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Lecture 9

PHI 101 Lecture 9: PHI 101 Lecture 9
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHI 101
Professor
Lawler James

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Lecture 9
3. Samkhya and Yoga
Samkyhan dualism
Means discrimination or discernment
Yoga means join or yoke or union
Samkhya is said to be the oldest Indian school
o Dualism of the “soul” (purusha) and “nature” (prakriti)
o Conflict with the central doctrine of the Upanishads: the oneness of atman (self)
and Bahman (absolute reality)
Three primordial thoughts
Basic outlook on life
1. The world is a whole
2. Human beings are unique, distinct
3. Everything is for them
a. Things are out there for us
b. Essential link between nature for us
Three Doctrines
1. There is a single material substance, prakriti
a. material
2. There are infinite number of distinct souls of purushas
a. Spirit
3. Prakriti exists for the sake of the purushas
a. Nature exists for the self
b. The soul can be free
Where do the elements come from?
Samkhya recognizes things are composed of elements (the position of
Nyaya/Vaisheshika)
What is the evidence for this?
o We do not directly receive this prakiti
o We do not directly perceive things at all, but only pictures or representations,
constructed in the mind-organ (manas)
o Some may have a direct intuition of the oneness of the cosmos in meditation
o The main argument is reasoning by inference on the nature of causality
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire
Smoke is caused by fire
o Cause and effect
o Smoke in contained within the fire and comes out of the fire
If every effect arises in this way from of its cause
o The difference and the non-difference of cause and effect (Ishvarakrishna)
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Difference from Nyaya- Vaisheshika
N-V: the cause is distinct from the effect
o Leads to God outside of the World because cause and effect are different
o Who creates separate elements
o Including the relation between the human action and its effects (Karma)
In the beginning: Matter
But Samkhya argues
o That the effect is contained within the cause
o Leading to one general cause from which all the effects develop
Prakriti divides into the separate elements
o Which remain related because they all come out of the same source
This is the universal “ground of being”
o Containing all the effects within herself
It is not possible to refer to an external creator God
o Because the cause is not outside the effect
The gunas
Prakriti is composed of three threads (gunas)
1. Elements of the world
a. Trees, table
b. Gross matter
2. More refined matter of sensations
a. Sight, hearing, practical senses of desire, will
3. The mind-organ, which organizes the data of the senses
Evolution of matter
Evolution involves increasing refinement of matter
o The Samkhyan dualism is not a dualism of matter and mind
o Mind is a refined kind of matter
o Intelligence (buddhi) is a stage of matter
Prakriti is a single reality that evolves into complexity and refinement, including mind
The witness
Purshua is different; it is not mind
o It is multiple, not single
o Each purusha is simple and passive
What it directly witnesses (knows) are
o Mental states, pictures in the mind- organ
o Coming from sense data
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Description
Lecture 9 3. Samkhya and Yoga Samkyhan dualism • Means discrimination or discernment • Yoga means join or yoke or union • Samkhya is said to be the oldest Indian school o Dualism of the “soul” (purusha) and “nature” (prakriti) o Conflict with the central doctrine of the Upanishads: the oneness of atman (self) and Bahman (absolute reality) Three primordial thoughts • Basic outlook on life 1. The world is a whole 2. Human beings are unique, distinct 3. Everything is for them a. Things are out there for us b. Essential link between nature for us Three Doctrines 1. There is a single material substance, prakriti a. material 2. There are infinite number of distinct souls of purushas a. Spirit 3. Prakriti exists for the sake of the purushas a. Nature exists for the self b. The soul can be free Where do the elements come from? • Samkhya recognizes things are composed of elements (the position of Nyaya/Vaisheshika) • What is the evidence for this? o We do not directly receive this prakiti o We do not directly perceive things at all, but only pictures or representations, constructed in the mind-organ (manas) o Some may have a direct intuition of the oneness of the cosmos in meditation o The main argument is reasoning by inference on the nature of causality Where there’s smoke, there’s fire • Smoke is caused by fire o Cause and effect o Smoke in contained within the fire and comes out of the fire • If every effect arises in this way from of its cause o The difference and the non-difference of cause and effect (Ishvarakrishna) Lecture 9 3. Samkhya and Yoga Samkyhan dualism • Means discrimination or discernment • Yoga means join or yoke or union • Samkhya is said to be the oldest Indian school o Dualism of the “soul” (purusha) and “nature” (prakriti) o Conflict with the central doctrine of the Upanishads: the oneness of atman (self) and Bahman (absolute reality) Three primordial thoughts • Basic outlook on life 1. The world is a whole 2. Human beings are unique, distinct 3. Everything is for them a. Things are out there for us b. Essential link between nature for us Three Doctrines 1. There is a single material substance, prakriti a. material 2. There are infinite number of distinct souls of purushas a. Spirit 3. Prakriti exists for the sake of the purushas a. Nature exists for the self b. The soul can be free Where do the elements come from? • Samkhya recognizes things are composed of elements (the position of Nyaya/Vaisheshika) • What is the evidence for this? o We do not directly receive this prakiti o We do not directly perceive things at all, but only pictures or representations, constructed in the mind-organ (manas) o Some may have a direct intuition of the oneness of the cosmos in meditation o The main argument is reasoning by inference on the nature of causality Where there’s smoke, there’s fire • Smoke is caused by fire o Cause and effect o Smoke in contained within the fire and comes out of the fire • If every effect arises in this way from of its cause o The difference and the non-difference of cause and effect (Ishvarakrishna) Difference from Nyaya- Vaisheshika • N-V: the cause is distinct from the effect o Leads to God outside of the World because cause and effect are different o Who creates separate elements o Including the relation between the human action and its effects (Karma) In the beginning: Matter • But Samkhya argues o That the effect is contained within the cause o Leading to one general cause from which all the effects develop • Prakriti divides into the separate elements o Which remain related because they all come out of the same source • This is the universal “ground of being” o Containing all the effects within herself • It is not possible to refer to an external creator God o Because the cause is not outside the effect The gunas • Prakriti is composed of three threads (gunas) 1. Elements of the world a. Trees, table b. Gross matter 2. More refined matter of sensations a. Sight, hearing, practical senses of desire, will 3. The mind-organ, which organizes the data of the senses Evolution of matter • Evolution involves increasing refinement of matter o The Samkhyan dualism is not a dualism of matter and mind o Mind is a refined kind of matter o Intelligence (buddhi) is a stage of matter • Prakriti is a single reality that evolves into complexity and refinement, including mind The witness • Purshua is different; it is not mind o It is multiple, not single o Each purusha is simple and passive • What it directly witnesses (knows) are o Mental states, pictures in the mind- organ o Coming from sense data
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