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An Indian debate on optical reflections and its metaphysical implications: Śaiva nondualism and the mirror of consciousness

Abstract : Far from being confined to technical issues of catoptrics, the Indian Medieval discussion on the nature of optical reflections – in which most Indian philosophical traditions took part – had crucial metaphysical stakes: determining the ontological status of reflections was of particular importance to Indian thinkers because while many of them admitted that consciousness can be compared to a mirror reflecting the universe, they did not agree as to the significance of this analogy regarding the (un)reality of phenomena. The paper seeks to explain the Śaiva nondualists’ highly original position in this respect by showing how their thesis was elaborated against various Buddhist and Brahmanical theories that reduced reflections either to mere illusions or to the very objects existing outside of the mirror. Published in Joerg Tuske (ed.), Indian Epistemology and Metaphysics, London: Bloomsbury: 2017, pp. 207-240. https://paris3.academia.edu/IsabelleRati%C3%A9
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Contributor : Isabelle Ratié <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 22, 2018 - 8:23:50 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:05:53 AM

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Isabelle Ratié. An Indian debate on optical reflections and its metaphysical implications: Śaiva nondualism and the mirror of consciousness. Joerg Tuske. Indian Epistemology and Metaphysics, Bloomsbury, pp.207-240, 2017. ⟨halshs-01690270⟩

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