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AdvaitaA Contemporary Critique$
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Srinivasa Rao

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198079811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198079811.001.0001

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Differing Points of View

Differing Points of View

(p.139) Chapter 10 Differing Points of View

Srinivasa Rao

Oxford University Press

Advaita believes in three differing points of view called the illusory (prātibhāsika), the empirical (vyāvahārika) and the ultimate (pāramārthika) which successively contradict and sublate the preceding one. It is argued in this chapter that the above view may not always be true. If two points of view are really different from one another, they cannot contradict each other. If we look at a table with naked eyes we see it as solid. If we look at the same table through a powerful electron microscope, we see only minute particles in vast empty spaces. But we cannot say that the solidity of the table is sublated or contradicted by the sub-atomic point of view. This point is also illustrated by a thought-experiment involving a terrestrial observer on earth and an extra-terrestrial observer located in outer space.

Keywords:   prātibhāsika, vyāvahārika, pāramārthika, thought-experiment, points of view

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