An Advaita Vedanta Perspective on Language is an attempt to solve the problems inherent in religious assertions. Philosophers in general and linguistic philosophers in particular are concerned with what can and cannot be expressed in language. The problem is: how to talk intelligibly about a divine subject-matter using ordinary, mundane human language? Religious discourse uses ordinary words of day-to day discourse in an extraordinary way what is the justification for this special use of ordinary language? What do the words of religious discourse mean and what function do they have? Are they cognitive, factual and verifiable or are they non-cognitive, non-factual, and unverifiable. This thesis depicts tow paradigmatic approaches to these questions. Either religious discourse refers to an other and the approach to the remote and foreign other must be through perception or mediated concepts; or religious discourse refers to the very constitutive being of anything whatsoever and as such is self-evident, immediate, and certain. The former approach postulates a gap between the Reality and the individual while the latter approach emphasizes identity. Advaita's solution declares that religious discourse primarily concerns individuals, here and now, and not a God, above and beyond. Methodologically its analysis commences with existence and culminates in essence-declaring that in fact the two are not different. It refers to that which is immediately evident and immanently present unlike the general approach to an other which in one degree or another searches elsewhere.
About the Author
John A. Grimes earned his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his Master's and PhD degrees from the Radhakrishnan Institute for Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras. His major area of specialization is Advaita Vedanta. His publications include: A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy, Sapta Vidha Anupaptti: The Seven Great Untenables and Quest for Certainty: a Comparative Study of Heidegger and Sankara. At present Grimes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbrodge, Alberta, Canada.
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