Sunday, 23 December 2012

Intrinsic Validity in the Vedanta Paribhasa of Adhvarindra and The indefectibility of Certitude in Newman

The Validity of Knowledge is Intrinsic and Self-Evident.

The validity of knowledge generated by the above-mentioned means of knowledge originates by itself and is self-evident. To explain: Valid knowledge is that knowledge regarding something possessing a particular attribute, which has that attribute as its feature, which is conducive to successful effort, and which includes recollection as well as fresh experience. That validity is due to the totality of causes producing knowledge in general, and does not depend on extra merit, for there is no merit that abides in all valid knowledge.
The invalidity of nowledge, however, is not due to the totality of causes of knowledge in general, for in that case even valid knowledge would be invalid, but it is due to some adventitious defect.

What V.P. is proffering here is a robust form of realism. We make mistakes but these mistakes do not plunge us into general scepticism. We take things as given unless our attempts to act upon this knowledge gives rise to frustration.

This sort of trust has a similar ring to it as the general conclusions of Newman on The Indefectibility of Certitude.

 On the contrary, any conviction, false as well as true, may last; and any conviction, true as well as false, may be lost. A conviction in favour of a proposition may be exchanged for a conviction of its contradictory; and each of them may be attended, while they last, by that sense of security and repose, which a true object alone can legitimately impart. No line can be drawn between such real certitudes as have truth for their object, and apparent certitudes. No distinct test can be named, sufficient to discriminate between what may be called the false prophet and the true. What looks like certitude always is exposed to the chance of turning out to be a mistake.

The same feeling is here of the soundness of knowledge in general, that it is not due to an inherent lack of foundation that it collapses from time to time but that error is an external or adventitious hazard.

Is not looking for certainty in either a rationalist foundation or a sensible vividness merely the face and obverse of the same counterfeit coin?

We step from stone to stone in our crossing and we are not in reality wading through the stream.

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