrida and the transcendental Thomism of Bernard Lonergan. My contention is that the Pratyabhij~naa system elucidates and supports the point of view of the latter against the former. This discussion will also involve an effort to defend the idealistic premise that I consider an essential moment of both the Pratyabhij~naa and the Christian logos theories.

 

 

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Jacques Derrida's Effort to Deconstruct Logocentrism. Derrida's most frequent targets of deconstruction are not explicit advocates of the philosophical theology of logos. [36] Rather he elucidates this conception, which he calls "logocentrism," as one of the deepest historical presuppositions of even secular Western thought, and he correlates it in an ad hoc fashion with such other themes as phonocentrism, phallocentrism (combined with our theme as "phallogocentrism"), masturbation, and so forth.

    In making allegations of such deep propensities, Derrida endeavors to criticize any absolutized claim about the nature of reality, especially as articulated in conceptions such as truth as correspondence, or the reference of the linguistic signifier to an objective signified or presence. [37] For this reason, Derrida should be classified as a skeptic in the sense I have described as denying the validity or groundedness of recognition. [38] For him conceptual/linguistic memory has no applicability to a separate intelligible reality. [39]

    What are Derrida's most important skeptical arguments? [40] Crucial to Of Grammatology is a reworking of the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure. While Derrida views Saussure as perpetuating logocentrism, phonocentrism, and so forth, he uses some of his ideas on speech and writing to subvert Saussure himself along with Rousseau, Levi-Strauss, and others.

    Most important for Derrida is Saussure's conception of the linguistic sign. According to this view, the linguistic signs of both speech and writing are arbitrary, and given their significance only by their relations to each other. The relationships between signs are based on their differences from each other. Saussure states the idea clearly:

No particular configuration of sound is more aptly suited to express a given message than any other such configuration. So it is clearly the case -- indeed, it must be the case -- that no linguistic item can ever be based, ultimately, upon anything other than its non-coincidence with the rest. Here the terms arbitrary and differential designate two correlative properties. [41]

Derrida's move is to radicalize this conception of the systematicity of language to exclude the possibility of there ever being any referential connection to, or recognition of, reality or presence. [42]

    Here we may observe a significant analogy between Derrida and the Buddhists beyond their skepticism per se. Both conceive semantics in terms of the negation between words/concepts to eliminate the need to posit an isomorphism between language and reality. The most important distinction between Derrida and the Buddhists in this regard is that the latter do not advert to such difference as a primary means of criticism, but only to support their skepticism in epistemology.

    Another key feature of Derrida's skepticism is his argument that all language has the character erroneously attributed merely to writing of

 

 

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being a system of signs of signs. [43] Since they are not symbols of initial presences, linguistic signs can only refer to other linguistic signs. A useful statement of this idea is found in the following passage from a section discussing Peirce and Lambert:

There is thus no phenomenality reducing the sign or the representer so that the thing signified may be allowed to glow finally in the luminosity of its presence. The so-called "thing itself" is always already a representamen shielded from the simplicity of the intuitive evidence. The representamen functions only by giving rise to an interpretant that itself becomes a sign and so on to infinity. The self-identity of the signified conceals itself unceasingly and is always on the move. [44]

The referential, or we may say recognitive, connection of language with presence is endlessly deferred. Derrida coins the term "differance" to capture these two conceptions of language as constituted through difference and deferral. [45]

    While Derrida is cognizant of the great range of Western understandings of logos, from the Greeks through Hegel and Heidegger, he treats the theistic interpretation as most important. [46] As I have said, Derrida views this theistic conception as underlying even modern, non-theistic understandings of reference. According to him, the idea of a holistic unity of language and reality in the mind of God is a vain attempt to efface the original non-origin or uncenteredness of language. It is a dream of language as accessing presence in a 'transcendental signified'. [47] It seems that Derrida would accuse the Pratyabhij~naa system of logocentrism in this exact sense

The Pratyabhij~naa, Bernard Lonergan, and the Defense of Logos as a Way of Affirming the Reality of God. I believe that the most focused and cogent development of the Christian understanding of logos as an argument for the existence of God is that made by Bernard Lonergan. This argument is presented by Lonergan in chapter 19 of his magnum opus, Insight, as one of his culminating syntheses of themes propounded throughout the Work. [48] Lonergan's project in this regard is to develop the conceptions of logos of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas to formulate a transcendental argument that invokes God as necessary to account for the processes of human cognition evinced in the progress of science and other academic research. [49]

    Before considering Lonergan's proof, I will appropriate one of his rhetorical strategies for my own argument. Lonergan designates the findings of the transcendental inquiries throughout his work "positions" and calls views that deny these findings "counter-positions." He claims that the insights articulated in positions can be further and further developed. The counter-positions may be expressed along with various

 

 

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enduring insights. However, insofar as they deny what is necessary to their very expression, they are self-contradictory and invite reversal. [50]

    These ideas usefully thematize what appears essential to the presumptiveness of any transcendental argument. The approach of reversing opposition is evinced in the `Saivas' answer to Buddhist logic. With Lonergan's terms I may express my hope: that the Pratyabhij~naa system will enable us further to develop the positions articulated in the Western understanding of the theistic logos, to elaborate the conception of the self-recognition of God against the counter-position of the skeptical denial of recognition, whether expressed by Derrida, Buddhism, or any other form of conceptual skepticism.

    While Lonergan himself claims that his proof comprehends all other arguments for the existence of God, I believe it best epitomizes those adverting to the logos. Though difficult and complex, this proof admits of simple expression:

The existence of God, then, is known as the conclusion to an argument and, while such arguments are many, all of them, I believe, are included in the following general form. If the real is completely intelligible, God exists. But the real is completely intelligible. Therefore, God exists. [51]

Now, I suggest that this proof's minor and major premises respectively develop considerations analogous to and complementing the `Saiva arguments centering on the terms prakaa`sa and vimar`sa.

    Lonergan's minor premise that the real is completely intelligible may thus be related to the vimar`sa arguments for the transcendental character of recognition. [52] Whereas the `Saivas demonstrate their view through examining the most elementary features of the human construction of experience, Lonergan focuses on the critical process of academic research. Lonergan defines reality as being, that is, what is affirmed to be, as the objective of the human eros of an "an unrestricted desire to know." [53] The complete intelligibility of reality is a necessary truth or position. Whenever a state of affairs is affirmed, it is affirmed to be and is placed within the generic sphere of intelligibility. The denial of this fact is a counter-position inviting self-reversal:

Might there not be an unknowable? If the question is invalid, it is to be ignored. If the question is valid, the answer may be "Yes" or "No." But the answer, "Yes," would be incoherent, for then one would be knowing that the unknowable is; and the answer, "No," would leave everything knowable within the range of being. [54]

In this way Lonergan demonstrates his minor premise.

    Both the Pratyabhij~naa vimar`sa arguments and the view expressed in Lonergan's minor premise actually develop the force of the oldest, but no less cogent, criticism of skeptical positions as self-referentially con-

 

 

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tradictory. This criticism is exemplified by the paradox of the Cretan asserting that "All Cretans are liars." The `Saivas examine the most basic features of the human construction of experience and demonstrate that we cannot consistently claim that recognition is invalid, as this claim and the considerations adduced in support of it themselves express recognitions. Lonergan establishes, through an investigation of generic processes of intellectual inquiry, that the very denial of intelligible being really affirms the necessary truth of the contrary. [55]

    The skeptic and antagonist of logocentrism, Jacques Derrida, in many ways does address the problem of the self-referential contradiction for deconstructionism. More than claiming that the contradiction is not a problem, he frequently asserts that deconstructionism itself must be deconstructed. He claims that the differance, arche-writing, and so forth that he invokes do not exist and thus cannot be viewed as objects of a science. [56] He attempts to belie rational systematicity by deconstructing in an ad hoc fashion, largely commenting on the works of others, and multiplying his terminologies.

    I do not believe that all of this is satisfactory, although I am sympathetic with many of Derrida's views and objectives and the way in which his work may function as an agent of intellectual modesty. Despite his rhetorical devices, Derrida in both his supporting considerations and conclusions implicitly is recognizing as presences, or positing as intelligible being, a number of complex states of affairs. The `Saivas' contention against the Buddhists that difference itself is a recognitively synthesized universal category applies also to Derrida's ironically negated difference. Even if Derrida does not mind contradicting himself, this contradiction means that he is wrong in an old-fashioned, hard-headed rationalist sense. [57] Just as there can be no satisfactory phenomenalist account of "atomic" sensual objects in the manner of either the Buddhist logicians or Hume, there can be no satisfactory grammatological nonscience of nonexistent differance. [58] Thought is essentially essentialist.

    We may now turn to Lonergan's major premise. How does the full intelligibility -- or intrinsic recognizability -- of reality or being entail the existence of God? Does the failure of skeptical positions, such as those of Derrida and the Buddhists, due to the self-referential contradiction demonstrate the necessity of a Supreme Agent of the cosmos? The close association Derrida makes between the conception of the signification of presence or linguistic nonarbitrariness on the one hand and the onto-theological logos on the other would appear to grant that if deconstruction does not succeed, the existence of God as presumed by logos theology must follow. Of course many of self-content, modern scientific, and agnostic perspectives, as well as of theological points of view would acknowledge the truth in Lonergan's minor premise, but not grant that God must thereby exist.

 

 

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    Lonergan's major premise, which culminates much of the laborious study of cognitive processes in Insight, is a theistic formulation of the ultimate grounds of intelligibility, of how we know that we know. [59] I believe that Lonergan along with the broad stream of Christian logos metaphysics -- whether Platonist or Aristotelian, Hegelian or Heideggerian, and so forth -- gives an essentially idealistic answer to this question. That is, the grounds of our interpretations of the world are posited in the logos as a resource of transcendental interpretative principles, rather than in features of external material objects, through a logic to the effect that esse est percipi.

    Thus, in the case of Christian Platonism/Neoplatonism, Plato explains epistemic grounding through anamnesis of the primordial archetype-ideas; Neoplatonism systematized these in the One's first emanation, nous; and Christians in turn identified nous as the logos/mind of God. Thomism alternatively posits the immanence within our cognition of the unlimited act of the divine intellect as described by Aristotle. [60] Now, I believe that the Thomist Lonergan relies on the basic logic of esse est percipi to support his major premise in a manner that has a significant analogy with the `Saiva arguments about prakaa`sa.

    I must acknowledge that throughout his works, Lonergan actually opposes a doctrine that he calls idealism, which would reduce cognition merely to contingent human interpretations. Against this he argues rigorously for objective scientific, philosophical, and theological inquiry. For Lonergan, the historic diversity of cognitive methods is animated by a drive to know that which is. Nevertheless, Lonergan perhaps even more vehemently repudiates the naive realist or objectivist conception of knowing as "taking a look." For him insight emerges within the laborious processes of critical inquiry itself and not as the contemplation of an uninterpreted datum.

    Furthermore, these processes by which human subjects learn of a reality transcending their own subjectivity are grounded in a higher subjectivity. While a particular inquirer may be satisfied by reaching a "virtually unconditioned judgment" about a topic, each such judgment depends on the "formally unconditioned judgment" of God. Lonergan explains intelligibility per se as the "idea of being." This final interpretation -- or we may say fully sufficient rationality -- grounding all other interpretations is neither an actual human accomplishment nor a Platonic idea existing in a realm of pure abstraction. It is the content of an act of an unlimited intellect:

An idea is the content of an act of understanding. As a sense datum is the content of an act of sensing, as an image is the content of an act of imagining, as a percept is the content of an act of perceiving, as a concept is the content of an act of conceiving, defining, supposing, considering, as a judgment is the content of an act of judging, so an idea is the content of an act of understanding.

 

 

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    Being is the objective of the unrestricted desire to know. Therefore, the idea of being is the content of an act of understanding that leaves nothing to be understood, no further questions to be asked. [61]

According to Lonergan this unlimited act of intellect grasping the idea of being must necessarily exist:

Particular inquiries solve some questions but not all. Only an unrestricted act of understanding can meet the issue... Correlative to an unrestricted desire to understand, there may be posited either an indefinite process of development or an unrestricted act of understanding. But the content of developing understanding never is the idea of being, for as long as understanding is developing, there are further questions to be answered. Only the content of the unrestricted act of understanding can be the idea of being, for it is only on the supposition of an unrestricted act that everything about everything is understood. It follows that the idea of being is absolutely transcendent. For it is the content of an act of unrestricted understanding. [62]

    In order to flesh out further the analogy between Lonergan's argument and that of the Pratyabhij~naa, we must further examine his understanding of the interrelation of subjectivity and objectivity at this level. According to Lonergan, the idea of being has both "primary" and "secondary" components, which he also calls primary and secondary intelligibles. These are, respectively, being or reality in itself and all the contingent components of reality. Now Lonergan holds that the primary component of the idea of being is none other than the unlimited act of the intellect Himself. For by understanding Himself, this unlimited act of intellect understands all contingent things as coming from Himself:

If an act of understanding is unrestricted, it understands understanding; it understands not only restricted acts but also the unrestricted act; understanding the unrestricted act it must understand its content, otherwise the understanding of the unrestricted act would be restricted; but the content of the unrestricted act is the idea of being, and so if the unrestricted act understands itself, it thereby also understands everything else....

    ...The primary intelligible is by identity the unrestricted act of understanding. It is intelligible in the profounder sense, for it is an intelligible that is identical with intelligence in act. It is a unique intelligible, for it is identical with the unique act of unrestricted understanding. On the other hand, the secondary intelligibles are what are also grasped inasmuch as the unrestricted act understands itself. They are intelligible in the ordinary sense, for they are understood; but they are not intelligible in the profounder sense, for the unrestricted act is one understanding of many intelligibles, and only the unique, primary intelligible is identical with the unrestricted act. [63]

Now, according to Lonergan, this idea of being in its primary component, or unlimited act of the intellect, has the attributes of God. Therefore Lonergan considers his proof to have been accomplished. [64]

 

 

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    I believe that Lonergan has posited -- through arguments paralleling the `Saivas' arguments about prakaa`sa and vimar`sa -- as the necessary grounds of human cognition what is in effect a conception of divine self-recognition. All limited recognized things are understood by God as contained within and derived from His self-recognition. [65]

    Again, for Lonergan as a Thomist, since humans are potentially what God is in act, what we really are is in God. [66] So for him as well as the `Saivas, our recognitions are grounded insofar as they in some way participate in the self-recognition of the deity. I believe that Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta would heartily agree with Lonergan's statement that "God is the unrestricted act of understanding, the eternal rapture glimpsed in every Archimidean cry of Eureka." [67]

    However, there is a crucial difference between Lonergan and the `Saivas here as well. For the latter philosophy enables us to utilize this glimpse, present in every experience, as a path toward full participation in the self-recognition of God. Abhinavagupta states that one can achieve identity with Siva from the proper understanding of even such mundane recognitions as "This is that pot." [68] In the last section of this essay, I will offer some suggestions about how to assess the Pratyabhij~naa in its divergence from Christian logos theology about whether or not God and the person are identical. At this point we must further consider their common idealistic premise.

The Tenableness of Idealism at the End of the Twentieth Century. If I am right that there is an idealistic supposition, that esse est percipi, essential to the Pratyabhij~naa as well as the Western philosophical theology of logos, it may seem that I have discredited them. Within the recent past of philosophy, there have been only isolated voices such as those of John Findlay or Nicholas Rescher who openly defended idealism. The last advocates of idealism who had a dominant influence in the Western academy were the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Neo-Hegelians or Absolute Idealists, such as Green, Bradley, Royce, and Gentile.

    These idealistic systems were finally driven into academic disrepute earlier in this century by attacks from a diverse group of philosophers reforming the discipline in conformity with modern patterns of rationality. It is notable that two of the sharpest critics, G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell, had at one time been idealists. Philosophy for them was a linguistic or quasi-mathematical tool assigned the role of defending and analyzing the empirical data of both common sense and science. [69] An early formulation of Moore typified much of the criticism of idealism: the anti-idealists wished to separate the acts of any subject's awareness from its objects. [70] They thus held that it is a logical fallacy to conclude, on the basis of the tautology that we only know what we know, that it is impossible for things to exist that we do not know. Moore, in particular,

 

 

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is famous for arguing the complete undeniability of the common belief in external objects.

    The modern style of thinking advocated by such philosophies may be characterized as "objectivist"/"scientistic" and "instrumentalist"/ "technological". The effort was to neutralize interpretative subjectivity, in the recognition of an independent, predictable reality. Following Heidegger, we may say that for such thinking the world presents itself in the external causal relationships identifying intellectually controllable and practically exploitable "standing reserve." [71]

    In the developing postmodern consciousness, through studies of academic theory formation and from appreciation of the increasing interpretative pluralism, there has been a greater sensitivity to the role of various forms of individual or cultural "agency''/subjectivity in structuring experience. Moreover, I claim that a doctrine of idealism, of an "illusionistic" variety, is very widely accepted in our postmodern situation, although its proponents would not accept the appellation of what modern thinking superseded. That is, systems of thought that are skeptical in the sense of reducing reality to interpretations are in effect asserting that esse est percipi. This is true of some of the central theses of thinkers such as Barnes and Bloor, Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Feyerabend, Derrida, Lyotard, Foucault, and countless others. I am not alone in labeling much of this critical postmodern thought idealist. Others including Richard Rorty and Juliet Sychrava have already pointed out how in the reduction of reality to textuality, in their "sentimentalism," and in other ways these philosophies continue the themes of nineteenth-century idealism and romanticism. [72]

    Of course these postmodern philosophies do not reduce reality to an expression of divine subjectivity. They repudiate the intersubjectivity, universality, or objectivity of reality guaranteed by divine authorship. They rather reduce reality to the production of a fragmented human subjectivity. Paradoxically, this fragmented subjectivity is delimited by postmodernists in the modern terms of what can be objectively contextualized, whether the locus be personal-psychological, cultural-linguistic, subcultural, textual, and so forth, and what can be causally/functionally described, for example in terms of the sexual drive, the quest for "meaning," the politics and economics of power, or the metaphorical functions of language. In this respect the skeptical aspect of postmodernism represents a kind of nihilistic development out of modern thought. However, as has been shown, the skeptical view is incoherent and must be rejected.

    Summing up, I suggest that the philosophical plausibility of the conception of the Lord's self-recognition that we have been considering depends on two conditions. First, we must accept various contemporary analyses of the interpretative, imaginative, or linguistic nature of all

 

 

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experiences of the world as supporting the idealism of the prakaa`sa arguments. We never cognize a reality outside our interpretations. Second, we must accept the vimar`sa-type arguments that reality must be recognizable or intelligible. The skeptical form of idealism, whether propounded by Dharmakiirti, Naagaarjuna, Bradley, Feyerabend, or Derrida, is self-refuting. Granting these points, it should still be reasonable to invoke God's self-recognition as the source of whatever presence we achieve in the recognitions by which we live our lives. [73] Even if this way of thinking is not entirely persuasive as a proof of the existence of God, I hope it may at least be seen as a way of making the idea of God coherent with our daily lives. [74]

 

Divergences and Convergences: Monotheism and Panentheism

    Having thus argued for a mode of thought in which the Pratyabhij~naa converges with Christianity, I must stress that there are still substantial divergences. These are found in numerous areas -- in religious myths that include conceptions of theodicy and salvation and in ritual and ethical practices. We can only consider what I view as one of the most important divergences related to the argument that I have made. The `Saivas aim to lead us to complete participation in `Siva's self-recognition. Monotheistic orthodoxy, on the contrary, stresses the ultimate difference between God on the one hand and the soul and the world on the other. I will close with a few suggestions about how I believe this divergence should be assessed.

    First of all, despite what I have just said, it must be granted that there is a dialecticity in both traditions. There is, paradoxically, a dualistic moment in the `Saiva notion that the multiplistic experience of the world and the individuals in it are real, as the emanation of Siva. Much of the `Saiva devotional literature in fact has a dualistic, supplicatory quality. [75] Likewise, a moment of identity between God and the world is found in much of Christian theology, particularly when it makes use of features of Neoplatonic emanationism; this is seen also in the Thomist conception of the act of the divine intellect. The conception of identity in difference found in both traditions permits a degree of rapprochement.

    Second, in the philosophy of logos/recognition that I have expounded, the moment of identity is supported precisely by the premise of idealism, the reduction of human experience and its objects to contents of the divine mind. We see the power of this monistic logic in Lonergan's dialectically qualified formulations of the subject-object unity in the divine mind:

The secondary intelligibles are conditioned. For they are what is to be understood, if the primary intelligible is understood.
    It follows that they are distinct from the primary intelligible, for they are conditioned and it is unconditioned.

 

 

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    Still, though the secondary intelligibles are distinct from the primary, they need not be distinct realities. For knowing does not consist in taking a look at something else and so, though the secondary intelligibles are known, they need not be something else to be looked at. Moreover, the primary being is without any lack of defect or imperfection; but it would be imperfect if further realities were needed for the unrestricted act of understanding to be restricted. [76]

If one grants some validity to the prakaa`sa arguments, the Aristotelian conception of the subject-object unity in the divine mind, and other such conceptions, one can establish difference only by limiting the degree of identification in the logic of esse est percipi. Perhaps this may be accomplished by such conceptions as the Aristotelian theory of the relation of act and potency. Anyway, though the `Saivas also need to explain difference as intrinsic to the existence of the world, this problem does not have for them the theological urgency that it does for Christianity.

    Conversely, if by the idealistic premise it is God who is the source and inner reality of the recognitions that make up our lives, then it is easy to say that we are nothing but God, and His self-recognition is our self-recognition. The Pratyabhij~naa apologetic objective of leading us to the `Saiva soteriological realization would follow naturally.

    Third, I observe in favor of the Pratyabhij~naa that a number of thinkers in the contemporary period have argued that the traditional Western understanding of God places too much emphasis on God's transcendence of the world. It has been argued that this emphasis denies various modern valuations of this world -- including the scientific and historical, the ethical or socially progressive, and the sexual. A number of thinkers have attempted to sacralize these values by developing a new conception of the deity stressing His immanence in the world as complementing His transcendence. Following the initiative of the process philosopher Charles Hartshorne, we may use Karl Christian von Friedrich Krause's term "panentheism" to classify these doctrines. [77] These include: Hegelianism; theological Heideggerian thought, for example that of John Macquarrie; [78] the process thought of Whitehead, Hartshorne, [79] Ogden, and so forth; the religious theories of evolution of Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo Ghose; the phenomenological dialectic of the sacred as within and transcending history of Mircea Eliade; and the dialectic of manifestation and proclamation of Paul Ricoeur and David Tracy.

    One of the ideas most emphasized by Abhinavagupta and much of Hindu tantrism is that God/`Siva-`Sakti is both transcendent (vi`svottiir.na) and immanent (vi`svamaya). Therefore I think that these systems may be placed within the class of panentheism. I also believe that a panentheistic approach to the problems of tradition and modernity has inspired many contemporary retrievals of Hindu tantrism, by both Indian scholars such as Gopinath Kaviraj and Western scholars such as Sir John Woodroffe. I

 

 

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also recommend the Pratyabhij~naa as a valuable intellectual and spiritual resource for the development of contemporary panentheism.

 

NOTES

This essay further develops one of the themes in my "Argument and the Recognition of Siva: The Philosophical Theology of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta" (Ph.D. diss.. University of Chicago, 1992), being revised for publication. An earlier version of this essay was presented in the session "Postmodernism and Normative Judgments" at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago, 1994. I benefited from discussing some of the ideas presented here with my graduate class "Religious Theories of Language" at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, spring 1995. I am also grateful to the anonymous reviewers of this essay for their comments and suggestions.

The following abbreviations are used in this article:

IPK          II`svarapratyabhij~naakaarikaa by Utpaladeva

IPKV        II`svarapratyabhij~naakaarikaav.rtti by Utpaladeva, commentary on IPK

IPV           II`svarapratyabhij~naavimar`sinii by Abhinavagupta, commentary on IPK

IPVV        II`svarapratyabhij~naaviv.rtivimar`sinii by Abhinavagupta, commentary on Utpaladeva's II`svarapratyabhij~naaviv.rti

1.    The Indian texts interpreted here include: Utpaladeva, II`svarapratyabhij~naakaarikaa (IPK) and Abhinavagupta, II`svarapratyabhij~naavimar`sinii (IPV), for which I will use the edition II`svarapratyabhij~naavimar`sinii of Abhinavagupta, Doctrine of Divine Recognition: Sanskrit text with Bhaaskarii, 2 vols., ed. K. A. Subramania Iyer and K. C. Pandey (reprint, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986); Utpaladeva, Siddhitrayii and the II`svarapratyabhij~naakaarikaav.rtti, ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 34 (Srinagar: Kashmir Pratap Steam Press, 1921); and The II`svarapratyabhij~naaviv.rtivimar`sinii by Abhinavagupta, 3 vols., ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies (reprint, Delhi: Akay Book Corporation, 1987). The II`svarapratyabhij~naakaarikaav.rtti and II`svarapratyabhij~naaviv.rtivimar`sinii will henceforth be referred to as IPKV and IPVV, respectively.

2.    For an understanding of the situation of the Trika among the monistic `Saiva traditions, see Alexis Sanderson, "`Saivism and the Tantric Traditions," in The World's Religions, ed. Stewart Sutherland et al. (London: Routledge, 1988), pp. 660-704.

 

 

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3.    See Utpaladeva's statement of purpose with Abhinava's explanation in IPK and IPV1.1, benedictory verse, 1 :1-47.

4.    Gautama and his commentators formulate these standards as sixteen categories (padaarthas) structuring philosophical discourse, in Nyaayadar`sanam: With Vaatsyaayana's Bhaa.sya, Uddyotakara's Vaarttika, Vaacaspati Mi`sra's Taatparya.tiikaa and Vi`svanaatha's V.rtti, ed. Taranatha Nyaya-Tarkatirtha and Amarendramohan Tarkatirtha, with introd. by Narendra Chandra Vedantatirtha (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1985), 1.1, pp. 28 f. Despite disagreements about particular points, the Nyaaya standards were the most widely accepted by the various schools of Indian philosophy. Abhinavagupta explains the very power of the system to convince others on the basis of its addressing the Nyaaya categories: "The ultimate purpose in that [`saastra] is nothing but [explanation in terms of] the sixteen categories, such as the means of cognition [pramaa.na], etc.... When the sixteen categories are articulated [niruupyamaa.ne.su], another is made to understand completely that which is to be understood" (IPV 2.3.17, 2:140; also see IPV 1.1 on IPK benedictory verse, 1:43).

    Particularly important among the Nyaya categories for the `Saivas is that describing what is called 'inference for the sake of others' (paraarthaanumaana). I investigate the thinkers' understanding of the Pratyabhij~naa as both spiritual exercise and philosophy, focusing especially on their appropriation of this inferential procedure, in "Tantric Argument: The Transfiguration of Philosophical Discourse in the Pratyabhij~naa System of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta," Philosophy East and West 46 (1996): 165-204. Further remarks on the inference for the sake of others are found in note 27 below.

5.    This and the following section are similar to a section of my "Tantric Argument," explaining the `Saivas' theory as the implementation of their distinctive philosophical-soteriological method.

6.    The `Saivas give a summary of some of the central theories of Buddhist logic and articulate criticisms against their own soteriology based on these views at IPK and IPV 1.2, 1:81-119. I note that there are not presently known any texts expressing criticisms of the `Saivas by this school. Whether or not there were previous confrontations, what is important is that the Buddhist logicians were seen as a great intellectual threat by the large community of Hindu philosophers. By answering the challenges posed by them, the `Saivas understood themselves to be giving their soteriology a strong intellectual foundation.

    There are numerous contemporary studies of Buddhist logic. The classic introduction is F. Th. Stcherbatsky, Buddhist Logic, 2 vols. (reprint. New York: Dover, 1962), although it does contain

 

 

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inaccuracies, particularly in its heavy use of Kant. Other works illuminating the debates between Buddhist logic and Hinduism are Dharmendra Nath Shastri, The Philosophy of Nyaaya-Vai`se.sika and Its Conflict with the Buddhist Dignaaga School (Critique of Indian Realism), with a foreword by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Agra: Agra University, 1964; reprint, Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan, 1976), as well as the various studies by Bimal K. Matilal, such as Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).

7.    See Abhinavagupta's explanation, in his presentation of the Buddhist puurvapak.sa, of the recognitive "This is that" structure of interpretation at IPVV 1.2.1-2, 1:115. This basic recognition of reference comprises all forms of interpretation in worldly life, distinguished as memory, recognition, discrimination, comparison, etc. Abhinava supports his explanation by quoting Vaakyapadiiya of Bhart.rhari, kaa.n.da 2, ed. K. A. Subramania Iyer (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass,1983), 2.128.

8.    See Nyaayadar`sanam, especially the Taatparya.tiikaa, 1.1.4, 93-131. Useful discussion of the debates about interpretation vis-a-vis recognition may be found in Dharmendra Nath Shastri, The Philosophy of Nyaaya-Vai`se.sika and Its Conflict with the Buddhist Dignaaga School, pp. 144, 201-209, 227-230, and 456-471 (esp. pp. 457- 458). I note that in many discussions recognition and memory were invoked by Hindu thinkers as proofs of a persisting Self functioning as substratum for the impressions of the past. Though they are sometimes used to defend epistemological points, these are in themselves arguments of philosophical psychology.

9.    The `Saivas articulate the Buddhist criticisms of the recognitions of various categories contained within or entailed by their ostensible soteriological recognition, viz., Self; Lordship as defined in terms of `Sakti -- divided into modalities of cognition and action `Saktis; and relation, which such `Saktis would presumably have with the Lord. See note 27 below.

10.    This essay is more a work of comparative philosophy and theology than technical Sanskrit exegesis. However, for the benefit of specialists I will give some explanation of an area of philological analysis important to my presentation. The `Saiva theory of recognition is elaborated with three sets of terms, all of which have extensive backgrounds in the earlier linguistic and epistemological speculations.

    The first is the word pratyabhij~naa itself along with cognates such as abhij~naa. These are usually unproblematically translated

 

 

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as just 'recognition'. The second set comprises various derivatives from the root m.r`s, such as vimar`sa, paraamar`sa, pratyavamar`sa, aamar`sa, etc. Alper has designated this class the "m.r`s terms." There has been much discussion about the internal relations of this set. After much analysis, Alper came to the conclusion that though there may be some differences of connotation, the m.r`s terms basically have the same meaning (Alper, "'Svabhaavam Avabhaasasya Vimar`sa.m': Judgment as a Transcendental Category in Utpaladeva's `Saiva Theology: The Evidence of the Pratyabhij~naakaarikaav.rtti" [unpublished]). The same view was supported by Alexis Sanderson in personal conversation. Navjivan Rastogi and myself believe that there may be differences of connotation in some contexts.

    In any event, previous scholars have not appreciated these terms' significance in the context of the debates about imagination (vikalpa) and recognition. The words derived from m.r`s convey notions of linguistic interpretation, judgment, reflection, apprehension, etc., all of which have a recognitive structure. I will treat further particular arguments utilizing vimar`sa and related terms in the discussion below.

    The third set of terms is derived from attaching various initial prefixes to the second prefix sam and the root dhaa, e.g., anusa.mdhaana, pratisa.mdhaana, and abhisa.mdhi. Again, these develop the significance of recognition through notions of synthesis or association, particularly the synthesis between different moments of experience (as analyzed by the Buddhists) -- under the rubric of language. (B. K. Matilal has in other contexts described pratisa.mdhaana in perception as a "connective-recollective cognition.") The term anusa.mdhaana also has some background in pre-Pratyabhij~naa spiritual practice.

    In the Pratyabhij~naa texts, these three classes of terms are variously defined by one another, used interchangeably, and placed in close functional relationships. They are also employed disjunctively. The presentation in this essay is made on the basis of the synonymies and homologies between the classes of terms. To direct the attention of the reader to the overarching problematic I generally gloss the m.r`s terms as 'recognitive judgment' and the anusa.mdhaana terms as 'recognitive synthesis', etc. On a few occasions it seems best to translate these terms simply as 'recognition'.

    This interpretation of the relation between the classes of terms is substantiated in detail throughout the textual analyses of my "Argument and the Recognition of `Siva," with a summary (similar to this note) at pp. 131-133. It has also been corroborated by Matilal and Rastogi. I will list below some textual evidence for the sake of convenience.

 

 

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    Abhinavagupta defines pratyabhij~naa in terms of anusa.mdhaana and pratisa.mdhaana at IPV 1.1 on IPK benedictory verse 1:36-38 and IPV 1.4.8, 1:188-189. The later Pratyabhij~naa text, Viruupaak.sapa~ncaa`sikaa, simply classifies the "This is that" experience as anusa.mhiti (Viruupaak.sapa~ncaa`sikaa, in Tantrasa.mgraha [Part 1], ed. Gopinath Kaviraj, Yogatantra-granthamaalaa, ed. Badarinath Sukla, vol. 3 [Varanasi: Sansar Press, 1970], 3.38, 16). The commentator Vidyaacakravartin again makes the equation: "Anusa.mhiti is pratyabhij~naa" (ibid., 3.38,16; also see Vidyaacakravartin at 3.39, 17). The free alternation between the terms pratyabhij~naa and anusa.mdhaana is seen in the discussions of action, e.g., at IPV 2.1.5, 2:17.

    Bhaaskaraka.n.tha equates the terms paraamar`sa and pratyabhij~naa in commenting on IPV 2.2.2, 2:39. Bhaaskaraka.n.tha on 1.5.20, 1:294, uses the word pratyabhij~naa to describe the means (by using the instrumental case) by which paraamar`sa unifies word and object. (I note, however, that means and goal are ultimately identical in monistic `Saivism.) At 2.3.10-11 Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta use the words vimar`sa and pratyavamar`sa identically to pratyabhij~naa as invoked by the Naiyaayikas against the Vij~naanavaadins. They explain through it the knowledge "This is that thing" regarding objects that appear successively as far and near, inferred and directly perceived, external and internally imagined, and as seen in incorrect and correct cognitions (IPK 2.3.10-11, 2:117; IPV 2.3.10-11, 2:117-119; and Bhaaskaraka.n.tha on IPV 2.3.10-11, 2:117-119,). Abhinava similarly uses the expression pratyavam.r`syate to describe the recognition of the continuity of material cause and effect at IPV 2.4.18, 2:194. Paraamar`sa and other m.r`s terms are used to describe the soteriological recognition at IPV 4.1.16, 2:310-311, and IPV4.1.17, 2:314-315.

    Bhaaskaraka.n.tha identifies anusa.mdhaana with pratyavamar`sa in his commentary on IPV 1.6.10, 1:340. Anusa.mdhaana, anusa.mdhi, etc. are employed in synonymous or intrinsic functional relationships with vimar`sa, paraamar`sa, etc. at IPK 1.5.19, 1:284; IPV 1.5.19, 1:291-292. In commenting on IPV 1.6.1, 1:301, Bhaaskaraka.n.tha identifies anusa.mdhaana as the effect (kaarya) of pratyavamar`sa.

    The terms are used disjunctively in analyses of states with different degrees of contingent empirical, rather than transcendental, recognitive synthesis. (There are likewise more contingent and more transcendental sorts of memory. See my "Argument and the Recognition of `Siva," pp. 138-140, 178-183.) In elaborating a typology of cognitive states, Abhinava thus describes a form of direct experience (anubhava) that lacks synthesis (abhisa.mdhi), despite his usual stress on the invariable concomitance of synthesis

 

 

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with consciousness. He is endeavoring to describe what seems to be the most discrete, uninterpreted sort of experience. However, Abhinavagupta emphasizes that even here there is (recognitive) judgment (paraamar`sa), which is necessary for awareness (IPV 1.4.8, 1:187-188,). On the basis of differentiation of such an underlying or transcendental judgment (paraamar`sa), he analyzes in this section a great variety of sorts of direct experience, memory, and recognition (pratyabhij~naa) (IPV 1.4.8, 1:187-189, and IPVV 1.4.8, 2:58).

    I note that a theory of pratyabhij~naa, having some analogies to monistic Kashmiri `Saivism in uniting soteriological and basic epistemological conceptions, is briefly put forth in the Dak.si.naamuurtistotra, traditionally attributed to `Sa^nkara, as interpreted in the Maanasollaasa, attributed to Sure`svara. Thus see the epitomization by Sure`svara at Shankaracharya's Dakshinamurtistotram, ed. Vidwan N. S. Venkatanathacharya (Mysore: Oriental Research Institute, 1972), 7.16, 143. Both the Dak.si.naamuurtistotra and Maanasollaasa may have been composed under the influence of the Pratyabhij~naa system. Cf. the remarks in Karl H. Potter, ed.. Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, vol. 3, Advaita Vedaanta up to `Sa.mkara and His Pupils (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1981), pp. 550-551.

11.    For Bhart.rhari, the Word Absolute grounds linguistic reference as accessed through semantic intuition (pratibhaa) or manifestation (spho.ta).

12.    This is not to deny that Bhart.rhari's analysis of the role of language in experience also had a great influence on the Buddhists.

13.    For the identification of self-recognition with Supreme Speech see IPV 1.5.13, 1:252-255; IPK 1.6.1, 1:302; and IPKV 1.6.1, 22. Utpaladeva lists Supreme Speech along with recognitive judgment (pratyavamar`sa) and Lordship as descriptions of consciousness at IPK 1.5.13, 1:250. Utpaladeva also identifies the Lord Himself as semantic intuition (pratibhaa) (IPK 1.7.1, 1:341 ). The background to this appropriation of Bhart.rhari was Somaananda's identification of Supreme Speech with `Siva's creative `Sakti. See The `Sivad.r.s.ti of Srisomaanandanaatha with the Vritti by Utpaladeva, ed. Madhusudan Kaul Shastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 54 (Pune: Aryabhushan Press, 1934), book 2, 36-93.

14.    In explaining this cosmogony of self-recognition, the `Saivas correlate Bhart.rhari's stages of the emanation of speech with the Trika cosmological triads. For a good discussion by Abhinavagupta, see IPV 1.5.13, 1:252-255. Cf. IPV 1.8.11, 1:423-424; IPK and IPV 4.1.13-14, 2:305-307. On the unfragmented character of the highest level of the Lord's self-recognition/speech, see IPK and

 

 

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IPV 1.6.1, 1:301-305. On the lowest level of fragmented self-recognition, see IPK 1.6.6, 1:324; IPKV 1.6.6, 24; IPV 1.6.6, 1:32-327. The entirety of IPK and IPV 1.6, 1:299-344, is about differentiation inherent in ordinary conceptual constructions. Abhinava describes the lowest instances of recognition as reflected recognition (chaayaamayii pratyabhij~naa) (IPVV 1.6.6, 2:314). He also describes them as impure (a`suddha) (IPV 1.6.6, 1:324-327; IPVV 1.6.6, 2:314).

15.    IPK 1.5.2, 1:198. Also see IPV 1.5.2, 1:197-203; IPVV 1.5.2, 2:68.

16.    See IPK and IPV 1.5.4, 1:210-212; IPK and IPV 1.5.6, 1:221-225; IPK and IPV 1.5.8-9, 1:230-235. The `Saivas here are refuting the "representationalism" of the Sautraantika Buddhists. The description of the `Saiva philosophy as idealistic refers to its reduction of the objects of experience to a kind of subjectivity. It is not meant to imply that these objects are considered to be illusory -- as in, perhaps, the Vij~naanavaada, Advaita Vedaanta, and Bradley. For the `Saivas, objects are real as contents of awareness (the character of which is still being explained) rather than as external. I believe that most Christian idealism is also broadly realistic about worldly experience. To emphasize the world-affirming approach of the `Saivas, K. C. Pandey describes their position with the expression "realistic idealism." I have seen Neo-Hegelianism as well as the thought of C. S. Peirce described in similar ways. This understanding of an idealism that is also realistic informs my further interpretation and defense of the Pratyabhij~naa idealism and its analogues in Western philosophical theology.

17.     Sadaa`siva is a lower emanation from the supreme `Siva, one might say a "demigod."

18.    IPV 1.1.4, 1:76-77. Cf. IPV 1.1.3, 1:66-67; 77; Tantrasaara of Abhinavagupta, ed. Mukunda Ram Sastri, Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies, no. 17 (Delhi: Bani Prakashan, 1982 reprint) book 1, 5-6.

19.    IPK 1.5.11, 1:241.

20.    For these arguments, see IPK and IPV 1.5.11, 1:241-243; IPK 1.5.13, 1:250; IPV 1.5.14, 1:255-265; IPV 1.5.15, 1:267-268; IPV 1.5.19, 1:283-293.

21.    See below, note 73.

22.    IPV 1.1.3, 1:61-62. For statements of the identity of awareness and recognition/recognitive judgment, also see IPK and IPV 1.5.11, 1:241-244, and IPV 1.5.17, 1:273.

 

 

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23.    There is discussion pertaining to the syntheses of universals and particulars throughout IPK and IPV 2.3.1-14, 2:67-134. On this also see IPV 1.5.19, 1:293; IPK and IPV 1.8.5-9, 1:408-421; IPV 3.1 introduction, 2:214; and IPV 4.1.7, 2:292-293.The `Saiva treatment of universals and particulars is again much indebted to Bhart.rhari.

24.    See IPK and IPV 1.6.1-3, 1 :299-312.

25.    IPV 1.5.20, 1:294-295.

26.    IPV 1.5.15, 1:267-268.

27.    All this is elaborated in the Pratyabhij~naa texts in terms of the inference for the sake of others. One is led to infer that one is the Lord because one has His distinctive character of emanating the world, often described as the possession of His `Saktis. (The Buddhists' attack on various `Saiva categories including `Saktis, which is referred to in note 9 above, is actually focused on the structure of this inference.) One's self-recognition as the Lord is the thesis of the inference, but, interpreted as the primordial means of one's emanation of the universe, also becomes the reason. We cannot get further into the analysis of these peculiarities of the `Saiva discourse here. This is done at length in my "Argument and the Recognition of `Siva" and my "Tantric Argument."

28.    IPV 1.5.17, 1:278-279. Cf. Aja.dapramaat.rsiddhi with Harabhatta Shastri's commentary, in Utpaladeva, Siddhitrayii and the II`svarapratyabhij~naakaarikaav.rtti, ed. Shastri, verse 15, pp. 6-7.

29.    My broad use of the term "subjective" heuristically distinguishes such characteristics, etc., from those of any prima facie object which is recognized through interpretations. I am not claiming that skeptics admit the ontological status of a transcendental subject; this conception is often attacked by them. The text below will further refer to the "fragmented subjectivity" of the postmodern variety of skepticism.

30.    The Greek roots include the pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle, Stoicism, and Neoplatonism. The Biblical/Hebraic roots include the Wisdom traditions as evinced in the Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach, Philo of Alexandria, and the Gospel of John. (Though my discussion focuses on Christianity, I do not deny that related conceptions are found throughout the history of Jewish thought)

31.     Examples include Augustine, Eckhart, Hegel, and Lonergan, who will be considered below.

32.    Of course Heidegger is profoundly ambivalent whether the contents of aletheia and the call of Being are somehow transcendental

 

 

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or entirely historically contingent. These two possibilities have trajectories into transcendental theology on the one hand and deconstructionism and postmodernism on the other.

33.    See the popular collection of speculative writings of prominent physicists in Ken Wilber, ed., Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists, New Science Library (Boulder: Shambhala, 1984). For a more up-to-date survey of the field, mixing considerations of what may be called a logos argument with the cosmogonic and teleological arguments, see Paul Davies, The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992).

34.    For representative writings of the philosophical and theological retrieval of Hebraic and Eastern Orthodox Wisdom traditions, known as "Sophiology," see Vladimir Solovyev, Lectures on God-manhood, trans. with introd, by Peter Zouboff (London: Dennis Dobson, 1948), and Sergei Bulgakov, The Wisdom of God: A Brief Summary of Sophiology, trans. Thompson Clarke and Xema Braikevitch (New York: Paisley Press, 1937).

35.     Levinas' effort is different from those of the other thinkers mentioned in that he attempts to defend a kind of ethical religiosity by completely removing God from the sphere of philosophical/metaphysical justification.

36.    My interpretation of the challenge of Derrida to the Pratyabhij~naa will focus chiefly on his Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976).

37.    Though I do not wish to confuse matters, I note that in Of Grammatology Derrida is especially concerned to deconstruct a particular conception of the separation of the linguistic signified from the signifier, in which the former corresponds or connects with the latter as presence. He asserts that this conception of separation depends on the logocentric postulate of their primordial unity. However, Derrida's collapse of interpretations into a play of signifiers asserts another kind of separation between signifier and signified. As the signified does not really exist, the signifier cannot connect with it. For the sake of clarity, the discussion in the text will only consider the problem as whether or not language accesses presence. This will be explained in terms of whether or not recognition is valid.

38.    It has been observed that Derrida does not make a "skeptical" argument for equipollence as Pyrrho does; see Kevin Hart, The Trespass of the Sign: Deconstructionism, Theology and Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 173. This does

 

 

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not matter for our purposes. My classification of skepticism is broader than Hart's. The argument for equipollence would also fit into my classification.

39.    Like others who discuss the problem of interpretation, Derrida sometimes refers to these issues of memory and recognition without thematizing them. See his use of Leroi-Gourhan's concept of a "liberation of memory" in Of Grammatology, p. 84.

40.    In raising this topic, I indicate my strong disagreement with the well-known view of Richard Rorty that Derrida does not actually make any kind of argument but only shows us what it would be like not to have logocentric beliefs (Richard Rorty, "Philosophy as a Kind of Writing: An Essay on Derrida," in Consequences of Pragmatism [Essays: 1972-1980] [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982], pp. 90-109). Derrida's entire corpus endeavors to persuade by means of complex arguments. The self-referential contradiction involved in such an effort will be taken up below.

41.     Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics, trans. Roy Harris (La Salle: Open Court, 1992), p. 116. Also see the elaboration of the nature of writing as an arbitrary system based on difference at pp. 117-118, which is quoted in Derrida, Of Grammatology, pp. 52, 326-327 n. 17.

42.    See Derrida, Of Grammatology, pp. 52-53.

43.     Derrida thus subverts the "phonocentric" tradition, articulated in a variety of ways since Plato, which views writing as a secondary copy of speech. For Derrida, writing in the sense of a differentially defined system of signs is the nature of all language. For some of the key discussions, see Of Grammatology, pp. 44-65.

44.    Ibid., p. 49.

45.    On this, also see Jacques Derrida, "Differance," in Speech and Phenomena: And Other Essays on Husserl's Theory of Signs, trans. David B. Allison, Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, ed. John Wild (Evanston: North-western University Press, 1973).

46.    See Derrida, Of Grammatology, pp. 10 f., 97-100.

47.    Ibid., pp. 10-13, 71-73, 97-100.

48.     Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, rev. ed. (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1978), pp. 634-686. I note that George Steiner has advocated the conception of God's logos specifically against Derrida. See Real Presences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989). This book presents less a sys-

 

 

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tematic: argument than a suggestion that we best wager, contra Derrida, on the intuition of a transcendent source of meaning if we are to account for our ordinary ability to understand and communicate, particularly in the creation and appreciation of art. Another argument that we have the direct experience of presence in relationships and in art, figuring the ultimacy of God's presence, is in Ralph Harper, On Presence: Variations and Reflections (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1991). Harper explains that his work was written independently but in a remarkable parallelism to Steiner's.

49.     Lonergan's reflections on his historical inheritance may be found in his Verbum: Word and Idea in Aquinas, ed. David B. Burrell (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1967).

50.    To explain things a bit more fully, Lonergan actually talks of three "basic positions," the denials of which are three "basic counter-positions." Lonergan explains: "It will be a basic position, (1) if the real is the concrete universe of being and not a mere subdivision of the 'already out there now'; (2) if the subject becomes known when it affirms itself intelligently and reasonably and so is not known yet in any prior 'existential' state; and (3) if objectivity is conceived as a consequence of intelligent inquiry and critical reflection, and not as a property of vital anticipation, extroversion and satisfaction" (Lonergan, Insight, p. 388). The "positions" and "counter-positions," respectively, cohere with and contradict the basic positions. My discussion of Lonergan's proof will simply refer to positions and counter-positions. See the discussion throughout Insight, pp. 385-390. On these categories in relation to the argument for the existence of God, see p. 685.

51.     Lonergan, Insight, p. 672. There is a summary of the argument throughout pp. 672-674. On his point that this proof comprehends all other cogent arguments for the existence of God, see his discussion of Thomas' five ways, ibid., p. 678. In a sense this view would be supported by Derrida, for whom logocentrism epitomizes all metaphysics. For a simpler, and somewhat different, expression of the argument, see Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Method in Theology (reprint, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), pp. 101-105.

52.    While the minor premise is in effect expounded by the analyses throughout the book, Lonergan gives a summary treatment of it in Insight, pp. 672-673.

53.    On being as the objective of the unlimited desire to know, see Lonergan, Insight, pp. 348-352. Lonergan makes it clear that the

 

 

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unlimited desire to know is coupled with a "limited capacity to attain knowledge" (ibid., pp. 636-639).

54.    Ibid., p. 352.

55.    At first glance, it may appear that Lonergan formulates his premise too strongly in requiring that reality be completely intelligible. Yet I hope that this view will be seriously entertained as such. The minor premise follows necessarily from Lonergan's explanatory definition of being/reality as the object of intellectual inquiry. The question is whether or not it makes sense to talk in any way of anything as existing, or being the case, which could never be understood. Lonergan's definition is strengthened by the idealism characteristic of the philosophical theology of logos discussed below.

    There is recorded some debate on the minor premise between Lonergan and David Burrell. Burrell objects that Lonergan has no warrant to "extrapolate" from a definition of being that is merely "heuristic." We can never know anything about, and thus cannot affirm, the condition of complete intelligibility. In his answer, Lonergan emphasizes that he does not claim that we ever achieve the complete intelligibility of being. He affirms this as what is intended by the ongoing process of inquiry, which makes known more and more of what is previously unknown. See David B. Burrell, "How Complete Can Intelligibility Be? A Commentary on Insight: Chapter XIX," and Bernard Lonergan, "Response," Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 41 (1967): 250-253, 258-259. To quote Lonergan: "To say that being is completely intelligible is not an idle, empty phrase. It is true that we have no immediate knowledge of complete intelligibility, for we have no immediate knowledge of God. It remains that our intelligence, at its living root, intends intelligibility but not incomplete intelligibility and so complete intelligibility. Further, since intending is just another name for meaning, it follows that complete intelligibility, so far from being meaningless to us, is in fact at the root of all our attempts to mean anything at all" (ibid., p. 259).

    Lonergan's minor premise has an interesting analogue in Hegel's argument against skepticism that "the Rational has no opposite." Michael Forster has traced influences on Hegel's argument back to the poem of Parmenides. Hegel supports his arguments by Parmenides' contention that the concept of nonbeing, as describing something which is supposed to be, is incoherent. According to Forster, Hegel's appropriation of Parmenides was mediated especially by works of Holderlin, such as Judgment and Being. See Michael Forster, Hegel and Skepticism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 118-120. Also see below, note 65.

 

 

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    Support for the thesis of the complete intelligibility of reality may be found in features of C. S. Peirce's semiotics. Peirce maintains that all thoughts are necessarily signs about other signs/thoughts, thereby overcoming the subject-object duality. However, at the same time, he maintains an interpretative realism -- too often ignored by contemporary poststructuralists and pragmatists. (I am not denying substantial areas of divergence between Peirce and the theories being discussed. E.g., his replacement of notions of a direct intuition of thoughts with the semiotic triad is certainly contrary to the Pratyabhij~naa doctrine of the identity of prakaa`sa and vimar`sa.) Peirce contends that, for the very reason that concepts can only pertain to what is cognized in judgments about signs, one cannot coherently conceive of an object that is incognizable, even in universal or hypothetical propositions. As he states: "Not-cognizable, if a concept, is a concept of the form 'A, not-A,' and is, at least, self-contradictory. Thus, ignorance and error can only be conceived as correlative to a real knowledge and truth, which latter are of the nature of cognitions. Over against any cognition, there is an unknown but knowable reality; but over against all possible cognition, there is only the self-contradictory. In short, cognizability (in its widest sense) and being are not merely metaphysically the same, but are synonymous terms. To the argument from universal and hypothetical propositions, the reply is, that though their truth cannot be cognized with absolute certainty, it may probably be known by induction" (Charles Sanders Peirce, "Questions concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man," in Peirce on Signs: Writings on Semiotic, ed. James Hoopes [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991], p. 50).

56.    On this point, see Derrida, Of Grammatology, pp. 57, 63, 167.

57.     Steiner, on the other hand, is willing to let deconstructionism off on the self-referential contradiction, apparently because deconstructionists say that they do not mind it (Steiner, Real Presences, pp. 129-130).

58.    And, I add, no satisfactory radical historicism or cultural relativism. It is also one of the most common criticisms of "strong" cultural relativism that this view itself implicitly posits a universal state of affairs, viz., relativism along with the nonepistemic causes of belief such as societal legitimation, power, etc.

59.    In this regard, his work may be understood as an attempt to provide a Thomist logos-theological answer to the famous question of Plato's Meno: "But how will you look for something when you don't in the least know what it is? How on earth are you going to set up some-

 

 

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thing you don't know as the object of your search? To put it another way, even if you come right against it, how will you know that what you have found is the thing you didn't know?" (Plato, Mono, trans. W.K.C. Guthrie, in The Collected Dialogues of Plato, Including the Letters, ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns, Bollingen Series 57 [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989], 80d, p. 363).

60.    We cannot discuss here the history of influences and parallelisms between Platonism and Aristotelianism, but must focus on what I consider the exemplary structure of Lonergan's argument. Perhaps Aristotle himself should be considered an idealist with respect to his understanding of the divine intellect. In any event, I believe that Thomism should be understood this way. Medieval Aristotelianism was of course heavily influenced by Neoplatonism. Lonergan is also influenced by Augustine's interpretation of the logos as inner illumination.

61.     Lonergan, Insight, p. 644.

62.    Ibid., p. 643. Cf. Hastings Rashdall's formulation of the moral argument for the existence of God: "A moral ideal can exist nowhere and nohow but in a mind; an absolute moral ideal can exist only in a Mind from which all Reality is derived. Our moral ideal can only claim objective validity in so far as it can rationally be regarded as the revelation of a moral ideal eternally existing in the mind of God" (Hastings Rashdall, "The Theory of Good and Evil," in The Existence of God, ed. John Hick (New York: Collier, 1964, pp. 149-150). Among the classic theistic proofs, the moral argument comes closest in expression to the logos argument, for it is directly concerned with the grounds of judgments/recognitions, in this case those of morality. I believe that even Kant's moral argument may be understood against the background of the logos conception, despite his cagey formulation of God as a postulate of practical reason. According to Lonergan, all cogent theistic proofs are encompassed by his argument.

63.     Lonergan, Insight, p. 648. On the understanding of all things through the unlimited act of the intellect's understanding of itself, also see Insight, p. 646. Lonergan also explains this idea in terms of an analysis of different kinds of intelligibility. The unlimited act of the intellect exemplifies the perfect variety of "spiritual intelligibility" (ibid., p. 674).

    Cf. the simpler expression of the following passage in which Lonergan explains Thomas Aquinas: "God's being is identical with God's understanding; by that single act of understanding, God understands himself, and so he understands his own power, and

 

 

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so he understands all that by that power could be produced. God, then, is the act of understanding that grasps everything about everything" (ibid., p. 371).

64.    Ibid., p. 674.

65.    I note that the two chief strategies of Hegel's defense of his metaphysics against skepticism broadly parallel the argumentation typified here in the vimar`sa arguments/Lonergan's minor premise on intelligibility, and the prakaa`sa arguments/Lonergan's idealistic major premise. As exposited by Michael Forster, these strategies comprise: (1) arguments that the Rational has no opposite, mentioned in note 55, and (2) arguments for the identity of subject and object in the Absolute. With the latter (idealistic) contention, Hegel attempts to solve the problem of "concept instantiation," or what I have described as the recognition of reference. I am not advocating Hegel's logic or phenomenology. I believe that Hegel's two arguments may be taken as confirmation of my analysis of Lonergan's arguments as typifying a much broader orientation of philosophical theology. Hegel was quite explicitly propounding a philosophy of the divine logos. Unfortunately it is not  possible to pursue a comparison directly with Hegel any further in this essay. I will only offer some general constructive remarks on `Saivism, monotheism, and panentheism in the final section.

66.     "As man, so God is a rational self-consciousness, for man was made in the image and likeness of God. But what man is through unrestricted desire and limited attainment, God is as unrestricted act" (Lonergan, Insight, p. 668).

67.    Ibid., p. 684.

68.    IPV 1.6.6, 1:326-327.

69.    For valuable sources illuminating the purposes and presuppositions in the idealist-realist debates, see A. C. Ewing, ed., The Idealist Tradition: From Berkeley to Blanshard, Library of Philosophical Movements, ed. Paul Edwards (Glencoe: Free Press, 1957); Roderick M. Chisholm, ed., Realism and the Background of Phenomenology, Library of Philosophical Movements, ed. Paul Edwards (Glencoe: Free Press, 1960); and Edwin B. Holt and others. The New Realism: Cooperative Studies in Philosophy (New York: Macmillan, 1912). For an excellent early study, critical of but sympathetic with the insights of the idealists, see A. C. Ewing, Idealism: A Critical Survey (London: Metheun, 1934; reprint, 1974). A useful short study of the change in orientation of philosophy is J. O. Urmson, Philosophical Analysis: Its Development between the Two World Wars (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956; paperback, 1978).

 

 

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70.    See G. E. Moore, "The Refutation of Idealism," in Ewing, The Idealist Tradition, pp. 289-310, and Russell, "The Fallacies of Idealism," in Ewing, The Idealist Tradition, pp. 311-316.

71.    See Martin Heidegger, "The Question Concerning Technology," trans. William Lovitt, in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper & Row 1977), pp. 283-317.

72.    See Richard Rorty, "Nineteenth-Century Idealism and Twentieth-Century Textualism," in Consequences of Pragmatism, pp. 139-159, and Juliet Sychrava, Schiller to Derrida: Idealism in Aesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

73.    This conclusion pertains to the grounds of successful recognitions of interpretation. It does not address the important problem of how to arbitrate between conflicting recognitions, in different spheres of concern or different times, between different people, etc. I can only offer a brief suggestion on this here. Granting the impossibility of assessments of correspondence with any uninterpreted datum, this problem must be approached through considerations of coherence. Such an understanding is articulated in statements such as that of Abhinavagupta cited above that "something exists as much and in whatever way it is recognitively apprehended [vim.r`syate] and uncontradicted" (IPV 1.1.3, 1:62). The `Saivas make similar statements elsewhere.

    David Tracy, likewise, in developing hermeneutic disclosure theory for theology has recommended the criteria of coherence as well as praxis, to evaluate claims to manifestation/recognition. (Manifestation functions in the first position of the triad taken from William James -- possibility, coherence, and ethical consequences.) See David Tracy, "The Uneasy Alliance Reconceived: Catholic Theological Method, Modernity, and Post-Modernity," Theological Studies 50 (1989): 560-561, 565-567, and the longer analysis in "The Question of Criteria for Inter-Religious Dialogue: On Revisiting William James," in Dialogue with the Other: The Inter-Religious Dialogue, Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs 1 (Louvain: Peeters Press, 1990). I believe that the criterion of praxis can be seen as merely emphasizing a particular sphere for the assessment of coherence.

74.    Have I retreated to the position of Steiner, for whom the logos presumption regarding the existence of God is a best wager of meaning against the skepticism of deconstructionism? No, for I actually hold that the proof is cogent. I have suggested a more "probabilistic" interpretation of the argument only with the hope of giving it greater appeal.

 

 

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75.    See Utpaladeva, The `Sivastotraavalii, with the Sanskrit Commentary of K.semaraaja, ed. Rajanaka Laksmana (Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, 1964).

76.     Lonergan, Insight, p. 660.

77.     Panentheism means "all-in-God-ism." According to this point of view the world is real, as it exists in some sense in God. God accordingly is both transcendent of and immanent in the world.

    As indicated by my comments on dialecticity just made, I believe that traditional Christianity has always had ways of describing the immanence of God. This is often underestimated in the rhetorical formulations of contemporary panentheists. I believe that in virtually all theological doctrines, from the Hebrew prophets, the Koran, and Calvin to Eckhart and Spinoza, there is some dialecticity. While the contemporary panentheists may to some extent use the terms "traditional theism" and "pantheism" as straw men, I believe that they are placing a significant new emphasis on dialecticity to address the conflicts of tradition and modernity.

    Of course this metaphysical strategy has not been accepted by all contemporary theists attempting to grapple with the conflicts of tradition and modernity, and postmodernity. Many neo-orthodox thinkers as well as postmodernists such as Levinas continue to emphasize the transcendence of God in the face of secularity and pluralism.

78.    John Macquarrie, In Search of Deity: An Essay in Dialectical Theism (New York: Crossroad, 1987), is a useful recent attempt to summarize historically and argue constructively for an alternative formulation of God as both transcendent and immanent.

79.    The classic historical survey of doctrines of God from a panentheistic point of view is that of Charles Hartshorne and William L. Reese, Philosophers Speak of God (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953).