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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

Handout (2009/12/19) 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”




知識論者與形上學家之爭,從Dan Arnold的文章裡的脈絡談起~~根據Dan Arnold引Hatorri的譯文,陳那認為認知昇起時便具有兩個面向,一方面具有對認知者自身的自我意識這樣的表象,另一方面具有對象的表象。而因這樣的雙重面向性,所謂統覺者即是結果。不像實在論者那樣把持著量異於其結果的立場,陳那認為當認知運作時,其結果就包含了對象,而整個認知譬喻地包含著一個(被推定的)量的運作,但量就陳那自身的說法並不具動作性。陳那強調,作為認知手段的量以及被認知的對象,只是在每一個認知的例子當中截然不同的面向而已。而在一個認知當中,被意識到的是對象、而這個認知屬於主體的面向者是量,認知完整的自身是量的結果,這三者是無法被分離的。

然而,Dan Arnold引述Paul Williams指出陳那後較晚期的印度知識論討論中對陳那的自證(svasamvitti )有兩種不同解讀,一種以月稱(Candrakirti)與寂天(Santideva)為代表,認為自證是「另外一個認知(動作)」,是一種特別的認知、永遠隨著一切認知而存,從而他們認為陳那的自證有無窮後退的問題而不該被接受;另一種理解以寂護(Santaraksita)為代表,他認為自證是認知的一種「特質」而非一個「認知行為」,一種「意向性」的特質,是為主體性的構造。

Arnold同意寂護的立場,相信經過寂護的理解,陳那的自證理論與康德「統覺的先驗統一」理論一致,且他相信經由順著寂護的理解將陳那的自證理論先驗化,可以(一)顯示月稱的理解與批評並無法克服寂護的重建;(二)將陳那後的關於自證的爭論與康德針對統覺的先驗統一的爭論相對比,可以帶出更多問題與討論。基於時間的關係,不繼續深入Dan Arnold的脈絡,如果各位有興趣可以去找這篇文章出來看,或者參看文末我附上的摘要。在此,我試圖將時間往前拉一點,拉回到陳那自身以及康德自身的知識論系統與其脈絡,試圖(1)以康德第一批判與第三批判為基礎提出一個對康德「先驗性」這個方法的特質的限定,並(2)補充說明陳那的「量與量果統一」的想法自身便已經符合這個特質,而不需要寂護後來的重建,(前者是為一種方法、策略,後者為一種自性特質,因而前者本身其實較後者更「安全」)且(3)透過在方法論上的先驗化,很清楚地說明陳那如何區別他的量論於其他「現實論者」,進而也就足以回應如月稱這樣立場的論師的批評。

當然在此只與各位分享我的思路,不成熟之處還請各位多多指教。


在第一批判的先驗推證(由以第一版為主)裡,直觀的領受、在想像裡的重建與在概念裡的辨識必須先天地統籌在一個圖示中,這是一切可能經驗的條件。即,我們如此這般的經驗,必得出於一個如上系統所示的先天調和(coordination)作為一種「肇因」,正是透過這個「肇因」既制約且促成我們如此這般的經驗,也使得我們如此這般的經驗裡表象、直觀與概念總在經驗中能成為一統一體。

在第三批判,判斷被區分為既定的與反省的(未定的)。在此,判斷是一個將某個別物想像於置放在某普遍物之下。假若先給定的是普遍物,而判斷將某個別物判定給該普遍物,則是既定判斷;假若先給定的是個別物,而判斷搜尋一個普遍物來與之相對,則是未定判斷。

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」。

如此的一個理想化步驟(先驗理想論)就其自我指涉特性使其自身與其他一切理想化步驟有了差別:一方面,被理想化的系統是就經驗的必然導出,同時經驗的必然透過該理想化被推證;另一方面,被理想化的系統被理想化作該系統結果的肇因,且因為我們的經驗(該系統結果)必定有該些系統中的成素相對應的形式,所以我們的經驗支持了該理想化。就此,該理想化有別於康德所謂的「經驗理想論」,包含Berkeley的獨斷式理想主義以及Descartes的懷疑式理想主義,不論何者都導向一個結論,對個別物的不信任。獨斷理想論者認為感官對象只是純然想像,而懷疑理想論者則認為只有內在思維是明晰、直接的,而感官物是被其所遮蔽而成為間接物。不論何者,都基於一個前提:其理想化步驟都在經驗裡進行,以至於被理想化的都成為了可及的對象,要不就是我們直接存活在其中的但卻只是假象的東西,要不就是我們可以直接思及且將我們與感官世界隔開的東西。「先驗」與上述有別,在於其所理想化者被置放於一個有系統的功能(經驗)之「系統化肇因」的位置,作為其條件給予其形式,且正因這樣的「作為其條件」也支持了該理想化自身(前面所謂的自我指涉義)。於是,我們不放棄個別物也不放棄普遍物,此外,我們保有了直觀的雜多性與直接性,也保有了被普遍物的既定性與間接性(這與我們的經驗裡有自由、主客、內外區分等等符合而獲得支持)。於是,我提議,具體地定義先驗,個別物與普遍物之間的關係必須被視為一個被理想化的肇因,唯有這個肇因的結果讓我們得以認識;假若只有其中一個被視作肇因、或者開始,而另外一個之後再與它關聯,則這就逸開了康德的先驗意義。

就著上面達成的範圍規劃,我們可以很清楚地發現陳那的知識論與康德的先驗理想論相契合。一方面,陳那認為在認知的工具(量)與認知(量果)之間有種因果關係,但是該因果關係並不使兩者相異,量與量果兩者同一,此外,量果的形式與量彼此相對應:自相與共相兩果與現量比量二量相一。另一方面,陳那認為自相與共相、現量與比量的強烈區分發生於起源當中,他駁斥任何可觸及的獨立存在的共相(如Descartes的思想物),而承認比量的概念性構作是有效的認知當中的一必要部份,就此,駁斥了獨立存在的個別物(如Berkeley的想像物)。

在我進一步攪拌這兩個觀點之前,先作系統性差異的澄清,尤其是解決康德的I-think是個thought與陳那的svasamvitti、自證,是個現量這個麻煩。

雖然兩者都拒絕獨立存在的普遍物(即,缺乏適當的個別物與之相對的純概念建構),康德與陳那有不同的真理觀。

首先,康德有他的先驗架構,而陳那沒有先驗、經驗的明確區分,接著,康德的自證只限制在作為一個統覺的統一這一個範圍內談論,而陳那傾向將內在感受也納入(這對康德來說也會是直觀,但只是經驗直觀於是不在這個範圍談論),然而,我們還可以解釋說,陳那也把概念化的統一(意)當作直觀的一環(意現量),他解釋說:這樣的概念化並不針對經驗對象,而是針對被帶到內在覺察中的心智活動,由上述這兩位各自的修正可看出,他們之間的系統性衝突不像語言上表現得那麼巨大。因為康德較強調個別物與普遍物之間的關聯,而把未定與既定的個別物之間的曖昧區分藉由把它們兩者統統交付給想像力與感性而給偷渡了,他的主要論證目標就自然地轉向解釋這樣的關聯如何可能,這就導致先驗統一當中的進行統一的這一方會跳出來佔據自我意識的核心性質。而在第三批判的發展,他將關注轉向未定,且轉向一種傾向:未定判斷優先於既定判斷,並以此回應第一批判當中的「反省作為前於判斷的某種東西」這樣一個線索。

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」這樣的中觀基本立場。



Apendix

陳那的自證說,根據Dan Arnold,在中觀派月稱的理解中,把自證當作一個必然伴隨著一切認知的一種直接的覺察,即當我認識到一棵樹,這樣的認識必須伴隨著一個關於自我的認識。月稱批評,自相素樸的語用中,意指「定義自身的特性」,而這樣的特性是語言的所指對象(intension),是認識對象的本質 (extension),一旦被陳那扭曲為「一種特殊的現量」,語言便失去指涉對象,而且當自相不再是定義自身的特性,而需要另外一個東西來定義它,那個東西還是會需要另外一個東西來定義它,而月稱認為陳那的自證理論,就是作為另外一個特殊的現量去定義一個認知經驗當中的現量,而這並不能自圓其說反而會陷入一種無窮後退。此外,就中觀立場,「我」並不存在,而任何的運作都需要一個存在著的發生位置,假若沒這個位置,其實也不需要自證這樣的「推定」。

根據Dan Arnold,寂護將對量的關注焦點從量作為手段轉移到量作為結果,以及將量、果與對象的關係也從量為因、果為果而人為執行者這樣的因果、執行關係,轉換成一種在結果上的被關注者與關注者的關係,從而提出自證是一種規約認知之為認知的特性,而因此特性區分出有智性生命者與無智性生命者的差異。認知是有智性生命的,而其特性是在「結果」上關注對象與關注者之間有一種循環因果的關係:我關注的對象造成我對我關注對象的關注,而我對我關注對象的關注造成我關注到我關注的對象。這一來,修改了簡單因果關係解釋之不足:因為一個結果因為某個原因而被造成,並不保證這個結果是關注於那個原因的,如種子是芽的因,但芽並不關注著種子,這樣的發展並不是智性生命者的發展;另一來,也以接受這種特性的循環以及消除自證知作為一個特殊的現量這樣的可能性,而僅是一個限制、定義認知之為認知的發展圖界的特性,駁斥了中觀的無限後推攻訐。

Dan Arnold指出,這樣的歷程也發生在康德即後康德德國哲學當中,此說當然正確。康德提出先驗統覺理論以解釋一切經驗的條件裡,便先驗地以統一的形式限制了、並始經驗成為可能,因而經驗總是統一在一個主體的。Fichte便發展出一個絕對主體,這個絕對主體一直伴隨著任何的認知,所以所有的認知都在經驗主體的伴隨之下被統一成一個連貫的發展。這樣的解讀,同樣因其無限後退為人所詬病,因為對主體的認識—自我,也是一種認識,也需要一個絕對主體去統一進來這個認識。有另一派人如Strawson則把康德的先驗統覺理解成一種邏輯條件,而因著這個邏輯條件而生成的認知,具有意向性。這也比較接近康德的原意,康德自己也講「當我思這樣的一種(伴隨在任何一個心智的內在確定性,且在所有的意識片段當中都是同一的)心智的內在確定性被生成時,自我意識本身無法再被任何其他的內在確定性伴隨」(CPR B 131-132)。他還說「在綜合原初的統覺統一當中,我對我自己的意識並不是一種我的表象,也不是我在我內部存在的意識,而純粹是我存在。而這樣的一種內在確定性是一個想法,不是一種直觀」(B157)。

Dan Arnold在此發覺,康德把先驗統覺當作一種想法,而不是直觀,且因這種先驗統覺總關涉到客體的判斷,而該類判斷以概念為決定性的基礎,於是認為與陳那的自證知有出入,因為陳那的自證是一種現量。不過我在這裡反對Dan Arnold的意見。我認為這裡有幽微的系統性差異以至於我們若未釐清,不能隨便類比陳那的現量與比量於康德的直觀與概念。一個初步的說明是,康德看待先驗統覺的統一是從把它當作一種邏輯的原因這樣的方向來看,而陳那是把自證當作一種發生的結果這樣的方向來看,而這樣的差異進一步指名的話,應該是康德以他的「先驗」觀念為核心架構,而陳那沒有。康德在Dan Arnold引的第二版(B 157)那段話後面,他還接著說:「為了要認識我們自己,還另外需要一個思考的動作,這個動作將每個可能的直觀的雜多統一在一個統覺中,那是一種確定式的直觀,透過此直觀被給予給主體。於是,雖然我的存在*斷非[經驗]表象(更不是幻象),而我自身的存在的確定性只能按照內感官的形式來發生,按照我所組構的並給予給內感官的雜多的特別模式」,而針對這個引言中的「我的存在」有個註腳:「這個「我思」所表達的,是確定我的存在動作。」我依此會建議這麼讀這個句子「這樣的一種內在確定性是一個想法,不是一個直觀」:這樣的一種內在確定性是一個(先驗的)想法,不是一個經驗的直觀,意思是,先驗的統覺並不給予任何一個意識的片段一種特殊的「我、或我思」的經驗直觀(表象),而這已經展現出與所謂的邏輯條件式的解讀、或者寂護的解讀一致的方向了。






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

Chun-Ying WANG / Dept. of Philosophy, NCCU; MEPO Humanity Technology Inc.


        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)


Reference

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.



Endnotes:

[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.



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