Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Metaphysics of Shankara and Kant

There are similarities in the metaphysics of Immanuel Kant and Shankara, the philosopher and theologian of Advaita Vedanta, who is generally placed in the 7th century AD (some scholars place him in the 5th century BC). Kant has basically theorized that the reality has two components: the phenomenal world and the noumenal world—the first is the world that we perceive (the world that exist inside our own minds and can be experienced); the second is the world of things outside our own minds (this is the world of things as they really are, but our mind lacks the capacity to comprehend this world). Shankara divides the reality into two categories: Vyavaharika and Paramarthika—the first is the reality that corresponds to our phenomenal experiences and exists inside our own mind; the second is the reality of what truly exists, which is the Brahman, the ultimate mover and creator of the universe, that encompasses everything that exists. It’s noteworthy that Shankara’s two categories of the reality are meant to establish his monistic and religious position of one ultimate reality consisting of the Bahaman; Kant, on the other hand, is not openly a monistic (though there are traces of monism in his thought) and he is trying to develop a secular interpretation of reality.

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