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The Disinterested Witness: A Fragment of Advaita Vedanta Phenomenology (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy) [Paperback]

Bina Gupta


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Book Description

31 Aug 1998 Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
"The Disinterested Witness" is a detailed, contextual, and interpretive study of the concept of saksin (or that which directly or immediate perceives) in Advaita Vedanta, and a significant comparison of the philosophies of the East and West. Central to its topic is its comparison of the Advaita notion of the witness-consciousness with similar notions in Western phenomenology. Gupta explores the phenomenology relevance of the concept of saksin in Indian philosophy, while at the same time demonstrating that the notion of the witness-consciousness is essential for any sound theory of knowledge. Addressing a wide range of epistemological issues and dilemmas, as well as the perceived commonalities and differences between eastern and western philosophy, "The Disinterested Witness" is a major contribution to comparative philosophy, and forms a vantage point for cross-cultural comparison.

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About the Author

Bina Gupta is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She has published extensively in the fields of comparative philosophy and the philosophy of India.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Scholarly Work and A Must Read for Phenomenologists 17 April 2014
By Tomaj - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book by Bina Gutpa is a scholarly work focused on the notion of Saksin, Witness Consciousness, in Advaita Vedanta. Saksin, as Gupta puts it, is the most important and also indispensable notion in Advaita philosophy without which no knowledge can be accessed at all. Gupta explicates the amazing similarities between saksin and the notion of "Non-Participant Onlooker" in Edmund Husserl's Transcendental Phenomenology. There are however differences between the two, and in general between Husserl's intention of grounding science and Vedanta's intention of discerning between what is real and what is non-real. She discusses all these similarities and differences in the book.
The book also gives a comparative study of Advaita Vedanta and Husserlian Phenomenology. The book is mainly focused on the concepts of Saksin and its epistemological significance in Vedanta philosophy.
This is book is something for serious study, especially for students of phenomenology or Indian philosophy. So it is rather a philosophical text than a spiritual introduction.
I recommend the book to people interested in the structure of phenomenology and also Indian philosophy. I don't believe that anyone has ever done such a study; it shows that what we see today as Husserlian Phenomenology was discovered and philosophically explicated a few thousand years ago by Indian Philosophers.
It is a great read.
5.0 out of 5 stars A delghtful scholarly work that focuses on a critical thought in Indian philosophy 26 Oct 2013
By S.K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Concept of sakshin is touched upon widely in Upanishads and receives depth in Advaita. Bina Gupta masterfully writes this comparative philosophical work by contrasting with similar Western notions found in Western philosophy. A must read.
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