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Between the Indeterminate and the Determined-- from the Viewpoints of Dignaga and Kant. Also an Attempt to Reconcile Epistemoligists and Metaphysicians

Between the Indeterminate and the Determined-- from the Viewpoints of Dignaga and Kant.
Also an Attempt to Reconcile Epistemoligists and Metaphysicians

        As Dan Arnold in his “Is Svasamvitti Transcendental?”[1] has captured, there seems to always exist a tension between epistemological approach and metaphysical approach towards the most urgent yet lasting question – what's going on with our very own existence and how we can better it. In the early middle age India there were Dignaga's epistemology and the following debate between Madhyamika opponents and Dignaga's advocates regarding the issue self-awareness (svasamvitti); in the eighteenth to the early nineteenth century Europe, there were Kant's epistemology and the following debate on the same issue between the anti-epistemic German-idealist reconstructors and the epistemologist-Kant's sympathisers. With presenting the parallel, as well as with entangling these two lines so that the both ends on the one line reflects upon their comrades on the other, Dan Arnold tries to demonstrate how a transcendental reconstruction of Dignaga's epistemology in Kant's fashion (Dan Arnold's interpretation of Santaraksita's comment on Dignaga) could help out the middle age Indian epistemologists from the attacks of Madhyamika thinkers and thus suggests a positive answer to the proposed question: Dignaga's svasamvitti as reconstructed by Santaraksita is indeed transcendental. In this article, as a supplement, I attempt to argue that with Dignaga's own teachings alone in the Pramanasamuccaya, Dignaga's pramanavada agrees with Kant's transcendental idealism. And then, after the transcendental nature of both epistemologies get assured, I will focus on the relation between Dignaga's perception and inference and the relation between Kant's intuition and concept; on the one hand, I will try to clarify their systematical difference, and on the other, I will try to reconcile the two systems with a “schematic” reconstruction in terms of the swing between the indeterminate and the determined. Hopefully the effort here could also resolve the antinomy that epistemology such as Kant's and Dignaga's is a righteous course and that metaphysics such as Madhyamika's is a righteous course, too, regarding the most urgent and lasting question.

        Kant distinguishes “transcendent” and “transcendental” as “not interchangeable terms” in the beginning of his “Transcendental Dialectic” in Critique of Pure Reason, CPR, where he entitles the principles “whose application is confined entirely within the limits of possible experience, immanent,” i.e., transcendental, while the principles “which profess to pass beyond these limits, transcendent.” (CPR A 296/B 352) Also, the transcendental is distinguished from the empirical that the latter must be obtained via the employment of sensibility and thus must be a posteriori, while the former must come a priori, i.e., must be required so that the employment of sensibility is possible; the knowledge a posteriori must be the result of our apperception, via which our consciousness arises, while the knowledge a priori is the condition of our apperception and thus known to us in our consciousness yet as form or as transcendental ideas. Clearly we can see that the division between the transcendental and empirical is a division of the origin of knowledge and/or awareness and the effect of that origin; due to such a division, our knowledge and awareness are thus allowed to be characterized with two aspects: form and matter. In his Critique of Judgment, CJ, where the employment of our cognitive power is further characterized as an ability about “determination.” This development, I believe, is a further exploration of the primordial status of apperception and judgment, namely, his so-called “transcendental reflection” in CPR, the form of judgment prior to all judgments, one which makes possible the reference of a concept to an intuition. It is in this part of his transcendental task the notion of transcendental is put in a brighter light.
        In Kant's theory of threefold synthesis in CPR, the notion of transcendental is presented in a mechanical fashion: via the synthesis of apperception, the inner determination of our mind[2] is accomplished, that is, our mind becomes conscious of the object of the determination which is always accompanied by self-awareness, a thought[3], too. The synthesis is then taken as the condition of our consciousness and thus of our all possible experiences. It is said in the deductions (the first edition mainly) of CPR that in order for experience to be possible at all, the apprehension of intuition, the reproduction in imagination and the recognition in concept must already be united in a schema; this is the condition of all possible experience. To put in a fashion more critical, we have our experience as such must be resulted from a system in coordination as such a priori which causes, i.e., conditions and makes possible, the experience as such, or otherwise, the aspects of our experience (appearance, intuition, and concept) cannot co-occur in our experience as in unity.

        In CJ, judgment is divided into determined and reflective (indeterminate); in the former, the association of imagination is based on the rules of a concept which the object of the association is to be known about, while in the latter, the association of imagination gives a basis for understanding to apply various concepts to. To put in less Kantian technical vocabulary, judgment is an ability of locating a particular as, i.e., in imagination, contained under a universal; when the universal is given and the judgment subsumes a particular under it, this is determined; when only the particular is given and the universal has to be found for it, the judgment is reflective. Kant describes our judgments as the interactions between the faculty of rules, understanding, and the faculty of association, imagination. In a determined judgment, understanding offers a set of rules which is implied by a concept while imagination associates in accordance with the rules. To characterize this with the model in CPR, imagination relates the synthesized manifold intuition α as well as the appearance X, i.e., manifold of sense through the synopsis of the manifold a priori, in accordance with the conceptual unity 'α' of this synthesis through transcendental apperception. Once the condition is satisfied, the judgment that the particular X/α is subsumed under the universal 'α' is made, from which arises the consciousness of an α which is known as a case of the governing concept 'α' as well. In an indeterminate judgment, imagination creates an object X which understanding keeps trying to find a concept for. To characterize this with the model in CPR again, the particular X is given (in nature) or created (in art) first through imagination, and various universals such as 'α', 'β', 'γ', 'δ' etc. are tried to be found to grasp the manifold X when imagination at the same time reproduces intuitions α, β, γ, δ etc. Here Kant has actually presented to us a further exploration of the transcendental.

        First, we have experience without exception in such coordination, and hence we gain the reason to idealize a system coordinated as such. Second, the idealized system must be the origin and cause of our experience for we so idealize it. Third, the necessary coordination in our experience is that in every instance of consciousness there must be a relation between a particular and a universal, so we idealize a system with two faculties as the epistemic origins of the particulars and the universals respectively. Fourth, in order to approve the ontological commitment so that our daily life, our interactions with the world, the interpersonal activities and morality can make sense at all, we must take it for granted that the particulars have external cause. But to our experience, our consciousness must come after the employment of sense, imagination and apperception, and hence we have no idea at all about the external cause except for such a causal commitment. Fifth, the particulars in our experience is fuzzy that they are both manifold and singular. This is schemed in CPR and explained in CJ. In the former, the manifold of the particulars have their origin in the sense, perhaps with a relation to the conceptualization, that we are given the form of sense as manifold, and they can be reproduced in imagination and cognized in concept. In the latter, when imagination becomes an ability that not only produces and reproduces intuitions with the ways of association originated from understanding, but can create as well something indeterminable (the appreciation of nature or the artistic object in imagination are created), something as manifold as the manifold of sense through the synopsis of the manifold a priori and yet welcome to a lot of, even all possible conceptions. We can see the critical role imagination plays in our idealization here; it links the three modes of synthesis in the idealized coordination system. The so-far so-called idealization distinguishes itself for its self-referential nature, i.e., on the one hand the idealized system is directly inferred from the necessity in experience while the necessity in experience is deduced from the idealization; on the other, it is so idealized that the idealized system is the cause of experience as its function and that because of our experience has such forms we can have good reason supporting such an idealization. This kind of idealism is thus distinguished from what he calls “empirical idealism” (including dogmatic idealism such as Berkeley's and sceptic idealism such as Descartes's) which in general is potential to lead to the conclusion of mistrust of the particulars; in dogmatic idealism the objects of sensation, i.e., the objects in space, is merely imagined, while in sceptic idealism the objects of sensation cannot be established, and only the inner objects, the objects in time, can be indubitable. And the ground for such a premature conclusion is that the idealization is made in experience so that the idealized are regarded as empirically reachable entities, either as something we are totally live in though it is only imaginary, or as something we can directly cognize and completely indubitable and veiling up the particular making it mediate. From here, the transcendental is shown as the nature of such a distinguished idealization that the idealized is put into the position of the systematical cause of the systematical function (experience) and as the condition which gives forms to the function, and via the conditioning the idealization can be reasonable at all. Consequentially, we do not give up any of the particular and the universal; moreover, we preserve the manifold and immediate nature of the particular and the determined and mediate nature of the universal in well explanation, as how we indeed experience. To concretely define the scope of the transcendental nature, the relation between the particular and the universal has to be regarded in the position of an idealized cause only whose result enables any of us to know things. If it is the particular alone or the universal alone that is idealized, the idealization is made solely in our knowledge, that is, the relation between the particular and the universal is linked empirically, either as an empirical induction from the direct particular to the indirect universal or as an empirical inference from the direct universal to the indirect particular.

        Stick to the above characterization of Kant's transcendental idealism, we can find that Dignaga's epistemology meets the spirit of it in terms of the following two points. On the one hand, Dignaga holds that there's a causal relation, which yet makes no distinction, between means of cognition and cognition as result and there's correspondence between the forms of the result and the original means. On the other, he holds that the sharply divided two means of cognition are divided in the origin, rejecting valid reachable independent universals (such as Descartes's the indubitable), recognizing conceptualization to be part of valid cognition, i.e., rejecting the independent particular as mere imaginary. Both points can be conveniently shown in Masaaki Hattori's comments (Note 1.9.) in his translation of Pramanasamuccaya[4]: “Dignaga's theory is unique on each of these four points: (1) He recognizes perception (pratyaksa) and inference (anumana) as the only two means of cognition, and does not admit verbal testimony (sabda), identification (upamana,), etc. as independent means of cognition... (2) He characterizes perception as “being free from conceptual construction” (kalpanapodha), and does not recognize determinate perception (savikalpala-pratyaksa) as a kind of perception... (3) He sharply distinguishes the particular (svalaksana) and the universal (samanya-laksana), which are respectively the objects of perception and inference. He denies the reality either of the universal as an independent entity or of the particular as qualified by the universal... (4) Rejecting the realist's distinction between the means and the result of cognition, he establishes the theory of non-distinction between the two” – Dignaga writes “we do not admit, as the realists do, that the resulting cognition (pramanaphala) differs from the means of cognition (pramana). The resulting cognition arises bearing in itself the forms of the cognized object and thus is understood to include the act of cognizing (savyapara)” (k. 7cd-8ab.) and “it can be maintained that the self-cognition or the cognition cognizing itself (svasamvitti) is here the result of the act of cognizing” (k. 9a.) … “because the determination of the object (artha-niscaya) conforms with it, viz., with the self-cognition” (k. 9b.).

        Before I mixed the two epistemologies from the viewpoint of determination versus indeterminacy, I have to point out the systematical discrepancy between the two and also clarify the issue of Kant's I-think as a thought while Dignaga's svasamvitti, self-awareness, as an intuition, which is also noticed by Dan Arnold.
        Although both rejects the reality of independent universal (mere conceptual construction without a proper particular for it), Kant and Dignaga holds different views of truth: Kant tempts to take as truth the proper reference between the particular and the universal, whereas Dignaga groups the particular as qualified by universal, i.e., determined perception, with the untrue cases, embracing the particular which can never be generalized or conceptualized as truth. Moreover, the distinction between intuition and concept in Kant and the distinction between perception and inference in Dignaga are not well-paralleled. To Kant it is not sharply divided between appearance (manifold of sense through the synopsis of the manifold a priori) and intuition, both being the object and product of imagination, while to Dignaga the determined particular is not true perception, only the indeterminate perception is perception. Due to the discrepancy, there occurs the chance for the issue whether Dignaga and Kant disagree with each other on the nature of self-awareness being a perception or a thought.

        The issue can be conveniently get passed by bringing Dignaga's words: “even conceptual construction, when it is brought to internal awareness, is admitted as a type of perception. However, with regard to the external object, the conceptual construction is not admissible as perception, because it conceptualizes the object.” (k. 7ab) To Kant, the unity of apperception must be a thought, I-think, that unites the manifold of sense and the manifold of intuition; the thought here is not an empirical thought, but a transcendental thought which conditions and makes possible the self-awareness in cognition. Actually we can observe here that Kant's self-awareness and Dignaga's self-awareness do not equate each other: first, Kant presents the notion in transcendental vocabulary, while Dignaga presents the notion not in such a strong distinction between a priori and a postiriori; moreover, Kant's talking about self-awareness is confined mostly within the scope of being the unity of apperception while Dignaga tends to include the inner feelings, which to Kant would also be intuition yet merely as empirical one and hence not included in the talking. Nonetheless we can explain as well that Dignaga takes the conceptualization unity as part of perception, too, with his own explanation that such a conceptualization is not one over an object, but a mental activity which is brought into internal awareness. But, there's much more to talk about in this issue. Because Kant emphasizes more on the reference between the particular and the universal, stowing away the fuzzy relation between indeterminate particular and the determined particular by assigning both tasks under imagination's shoulder, his major goal is naturally set at explaining how such a reference can be possible, as consequence of which the uniting side of the transcendental unity pops out as the core nature of self-awareness. However, in CJ, we can find Kant moves his attention on the united side of the transcendental unity --indeed, in CPR, Kant already holds that the intuition has to be ready for conceptualization; however, in CJ, he reaches the principle of purposivessness which works in the relation between imagination and understanding and in the relation of the object of imagination and the object of understanding, and he gets closer to the standpoint that the indeterminate judgement is prior to determined judgment. On the contrary, to Dignaga what is important is the manifoldness of perception, the independent particularity. Unlike Kant's holding the firm ground of how the particular is determined so that the indeterminacy becomes the pursue, Dignaga embraces the indeterminacy in the outset so that it becomes an issue needing explained that in a valid cognition, how the conceptual construction can be admitted as perception, i.e., self-awareness. But the significance of the above-mentioned meeting of the two directions (from uniting side to the united side and the reverse) lies at one common goal of both projects: there must be two transcendental origins/means so that its result, the cognition, is possible as such – as with two aspects: the particular and the universal; there must be a transcendental unity of the two means as the cause and origin of our cognition as such, so that we can experience as such – as with the reference between the particular and the universal; the transcendental unity must be the idealized origin of what we attribute with “I” and hence it must be a combination of the uniting and the united. It is at this very point that Kant and Dignaga departs away from each other: Kant grasps firmly the combination so that the empirical reality is committed, while Dignaga leaves the combination and embraces the united, or better, the to-be-united, in order to get close to which an epistemology as such (making clear with strict and careful critique and excluding step by step the uniting conceptions, then the particular as qualified by the uniting conceptions, helps reach the to-be-united) must be made.

        Dignaga's refusing the determined particular to be the untruth corresponds to Madhyamika's distinction between the ultimate truth and the conventional truth (二諦), whereas his admitting perception and inference can be altogether transcendentally idealized may upset the Madhyamika thinkers for in consequence this admitting could blur the sharp distinction between the ultimate and the conventional. The worry can be eased by arguing that, not forgetting the distinction of perception and inference lies in idealization and hence as mere forms or aspects of reality so that we should not simply identify perception with the ultimate truth and identify inference with the conventional truth, the sharp distinction between ultimate truth and the conventional truth is safe because the distinction is actually a distinction between the transcendental and the empirical: before determined and cognized, perception is indeterminate, the apperceptive result of which, viz., pramanaphala, however must be always determinedly known – both perception and inference being transcendental means makes no harm to the distinction of their being transcendental ideas and their being forms/aspects of cognition. What is ultimately true is the indeterminable perception with manifoldness, which is thus ineffable unless in symbolism, but in order to assure a workable and moreover valuable conventional reality, it is significant to insist the inference must be properly related with perception, inference here including at once the conventional languages and especially the symbolisms targeting the true perception, such as theologies, metaphysics etc. – significant as Dignaga's doing pramanavada that expresses the two aspects of cognition are originated from two means of cognition and yet resulting in single cognition with two aspects, the particular and the universal, as well as Kant's idealizing those conceptual constructions for which no intuitions can be found and admitting the rest as physically true with the firm groundwork a priori expressed in CPR that the appearance (manifold sensible awareness a priori), intuition (sensible awareness a posteriori) and concept of an empirical object are transcendentally united. Only after assuring the valid inference and physical reality and its relation to the pre-cognitive state, our views of the conventional truth and the ultimate truth can both at once be well explained and well re-oriented (oriented in accordance with what is given to us) so that paralogical symbolisms targeting the ultimate which greatly enhance people's confusion can be avoided.

        Kant's final effort in his critical philosophy sketches the swing between the determined and the indeterminable. What is cognized is what is determined; and determination is made through imagination's following understanding's rules in association producing intuition. But the pre-cognized intuition, viz., appearance, which is part of the apperception in its origin but loses the indeterminacy in its result, gives to cognition nonetheless the characteristic of the manifoldness as openness to all possibilities of conception and readiness for all possible conceptualization. With such a basis a priori we are able to obtain a united, determined awareness so that we know and know about (in analysis) something, and with the same basis we are able to produce various intuitions (particularly determined awareness) in relating to the intuition itself (pre-cognitive perception with a manifold synopsis) in “free-play” to “appreciate” something when various concepts to match the indeterminable intuition can keep occurring and along holding up various correspondent particular intuitive awareness of it; because of such purposiveness of the employment of understanding and the employment of intuition, that intuition and concept are necessarily (such a necessity is assured for the unity's being transcendental) referable, first, the indeterminable can be known determined, and second, with the determined the indeterminable is witnessed. The significance of the above is, as Hattori comments on Dignaga: “rejecting the realist's distinction between the means and the result of cognition, he establishes the theory of non-distinction between the two” (Note 1.9.), first, although the known is always determined, since the known must have the aspect of indeterminacy, for there is the conceptual-unity-based crossover between the manifold a priori and the manifold a posteriori, the pre-cognitive indeterminable, i.e., the manifold of sense through the synopsis of the manifold a priori, must agree in form with the indeterminate witnessed with the determined, i.e., the openness to all possible conceptions and the readiness for all possible conceptualizations; and then, the intuition which is accompanied with a proper reference to its counterpart concept, i.e., Dignaga's “determined perception” is identical with the indeterminable perception, for if we exhaust all possible ways of presenting the intuition, i.e., if we apply all possible concepts to the intuition so that the intuition's all possible aspects are shown in unity – in the intuition itself alone, i.e., if we appreciate freely the object, the known object is directly the true perception, the indeterminable a priori. This is evidenced in the fact that we only experience one world, that we experience the sensible world and the intellectual world as one identical world, as well as in Dignaga's insisting on rejecting realists' distinction between the idealized means and the reality of cognition and in Kant's refuting empirical idealism. Both the realists Dignaga rejects and the idealists Kant refutes are empirically separating the world into reality and ideas. They both take the means of cognition as objects known, namely, empirical objects, though they entitle them with “ideas”, and take the transcendental idealization as cognizable causal relation; that is to say, they mistakenly realize the transcendental ideas. Consequentially, they think they should try to make themselves go beyond the phenomena and get true knowledge of the “transcendent” ideas, and thus beside of the world of cognition, another world of ideas is diverged. It is exactly this point that bothers Madhyamika thinkers. Candrakirti's criticism against Dignaga's epistemology is basically with the incentive to reject svasamvitti's being real, as if there were indeed svasamvitti in an empirically spiritual, ideal world.

        Candrakirti argues, according to Dan Arnold, that Dignaga mistakenly creates something defining svalaksana, which conventionally means the property of the thing in itself and the reference its name refers to, depriving the names of their external, in-itself references on the one hand, and castrating svalaksana's self-defining nature on the other. Besides, the thing that Dignaga believes to define svalaksana must be itself svalaksana again and requires another created thing to define it, inviting the endless regression problem. The criticism above is made on the misunderstanding of the means of cognition as cognizable, empirical objects and on mistaking the causal relation between means of cognition and cognition to be cognizable, empirical causality, which leads to Dignaga's object of refutation: the empirical distinction between means of cognition and cognition. But more significantly, what bothers Candrakirti is that Dignaga seems to admit that “self” indeed exists as any empirical object, to which of course Dignaga directly expresses his dissent in his Pramanasamuccaya. But Candrakirti is not satisfied with the simple dissent. The following argument might respond to this attack. Though there is svasamvitti and svasamvitti is perception in Dignaga, svasamvitti is not empirical, for he won't call anything empirical “perception” since true perception does not include determined perception. Hence, svasamvitti should be something which allows means of cognition to operate like this so that its result, cognition, is brought up to us as known (known object and known to us), but not itself one object of cognition. Since svasamvitti is true perception and not itself one cognizable object, it is impossible to equate Dignaga's svasamvitti with the conventional, empirical self. And based on this clarification, we can point out that the conventional meaning of svalaksana leads to something Candrakirti may dislike. Granted that svalaksana is independent property that defines itself and allows itself to be referred to by names, then it becomes an issue how it is known to self. The answer to the issue will be that either we have the imaginary of everything and that's all mere imaginary or we have intensions which correspond to but never equate the extensions. Both of the candidates needs an empirical I. I think the Madhyamika thinkers, Dignaga and Kant all won't be happy with it.

        On the contrary, Madhyamika's antinomy that the ultimate truth and the conventional truth are sharply distinct and yet the ultimate truth and the conventional truth coexist so that we can live our conventional life sincerely and yet are possible to reach nirvana are in such an epistemological project explained and expressed with conventional words which are understandable to conventional people. Hence the tension between Madhyamika thinkers' as well as German Idealists' metaphysical talk about emptiness (the indeterminable)'s being the ultimate truth while encouraging conventional practices, and Dignaga's as well as Kant's epistemological project establishing the means of valid cognition, should be reconciled. (Dept. of Philosophy, NCCU)


Arnold, Dan. “Is Svasamvitti Transcendental? A Tentative Reconstruction Following Santaraksita” in Asian Philosophy Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 77-111.
Hattori, Masaaki trans. Dignaga, On Perception, being the Pratyaksapariccheda of Dignaga's Pramanasamuccaya from the Sanskrit fragments and the Tibetan versions. Cambridge & Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1968.
Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. by Norman Kemp Smith. Bedford, St. Martin's, Boston & New York: Macmillan, 1929.
Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgment. Trans. by Werner S. Pluhar. Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987.

[1] Arnold, Dan. “Is Svasamvitti Transcendental? A Tentative Reconstruction Following Santaraksita” in Asian Philosophy Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 77-111.
[2] Representation, our awareness of an object, is defined in CPR as “inner determination of our mind in this or that relation of time” (CPR A 197/B 242).
[3] “In the transcendental synthesis of the manifold of representations in general, and therefore in the synthetic original unity of apperception, I am conscious of my self, not as I appear to myself, nor as I am in myself, but only that I am. This representation is a thought, not an intuition” (CPR B 157).
[4] Hattori, Masaaki trans. and comment. Dignaga, On Perception, being the Pratyaksapariccheda of Dignaga's Premanasamuccaya from the Sanskrit fragments and the Tibetean versions. Cambridge & Massachusetts: Havrod University Press, 1968.

Edited 12 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2009 09:06PM by gustav.

Check a choice of word

分類標籤: 佛教知識論
In your third paragraph, the part of the last sentence "...the aspects of our experience (appearance, intuition, and concept) cannot co-occur in our experience as in unity.", is that correct to use "appearance" as one of the aspects of experience here? Should it be "apprehension" as you used in the same paragraph?

Re: Check a choice of word

分類標籤: 佛教知識論
Thank you for your reply. As I point out in the later part of the article, the two concepts/technical terms "appearance" and "intuition" are distinct from each other quite fuzzily. And at this part exactly shows the systematical discrepancy between Kant's and Dignaga's epistemology (Dignaga holds that the ultimate truth falls in appearance, i.e., to Dignaga appearance is the true perception, and the reproduced intuition is not true perception; while Kant holds that the truth is the proper relation between intuition and concept which has some a priori basis, and at best we can relate ourselves with appearance in our very way of experience/awareness only in beauty). The two terms are basically divided sharply by appearance being indeterminate while intuition being either indeterminate or determined. The division in Kant is not kept in consistency as well. But there is some reason for the inclarity, and of course for the division of "particular/perception" into "appearance" and "intuition".

In the paragraph you were mentioning, I write "Fifth, the particulars in our experience is fuzzy that they are both manifold and singular" which has hints as well abou the above inclarity. To put more precisely, the particular object, or aspect of object, in our awareness in Kant has been characterized as manifold and singular. Appearance is the idealized aspect of the origin of the manifoldness in our experience; intuition is the idealized aspect of origin of the particularity which does not loose the manifoldness.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2009 11:57PM by gustav.

The Forth Paragraph is So Transcendental

I am currently progressing in reading the fifth paragraph and I found the forth one is so "transcendental." Perhaps I should say: this article is so transcendental.

The power/strength of the feeling of trascendental is stronger and stronger, till the end of the paragraph. As an engineering/science backgrounded person, seemingly, I strongly see the trascendental part through the notations you set ( X/α, 'α', 'β', 'γ', 'δ', and α, β, γ, δ).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2009 07:36PM by HP.


Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2009 04:30PM by gustav.

"Between" 與 "Indeterminable" 此處何解?

分類標籤: 佛教知識論
此文的主旨為論述 Between the Indeterminate and the Determined。

看了很久之後才發現,Between 在其中應該有很重要的意義。

以我目前的程度,其實還是看不太出來 between 的「是什麼」。

連提問都很難。Between 的,是一種 system,是 content,還是「空的」?其實我的意思是我不太知道要怎麼問。

第二,想確認一下,標題中的 indeterminate 和文中所用的 indeterminable 是不是同一個意思?因為英文的解釋可能或可以不太一樣。

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2009 03:13AM by HP.








Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2009 04:02PM by gustav.

This page, quoted from wikipedia:Apperception, is a response to this discussion thread initiated by gustav, hoping putting more aspects and letting us have more understanding about the frequently-used term in Kant's theory of threefold synthesis of "apperception."

P.S. Please note that the "definition" of apperception in Kant by Runes below may not be suitable or even correct, by the reminding of gustav in his argument below, which I agree. The distinction between transcendental and empirical apperception might not be meaningful, and I personally think the explanation of empirical apperception may be closer to the real meaning of apperception, thought might not being a correct or good approach.

Meaning in Philosophy (Kant)

In philosophy, Immanuel Kant distinguished transcendental apperception from empirical apperception.

The first is "the pure, original, unchangeable consciousness that is the necessary condition of experience and the ultimate foundation of the unity of experience."

The second is "the consciousness of the concrete actual self with its changing states," the so-called "inner sense." (Otto F. Kraushaar in Runes[1]).

Meaning in Psychology

In psychology, apperception is "the process by which new experience is assimilated to and transformed by the residuum of past experience of an individual to form a new whole."[1] In short, it is to perceive new experience in relation to past experience.

Example 1: We see a fire (visual perception). By apperception we correlate the appearance of fire with past experiences of being burned. Having combined present and past experience we realize this is a situation in which we should avoid placing our hand in the fire and being burned.[2]

Example 2: A rich child and a poor child walking together come across the same ten dollar bill on the sidewalk. The rich child says it is not very much money and the poor child says it is a lot of money. The difference lies in how they apperceive the same event -- the lens of past experience through which they see and value (or devalue) the money.[3]

Meaning in Epistemology

In epistemology, apperception is "the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states."[1]

[1] Runes, Dagobert D. (ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy, Littlefield, Adams, and Company, Totowa, NJ, 1972.
[2] From a discussion of apperception by William James, "Talks to Teachers," Chapter 14
[3] The Evolution of Perception and the Cosmology of Substance by Christopher Ott, 2004.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2009 02:19PM by HP.

I found Runes' explanation of apperception not very plausible.
But I don't have time to argue for it for the time being.
Mainly, the distinction between transcendental and empirical apperception, at least in the sense or the way Runes presents it, is not central at all to the issue here. Especially the presentation of the distinction does not help with understanding apperception -- not mentioning the worrying mis-interpretation encompassed in Runes' words.

Handout (2009/11/18, NCCU) for Chun-Ying's
Between the Indeterminate and the Determined-- from the Viewpoints of Dignaga and Kant. Also an Attempt to Reconcile Epistemoligists and Metaphysicians (http://mepopedia.com/forum/read.php?143,1002)

知識論者與形上學家之爭,從Dan Arnold的文章裡的脈絡談起。本文作為一個補充,也是一個方法上的質疑。



由此觀點來重建第一批判的先驗推證裡的先天統覺說:通過先天統覺,想像力將綜合雜多的直觀 α連同表象X(即感官通過先天雜多的梗概(Synopsis)所具有的雜多)按照一個概念的統一「 α」關聯起來;一旦該條件被滿足,一個將某個別物X/ α判給某普遍物「 α」的判斷便形成,由此我們對於 α的一種覺察、意識便生起,同時我們有了一種直觀的根據可以說 α是「 α」的一個個案,或簡單來講: α是個α。在一個未定判斷中,想像力創造了一個個別物X讓知性不斷搜尋概念來與之相對,回到第一批判的先天統覺說模型,個別物X(在自然中被遇見,或者在藝術中被創造)之表象先被想像,而我們不斷搜尋概念如「a」、「b」、「c」、「d」等等與之相對,當我們找到哪個,我們就以哪個為概念進行統覺而把X看作它,而X又是 a、 b、 c、d等等。至此,我們可以回到「先驗這個概念」。






另一方面,對陳那來說,重要的是現量(獨立存在的個別性)的雜多、豐富性,不同於康德因為站在回答「個別者如何被決定為哪類」的立場,而使得未定者成為他後來的探尋對象,陳那一開始就擁抱了未定性,未定的個別物才是真理,與比量的概念化構件相關的既定的個別物則不是真理,於是為何在一個有效的認知當中,概念性構建可被視為一種現量(自證)成為一個需要解決的問題。但是這種兩個方向的交會(從統一邊往被統一邊以及相反)的意義,處於這兩個計畫的共同目標:必然有兩個先驗的起源/量,好使其結果(即認知)能如此這般地成為可能--如此地有兩個面向:個別相與普遍相;同時,必然有一個該兩起源的先驗統一作為我們如此這般的認知的肇因與條件,好讓我們可以如此這般地經驗著個別與普遍之間能被聯繫(即,有判斷這回事);又同時,必然這先驗統一得是那我們稱為「我」的被理想化的起源,且於是該起源必然是統一與被統一的統一。 而就在這裡,康德與陳那分道揚鑣,康德僅僅抓住該統一與被統一的統一好使經驗現實可以被認可,而陳那離開該統一而擁抱被統一者,或者,更恰當地說,那未定的「將被統一者」X,像這樣的知識論(嚴格地、批判地弄清楚且一步一步地展開那些進行統一的概念,然後展開那些被這些概念所促成的個別,直到那將被統一者昭然若揭)被造作出來就是為了去接近那將被統一者(真現量)。

康德在其批判哲學的最後工作中刻畫了在既定與未定之間的擺蕩。被認知的必為既定;決定通過想像力按照知性規則連想而成且產出(決定)直觀。但是前認知的直觀,即表象,也是起源統覺的一部份,但卻在統覺之結果那兒失去了其確定性,則給了認知雜多性,該雜多性既是一種對一切可能的概念化的開放性(openness),以及對一切可能的概念構建的接受性(readiness)。有了這樣的先天基礎,我們於是能獲得一個統一的、既定的覺察好讓我們能認識且分析某物,同時,就著同樣的先天基礎,我們也能在「自由遊戲」當中去「欣賞」某物,而不同的概念不斷湧出來產出不同的直觀(個別既定的覺察)來與直觀自身(前認知、帶有雜多梗概的感知)相對;因著這個在知性的運作與直觀的運作中的合目的性,直觀與概念必然可在經驗中被關聯:首先,未定的可被既定地認識,再來,透過既定的那未定的被證實。前述的重要性在於,正如同服部正名(Hattori)在其《集量論》譯本註解中(註 1.9)所說,「駁斥那些實在論者將量(認識的工具)與量果(認識的結果)區別開,陳那建立的理論是一個兩者不分的理論,」首先,雖然已知總是既定,可是既然已知必定有未定的面向,因為有一個基於概念統一的「跨越」橋接了先驗的雜多與後天的雜多,而前認知的未定(感官通過先天雜多的梗概Synopsis所具有的雜多)必然與透過既定獲得證實的未定(對一切可能概念化的開放性與接受性)有形式上的相符,那麼,與一個匹對的概念有適當的關聯的直觀,即陳那的「既定的現量」,就與那未定的現量同一,因為假如我們窮盡一切可能的方式來呈現這個直觀,也就說,假如我們應用一切可能的概念到這個直觀上以至於該直觀的一切可能面向都在一個統一當中被展開—即,集於該直觀自身,也就是說,我們自由地欣賞該對象,這個已知對象就直接是真現量,那先天未定的。這可以由我們只經驗到一個世界這個事實當中獲得驗證,我們的感官世界與我們的智性世界是同一個世界,如同陳那強烈駁斥現實主義者在被理想化的量與實際的認知之間做的不當區分,且如同康德駁斥經驗理想論一樣。陳那所面對的現實論者與康德所面對的理想論者都經驗地將世界區分作現實與理想。它們都把認知的工具、量當作已知物,即(可被)經驗物,即便他們將這些對象稱作「理想」,而且他們把先驗理想化步驟當作是一個可認識的因果關係(認知當中的因果關係),也就是說,他們不當地把先驗理想給現實化了。於是,他們認為他們應該試著使他們自己超越現象(phenomena)而達到「超越的」理念的真知識,於是,除了我們認識的世界之外,另外一個理念的世界被分生出來了。

正是這樣的後果,讓後來的中觀論師感到困擾。然而,後來的中觀論師們把陳那與陳那所駁斥的現實論者歸在一群了,就由本文的釐清,一方面回應Dan Arnold,陳那不需要寂護將他的量論「條件化」(即Dan Arnold所謂的先驗化)才能讓陳那免除於中觀論師的攻擊,陳那那邊的系統自身就很清楚地是「先驗的」且自身就足以回應中觀論師的質問,另一方面也是告訴這些中觀論師們,他們找錯辨破對象了,陳那不是實在論者,陳那不接受能單獨存在的自性,也應符合「緣起無自性」這樣的基本立場。

Further Materials:

-Arnold, Dan. “Is Svasamvitti Transcendental? A Tentative Reconstruction Following Santaraksita” in Asian Philosophy Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 77-111.

-Hattori, Masaaki trans. and comment. Dignaga, On Perception, being the Pratyaksapariccheda of Dignaga's Premanasamuccaya from the Sanskrit fragments and the Tibetean versions. Cambridge & Massachusetts: Havrod University Press, 1968.

-關於Dan Arnold指出的「平行發展」,可見拙作:http://mepopedia.com/forum/read.php?143,585


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2009 11:29AM by gustav.