About the BookThe present book is an attempt to explore and examine the nature and status of consciousness in the intellectual traditions of the East and the West including such philosophers as ?ankara, Kant, Hegel, Lyotard, Derrida and Habermas. The intellectual expedition in the realm of consciousness is extremely complex and multifaceted. In the extensive field of philosophy, we come across consciousness as an ontological being, an epistemological subject, a moral agent, an aesthetic being, a psychological being, a subject of Yoga, meditation and so on. It has moved the philosophical insight so persistently that the combined study of East and West has not solved the problem of consciousness once and for all. Obviously, there is a philosophical unrest, anxiety and apprehension concerning consciousness.
There are three ways to approach this problem—Dualism, Monism and Pluralism. These three ways have led to the construction of three kinds of the worlds with three distinct concepts of the Ultimate Reality or the notion of Absolute—the psychological, the cosmological and the theological. We can begin with our analysis into what goes on in our mind or the antahkarana and try to find the Absolute in us. Or we can begin with an estimation of the outside world and try to establish an absolute causality operating in nature. Or finally, we can resort to God as the ultimate unifying force between the inner world and the outer world.
The Vedic and Upanisadic Rishis expressed their vision of the Absolute or the Ultimate Reality in the form of hymns, evoking responses at the varying levels of self-realization, worshipful devotion or ritual sacrifices with the method of a dialogue. In the West we cannot speak of the Absolute without at the same time speaking of self-consciousness of human mind, nor fruitfully pursue that interrogation itself unless we conceive our activity in doing so as one sustained and made possible by the Absolute. The author has presented a brilliant critical analysis on various issues and their resolutions.
The book will prove extremely useful to the students and teachers of philosophy of human consciousness and the researchers in this field. Common readers willing to understand the nature and status of consciousness shall find it interesting and inculcating.About the Author/sRaghwendra Pratap Singh, Professor and Chairperson, Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, has been teaching and doing research on different schools of Modern Western Philosophy, Post-modern Philosophy and Indian Philosophy. His specialization is in German Idealism, Structuralism, post-Structuralism, the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, Upanisads, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. He has to his credit six authored and five edited books besides a large number of research papers and articles published in journals of great repute in India and abroad.
He has received several prizes and awards which include SRC Gold Medal for his contributions in the field of philosophy (1998) and American Biographical Institute “MAN OF THE YEAR, 2001” for contributions in the field of philosophy and education. Dr. Singh has delivered lectures at many universities in USA, namely the Centre for Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and School of Divinity, Harvard University, Boston.