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Self, No Self?Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions$
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Mark Siderits, Evan Thompson, and Dan Zahavi

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199593804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593804.001.0001

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Situating the Elusive Self of Advaita Vedānta 1

Situating the Elusive Self of Advaita Vedānta 1

(p.217) 8 Situating the Elusive Self of Advaita Vedānta1
Self, No Self?

Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the way Advaita Vedānta both affirms a unified consciousness (which might be called a self), and rejects the intuition that ‘I’ picks out that self. Its position is situated cross-culturally through relating it to two contemporary and seemingly opposed positions. On one hand there is Zahavi's theory of a minimal self that, while being only a phenomenological core, nevertheless is a subject whose ‘presence’ is indicated by first-personal ‘mineness’. On the other hand, Metzinger argues that consciousness generates a model of a phenomenal self, so that the construction of such an illusory self is transparent to consciousness itself. Taking Metzinger's comparison of his position with Advaita and Buddhism as a starting-point, the chapter shows how Advaita's self is like Metzinger's in taking the first-personal perspective as an illusion, but also like Zahavi's in insisting on a minimal subject, a consciousness reflexively aware of its own presence.

Keywords:   Advaita, self, ātman, consciousness, auto-luminosity, reflexivity, consciousness as presence, Metzinger, Zahavi

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