‘Paradigm of Consciousness’, Phenomenology and Sāṅkhya

  • Dattatreya Pandurang Burte



This paper is introduced as the first in a series on a comparative study in phenomenology and Sāṅkhya. The issues intended to be investigated in this paper have been specified.


Brentano’s attempt to characterize the Cartesian division of the world with the help of his concept of intentionality, his theory of intentionality and difficulties associated with it are discussed.

Paradox and Remedy

Consciousness, which alone is argued to be intentional, is argued to make the world a paradoxical pseudo-totality preventing its theorization. The remedy for resolution of the paradox is presented.

Husserl’s Theory of Intentionality and ‘Paradigm of Consciousness’

The division of the world possible under the ‘Cartesian paradigm’ is shown to be of no help in resolving the paradox. Husserl’s theory of intentionality is shown to have distinguished itself from theories prior to it, in dividing the pseudo-totality that the world is, into genuine totalities under the ‘paradigm of consciousness’.

Phenomenological and ‘Natural’ Reduction

The possibility of the being of phenomenology as a science as well as, that of the ‘natural sciences’ comprising the physical sciences as well as psychology, is traced to their being sciences of genuine totalities made possible by the division under the ‘paradigm of consciousness’ by Husserl’s theory of intentionality.


Sāṅkhya is argued to be a phenomenological discourse. In fact, it is argued to be a post-epoche discourse. Also, all cittavṛtti are argued to have their viṣaya, the concept which has been identified with ‘intentional object’ as the correlate of consciousness. Cittavṛtti, therefore, are argued to be intentional, and thereby equivalent to intentional mental processes. Parallels in Sāṅkhya to Husserl’s concepts of ‘matter’ and ‘quality’ of mental processes have been sought in Sāṅkhya.


Intentionality Paradox Phenomenological reduction Intentional correlate Viṣaya Cittavṛtti Quality and matter 



Earlier versions of this paper were presented, respectively, at Humanities-IIT-Kanpur, BPS-Philosophy-University of Mumbai and Philosophy-Pune University. I am thankful to the respective authorities and the respective audiences, for affording me opportunities of interaction. I am particularly grateful to Prof. Vineet Sahu of IIT, Kanpur, for his encouragement and to Prof Deepti Gangavane, for valuable criticism, which helped me in structuring my project. I am grateful to Prof S. M. Bhave. Prof Sibi George of IIT, Mumbai and Prof Pradeep Gokhle, Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, for several discussions and general guidance.

I would also like to remember with gratitude Prof S. D. Agashe, Prof S. S. Antarkar, Prof Ramakant Sinari, Dr G. Nagarjun and Dr K. Subrahmanyam for their encouragement particularly in the initial stages of my interest in philosophy.


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© ICPR 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SolapurIndia

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