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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What if there were a further self beyond the self?

Let us assume that there is in fact a transcendental self, which is responsible of the empirical one we experience. The transcendental self cannot be experienced, but it is the condition for the possibility of experience, the space, so to say, where experience can take place.
Could one not argue, then, that we need a more transcendental self which make the transcendental self possible? If one has acknowledged once the necessity of something beyond experience in order to account for experience, how can one stop requiring always higher order entities to justify the previous ones?
In other words, how can we be sure that the homunculus (if there is a small man within oneself which controls the external man, than one could argue for the necessity of an even smaller man within the small man and so on) argument does not apply to the Advaita Vedānta self?

2 comments:

skholiast said...

In fact, such an infinite regress was actually argued for by John William Dunne in his books An Experiment with Time and a few sequels, especially The Serial Universe.

elisa freschi said...

Do you mean that Dunne did not understand it as an unwanted consequence? Sounds interesting and I hope you'll explain me more.
As far as the Advaita Vedānta side of the question is concerned, on the other hand, I mentioned the issue to C. Ram-Prasad during this conference (http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/projects/self/conference.htm) and he was quite sure the problem does not arise, I'll explain why in a later post.

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