…or is not it perfectly rational to know the reason's limits?
Whenever I talk about my primary interest, i.e., epistemology in Mīmāṃsā, I have to face the objection that the Mīmāṃsā school is not philosophical, since it accepts inconditionally the authority of the Veda. Today, while reading the (excellent) book Reflexion und Ritual in der Pūrvamīmāṃsā, by Lars Göhler, I met a similar statement, explaining that the Mīmāṃsā introduced the dialectical method (the topic is mentioned, a doubt is raised, several objectors are allowed to speak, after objections and counter-objections, one achieves a final conclusion, which is then applied to the topic) into Indian philosophy (p. 123). Nonetheless (allerdings), writes Göhler, one should remember that the Mīmāṃsā accepted the authority of the Veda. Why "nonetheless"? Does the fact of accepting an authority de facto disqualify you as a philosopher? Does it mean that your dialectical method is not pure?
What would remain of Western philosophy if we were to apply the same criterion to it?
More importantly, Mīmāṃsā authors distinguish two domains: the domain of what is perceptible and that of what is beyond perception. In the former, the Veda has no authority. No one would believe that the sun stops moving just because the Veda might have said it. By contrast, as for the domain of what lies beyond perception, either we believe in some authority, or we are completely at loss. How to decide whether sacrificing rice grains or going to the Mass on Sunday is good or not? Sense perception (and all the other means, which ultimately rely on sense-data), just does not help.
Is not it rational, then, to accept that one needs an authority?
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