Overview for Sankaracarya's Concept of Relation
Albert the Great observed in the thirteenth century that "philosophers have always argued about questions of relation," but very few philosophers in east or west have made a systematic enquiry into the nature of relation as such. One possible reason for this is the extremely elusive character of relation, which is not an objective reality in its own right, but simply represents reference-to-another. Moreover it is grasped only by the intelligence, whereas we easily limit ourselves to the level of sense and imagination and reify it into a "third something...This minime ens quality of relation was intuitively perceived by Sankara. The present study of his use of relational terms, based on a thorough examination of the Sanskrit texts, not only presents a challenge to the widespread tendency to reduce relation to the field of logic and semantics, ignoring its metaphysical significance: it also suggests that the tradition of Advaita as presented by Adi Sankara could provide the much-needed non-threatening metaphysical foundation for a better mutual understanding between the participants in the great inter-cultural, inter-disciplinary and inter-faith encounter of the post-modern era.
Sara Grant (Author)
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