July 16, 2012

Truth with an internalist theory of error

I consider myself a Hegelian because I believe, with Hegel, that one can go a step further than MacIntyre: one best develops a philosophy by trying as best one can to consider all competing accounts from within, and arrive at a position that supersedes – transcends and includes – them all. Unlike Hegel I would probably add “tentatively” and “one hopes” in here. As finite and non-omniscient human beings we always have the possibility of being wrong, of having missed something. But if we want to have a chance of discovering the truth, we need to try. I came at this position from another angle in discussing blind men and elephants two weeks ago. It is this sort of position, I think – whether Hegel’s more confident view, or my more cautious one – that combines a universalist theory of truth with an internalist theory of error…
Recall that Momin’s argument for relativism rested on understanding other cultures, making sense of them internally. It seems to me that this making sense itself requires the ability to argue and judge rationally – and, above all, to do so across traditions and perspectives. If we are really making sense of a radically different perspective, we are not just seeing it in its own terms. We cannot, because we are always still ourselves; its own terms must be filtered through ours. If it remains radically other, we have not understood it. This is why Gadamer famously argues that understanding requires a “fusion of horizons”: to understand what another’s horizon means in its own terms requires that we translate it into ours. And that means that the reasoning in each alternative tradition must be made commensurable: they can no longer stand as separate worlds that will not meet, but are now placed open to argument and even refutation by the other. If we really understand the alternative position, we are allowing the possibility that it is right and we are wrong.
Now this understanding could be one-sided: it is not necessarily the case that anyone who holds the position will understand ours. This is why, as Momin has noted, no position is ever going to be accepted by everyone. But this – to be accepted by everyone – does not seem a legitimate criterion for universality.

Auronet - Savitri Bhavan, Auroville Sri Aurobindo and The Mother say on OM. ... of this opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and ...  Coming Events Monday 16 Jul - Exhibition Savitri Bhavan Mon 16 09:00 AM Exhibition - Meditations on Savitri at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Mon 16 09:00 AM Exhibition - 'The Birth of the Sun' at Savitri Bhavan EXHIBITIONS
Meditations on Savitri Books 2 and 3

108 paintings prepared by Huta under the Mother’s Guidance
In the Picture Gallery from July 1 onwards 

The Birth of the Sun and other paintings inspired by Savitri

by Shri Shivkumar-ji Paliya
Upstairs, July 6-31 


A new painting on stone by Emanuele
will be on display at Savitri Bhavan from July 1st.
It is the first of a planned series of 7 on the wives of the Rishis

Class Savitri Bhavan Mon 16 10:00 AM Digital Library - multimedia facilities at Savitri Bhavan Digital Library - multimedia facilities for individual study Opening hours: 10-5 Monday to Saturday
Savitri Bhavan offers individual computer access to a large range of audio-visual materials. All the recordings of courses, guest lectures and special events held at Savitri Bhavan are available, as well as much more. Aurovilians, visitors and volunteers are invited tomake use of this opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the aims and ideals underlying the experiment of Auroville.
Class Savitri Bhavan Mon 16 10:13 AM 'On The Mother' at Savitri Bhavan Class / Savitri Bhavan Mon 16 03:00 PM Cultivating Concentration at Savitri Bhavan Cinema / Savitri Bhavan Mon 16 06:30 PM Film - OM The Divine Name at Savitri Bhavan
Tuesday 17 Jul
Class Savitri Bhavan Tue 17 (All day) Cultivating Concentration at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Tue 17 (All day) L’ Agenda de Mère at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Tue 17 (All day) OM Choir at Savitri Bhavan Exhibition Savitri Bhavan Tue 17 09:00 AM Exhibition - Meditations on Savitri at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Tue 17 09:00 AM Exhibition - 'The Birth of the Sun' at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Tue 17 10:00 AM Digital Library - multimedia facilities at Savitri Bhavan Course Joy Guest House, Centre Field Tue 17 05:00 PM NVC: Advanced Deepening Practice Group Class Savitri Bhavan Tue 17 05:00 PM Savitri Study in Tamil at Savitri Bhavan
Wednesday 18 Jul
Class Savitri Bhavan Wed 18 (All day) Reading The Life Divine at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Wed 18 (All day) 'Mudra-chi' at Savitri Bhavan Workshop Savitri Bhavan Wed 18 06:45 AM Well Being (Pranayama) Workshop of 5 Sessions Exhibition Savitri Bhavan Wed 18 09:00 AM Exhibition - Meditations on Savitri at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Wed 18 09:00 AM Exhibition - 'The Birth of the Sun' at Savitri Bhavan Class Savitri Bhavan Wed 18 10:00 AM Digital Library - multimedia facilities at Savitri Bhavan Class Verite Hall Wed 18 05:00 PM Somatic Explorations - ongoing weekly class with Maggie Dance Kalabhumi Wed 18 08:00 PM Kahata/Kabir folk songs woven into rhythms and dance
The new issue of our journal Invocation – Study Notes on Savitri (No. 36)… Office and Reading Room, Monday to Saturday 9–5. Everyone is welcome. REGULAR  ACTIVITIES
Sundays 10.30–12 noon: Savitri Study Circle
Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, 3-4pm: ‘Cultivating Concentration’, led by Dr. Jai Singh
Mondays 5-6pm: On ‘The Mother’, led by Dr. Ananda Reddy
Tuesdays 4–5 pm: L’Agenda de Mère – listening to recordingswith Gangalakshmi
Tuesdays 5-6 pm: Savitri study in Tamil, led by Sudarshan. 5.45–7.15 pm: OM Choir
Wednesdays 5.30-6.30 pm: Reading The Life Divine, led by Shraddhavan
Thursdays 4.30-5.30pm: The English of Savitri, led by Shraddhavan. Mudra-Chi’ sessions led by Anandi resume Wednesday June 11 5pm

Chaotic Systems Viswa Ghosh Jul 14, 2012 12:49 am Dear Marla,
I do believe that Chris is right about evolution being chaotic process (as opposed to a designed creation). The chaos comes from one simple... Re: Fundamental Questions Viswa Jul 11, 2012 2:00 am Dear Raman,
You are extremely correct about the points below, including that regarding the Carvakas. As you say, “the grand mystery of existence” is unfathomable. In fact, the Carvakas have been misunderstood & distorted in our scriptures and even by the later commentators.
Varadaraja Raman Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:39 PM To: Subject: [TheBecoming] Fundamental Questions 
Why is it so difficult for committed God-seekers, God-defenders, and Scriptures-interpreters of every religious tradition - including the Hindu - to grant that different people find spiritual fulfillment in their contemplation of the Grand Mystery of Existence in different ways following different paths, and that they should all be respected as long as they don't practice or preach hate and hurt towards other human beings?
It seems to me the Vedic wisdom outshines any other precisely in trying to wake us up to this great Truth. Charvaka was not abusing the Vedas, he was exemplifying it. Though I don't subscribe to his philosophy, in my view he was as much a great Hindu as any Acharya. V. V. Raman July 10, 2012

An Economy of Souls from Centre Right India by Jaideep Prabhu
Yesterday’s discussions were centred on materialist attempts to discredit the principle of free choice. However, religion is, in no sense of the term, material. Religion must be seen in the same way as liberty – inviolable and an intrinsic good. It is held that a person’s liberty is of paramount importance that cannot be bartered away. Therefore, it is illegal to sell oneself into slavery, even at the risk of starvation; liberty is a good unto itself, the exercise of which allows one to lead a content life. Similarly, it can be argued that a man lives not by bread alone but also by hope; religion is that hope, of justice in this life or the next, of salvation, and the reassurance that the world will not descend into anarchy. Society is neither a business enterprise to maximise wealth nor an association to promote liberty and equality. Instead, as Aristotle argues, “the good life is the end of the city-state,” ie, a life consisting of noble actions (1280b39–1281a4). From this perspective, conversion without faith is an impediment to the good life.
Yet people who are induced to convert may not be religious, and therefore, the question of hope does not arise. This is only partly true – an atheist, if categorised as a Muslim or a Christian, will militate against the label. Atheism gives that person a certain sense of liberty, of humanism. By even ascribing a religious label, that sense is reduced. Those open to inducement may not have such strong convictions, for or against religion. Their sole belief  might be in two square meals a day. Swami Vivekananda is often credited for arguing that a hungry man has no religion but bread. There is merit in that idea, but as discussed above, society feels that liberty trumps bread. A hungry man is not capable of thinking properly about liberty (or religion) and should, therefore, not be allowed to make a rash decision. This is a principle upheld by law courts everywhere, that all deals must be entered into by person of sound mental faculties; in fact, reduced capability is even a mitigating factor in crime. Can one truly argue that poverty does not reduce capability? If not, should conversion by inducement be allowed?
Ibn al-Dunya has left a new comment on your post "Propagandists are afraid of Sri Aurobindo": Posted to Savitri Era at 1:23 PM, July 15, 2012
Sorry, the article was not a hagiography of Aurobindo. Had that been clear, someone would have seen to it that every sentence began with "Aurobindo says..." 

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