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The provisional world: Existenthood, causal efficiency and ŚrĪ Har\(\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{s} \)a


The problem which seems to remain with the Advaitin's non-realist account is that in giving up both the robust realist use of existenthood and the strong idealist use of cognitive verification, he seems to have weakened the connection between what must be the case and what is experienced. In explaining the nature of cognition, the realist says that existenthood (objects ontologically independent of cognition)must be the case; the idealist says that existenthoodmust not be the case. But in saying that existenthood and non-existenthood are both outside the purview of the explanation of cognition, and then further, in saying that there is only a weak connection — of coherent assumption or best justification through confirmation — between objects and cognition, in other words, refusing to say whatmust be the case, is the non-realist not making his ontology acutely contingent on the current features of cognition? Is his ontology not, in this sense, provisional upon current cognition? As any reader even glancingly acquainted with Advaita would see straightaway, that understanding of ontology as aprovisional state (samv \(\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{r} \) tti-sattā) is precisely what the Advaitin has striven to establish. We must leave the examination of the purpose of this effort for another occasion.

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Ram-Prasad, C. The provisional world: Existenthood, causal efficiency and ŚrĪ Har\(\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{s} \)a. J Indian Philos 23, 179–221 (1995).

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  • Current Cognition
  • Current Feature
  • Weak Connection
  • Strong Idealist
  • Causal Efficiency