This book is a synthesis of absolute idealism and Advaita Vedanta in particular and in general, it is a synthesis of Western philosophy with Indian philosophy. It covers issues in all five basic areas of philosophy metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and logic, and suggests answers to many problems in them. The solutions offered are in terms of Advaita Vedanta and absolute idealism solutions as the ideal ones. (Vol.1) Substance Truth and Person, (Vol. 2) Perfecting Reality (Vol. 3) Practical Implication (Vol. 4)The Idealist.
About the Author
Dr. Ajaya D. Naik obtained his PhD philosophy degree from King's College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. His Masters's degree is from the University of Texas, Austin, USA, and his Bachelor's degree is from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA. He now resides in Surat, Gujarat, India, and continues to work on philosophy themes. His next works are a philosophical autobiography and philosophy of science espousing a teleological materialist view of reality. He was the Managing Director and Chairman of a family business.
Some of my work was lost, destroyed or stolen. These are as follows: (1) my answer to Godel on the indeterminacy of formal systems (lost), (2) my solution to the class paradox (lost), (3) my discovery of a third sense of the number one distinct from the cardinal and ordinal senses (lost), (4) my deduction of ethics from metaphysics, of ought from is, using the work of Arne Naess (destroyed),(5) my computer print out of the logic of being and identity (stolen), (6) dialogue on being and not- being (destroyed). (7) my deduction of the principle of physical health from the Kantian categorical imperative (lost), (8) my answer to Kant's objection to the ontological argument (lost) and (9) my work on logic while teaching at the University of Zambia (stolen). But my Western friends including some in the Christian Catholic tradition have copies and recordings which I hope they will make available to anyone wishing to read them.
The general approach has been to rely on some sources of enlightenment. First, there has been digestion of some original contributions to the kind of philosophy that goes by the name of absolute idealism. In this connection so far as the second half of the twentieth century is concerned four very original contributions stand out like the highest Himalayan peaks.' In many cases, there has been utilized the works of older authors of the twentieth century since their work is better than contemporary works.
It was a pleasure to note that the four are to some degree acquainted with Advaita Vedanta. Findlay goes on to say that Sankara stands above Bradley. This is disputable.
Metaphysics is the most basic part of philosophy, and possibly the most controversial. In the West, it flourished in Ancient Greece, late Rome, and medieval universities. During the Renaissance, it floundered and was resurrected in the seventeenth century, most notably by Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, and Bishop Berkeley. Under the scrutiny of Locke, Hume, and later Kant, metaphysics staggered but was bolstered by Hegel. Attacks on Hegel soon arose, but his thought encouraged and deeply influenced many philosophers in Britain, including Thomas Hill Green and Francis Herbert Bradley. Darwin's influence was seen in the metaphysics of Samuel Alexander. In the United States toward the last half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries, metaphysics found life abundant in Charles Sanders Peirce, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, Borden Parker Bowne, Alfred North Whitehead, and Charles Hartshorne.
With the emergence of the linguistic turn and the persuasive power of positivism, metaphysics was considered by many to be a thing of the past. Since the passing of Josiah Royce in the United States and F. H. Bradley in the United Kingdom, few in the twentieth-century West have attempted to develop a system of absolute idealism on a grand scale. Exceptions such as J. N. Findlay, T. L. S. Sprigge, and Brand Blanshard come to mind. During the twentieth century in the East, Absolute Idealism was given a full statement in the thought of K. C. Bhattacharyya, a philosopher deeply influenced by Advaita Vedanta.
1. Defining Philosophy
It is pointed out that philosophy is constituted of the following theses: analysis and then synthesis of philosophical concepts, i.e. the most basic concepts of all. The synthesis of philosophical concepts involves the construction of a worldview analogous to a map. It searches for knowledge of truths distinct from artistic truths, religious truths and scientific truths. It is divided into five basic areas: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics and logic. It may also involve analysis of basic concepts of other subjects as well which would require detailed knowledge of these subjects in which we would be doing philosophy of art, philosophy of religion and philosophy of science. It involves the construction of a coherent and comprehensive system of general ideas explaining every element of existence-A.N. Whitehead. It involves determining not only the general picture of the world but also one's unique place or role in it. It is a therapy of the soul to overcome alienation. It involves systematic introspection of one's basic beliefs and so acquiring reasoned beliefs rather than just beliefs accepted ad hoc and enables us to change our beliefs and thereby our attitude to life-J.N. Chubb. Philosophical reasoning is sui generic; it is self-sufficient and self-subsistent-G.R. Malkani and G.W.F. Hegel. Philosophy is independent of science, religion and art and yet includes all three in its ambit. Philosophy's tool is synthetic a priori reasoning. It aims to construct deductive proofs-Spinoza. It aims to discover simple philosophical mathematical formulae about reality. It aims at a final explanation; the question 'why?' cannot occur again. It requires a great deal of general knowledge as a background to think in.
From an objective standpoint philosophy is the analysis of the most fundamental concepts, concepts applicable to absolutely everything i.c. it deals with the most comprehensive concepts. Also, it deals with concepts presupposed by all other subjects. Not only is this the case but among them are concepts presupposed in our ordinary everyday speech. Philosophy, therefore, has the most comprehensive scope and also the base or that is most background reference. It is then the foundational subject and all other subjects are based upon it.
The systematic elucidation of these concepts amounts to the construction of a map by which to guide our behaviour in life's sojourn in the world in the pursuit of knowledge, power and love, in short, satisfy the desire for happiness! And value and imbibe truth, goodness and beauty (including the beauty of moral character).
And so to acquire the knowledge of love and the love of knowledge, and the power of love and the love of power. Note where there is love along with power then power does not corrupt since to love is to share. And also to value the knowledge of power and the power of knowledge. And to value the truth of goodness and the goodness of truth, and the truth of beauty and the beauty of truth, and the goodness of beauty and the beauty of goodness.