Difference between Western Philosophical objectivity and Eastern Philosophical objectivity.

Introduction

Today, we live in the world where Philosophy and civilizations are interlinked with each other. Civilisations, once upon a time was the epicenter of knowledge and power. The ancient Greek, Indian, Mayans, Romans, Egyptian, Sumerian and Babylon were few of civilizations which flourished on the face of the earth. These civilizations exchange thoughts and ideas through various knowledge route and the Middle East become the trade centers of these ideas between Indian and Europian civilization. However, over the time every civilization merged with more larger patterns of religion. All early civilizations and their ideas are digested by Christianity & Islam in the west while in the east the civilization is constantly broken into other groups like Buddhist, Jainism, Sikhism, and Hinduism. Now, these larger clusters of the cultures of people need a universal idea of the world and all other philosophical questions. These questions raised the need of “Universalism”. Later a universalism is created which was based on philosophical ideas of early civilization with some modifications. In early modern eras, the ancient western (western here referred to as “Greek, Roman, Early Pagan cultures” which is assimilated into Christianity and the later stage in into western modernity) philosophy transformed into the 14CE french renaissance. French renaissance gives birth of furthermore ideas of Modernity which was based on western ancient western philosophy. I am arguing that why the current model of the world Philoshopcial objectivity and Objective reality [1] is inspired by Western thought and why there should be an Indian (Eastern model) model about that. Note chinses have their own model of universalism known as Confucious theory of modernity. 

Terms and definitions

I am here using terms like Objectivity, Universalism, western, Indic, Philosophy, Modernity, westernization etc. I would like to set few groundbreaking rules to stop further confusion.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on Western and Indic classical texts and philosophy. I am an amateur reader of Indology and Indian classical texts. All things which I am about to proposing here are open to scholarly criticism. I am not where implying that it can not be criticised and modified. Any discussion on the subject is open to modified and new ideas are welcome (even they reject the whole theory). The sole purpose of this article is triggering a debate with Dharmic viewpoint and philosophy about Western Universalism and their understanding. The definition below is my best attempt to understand them. However, they could be wrong. 

Objectivity

The terms “objectivity” and “subjectivity,” in their modern usage, generally relate to a perceiving subject (normally a person) and a perceived or unperceived object. The object is something that presumably exists independent of the subject’s perception of it. In other words, the object would be there, as it is, even if no subject perceived it. Hence, objectivity is typically associated with ideas such as reality, truth and reliability.

Source: Internet encyclopedia of philosophy.

The Objectivity here is referred as a truth, reality, and reliability which must be free from subject perception. The Objectivity of object purely free from subject understanding about the object. Hence the objective things can be defined by various subjective perceptions. This subjective perception depends on how the subject has been known or approach about the object. As said in

a perceiving subject suffering from jaundice could seem to perceive an object as yellow when the object is not actually yellow. Hence, the term “subjective” typically indicates the possibility of error.

Source: Internet encyclopedia of philosophy.

Having said that westerners understand an objective reality [1] based on his subjective perception and training into his own society rather than the reality about the other side of perception. I would like to formulate the word “Varna” as an example:

“Varna”[2] in Sanskrit defined for various objective understanding like Job, Colour, Sections, Job based group, paint etc. But when westerners approach this word. They used his subjective perception to understand which is caste[3]. It seems superficial same but not in objective used of that word in eastern reality or framework (here, the framework is defined as system or fabric in context of society). While the word caste was driven by Spanish word casta [4] which means the external classification done by Spanish elite based on their racial features during the time of Hispanic America.

while this was not the case with Indian social framework. All major Indian texts clearly stated that “Jati [5] is birth based lineage system while Varna [6] is Occupational based group system.”. But the Current western perception of Indian caste is based on racial features of Indians implied by Lord Risely race science during his stay as Governor of Bengal and it is well documented into his Book ” The Tribes and castes system of Bengal” [8]. Please note down that this colonial experiment which is repeated on Indians after America.

By the above example, I want to lie down the assumption that few things (Sanskrit terms, understanding about realities ) are very different into eastern framework system which is been superimposed by Western Indologist/Intellectuals based on their western subjective perception. With This western subjective perception, west dominate the word “varna ” over “Caste” narrative of Indian Varna has been changed into Indian caste. It is one example of western objectivity against Eastern objectivity.

Universalism

Universalism is a theological and philosophical concept that some ideas have universal application or applicability.

– Source: wikipedia

The universalism as defined above the is the universally applicable idea based on Philosophy and theology. Ex. All humans will be saved at last is Christian theological universalism about all humans. Now, Currently, the world is facing four kinds of universalism [note: There is many more universalism within one universalism (Christian universalism has radical, liberal, evangelical and biblical universalism), related to main ideas.

  1. Western Universalism. (Christian universalism has radical, liberal, evangelical and biblical universalism, Communist universalism, Socio Democratic universalism, etc)
  2. Islamic Universalism (Wahabi, Sufi, Shia and Sunni universalism)
  3. Chinese Universalism (Confusious )
  4. Indian Universalism (Dharmic, Buddhist, Jainism, Sikhism).

Here, Universalism is the tool to imply the universal ideas about all humans being. The current universalism superficially seems modern but it inherited the mixture of Western universalism.

Western

This is referred to generic phrase for Western ideas and subjective understanding of o the object and objective reality which include from early Greeks Roman, Christianity, post-Christianity.

Indic/ Indian

This is referred to generic phrase for Eastern ideas and subjective understanding of the object and objective reality which include from Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Gandhism etc.

Philosophy[8]

the use of reason in understanding such things as nature of the real-world and existence, the use and limits of knowledge, and the principles of moral judgment.

Modernity[9]

The quality or condition of being modern. The modern is defined as “Characterized by or using the most up-to-date techniques, ideas, or equipment.”

Westernization[10]

The westernization of a country, place, or person is the process of them adopting ideas and behavior that are typical of Europe and North Americarather than preserving the ideas and behavior traditional in their culture.

Discourse


Western Philosophical objectivity

the notion of objectivity within the western philosophic tradition of liberal individualism and exposes how this is related to, or sets the stage for, the creation of learning objects as a concept. Objectivity is predicated on ideas such as the removal of context and the ability to transcend social, cultural and discursive position. Learning objects have often been conceptualized as outside of context as well. This paper presents some of the criticisms of this approach in transcending context and suggests that this conceptualization may prove problematic in the successful execution, creation, and distribution of learning objects.

Source : Reflections on objectivity in western philosophy and learning objects- Anthony Roberts 

I would like to drive the rephrase definition about western philosophical objectivity in the simple term to understanding the argument.

Western Philosophical Objectivity is the understanding of the objective reality with the subjective perception of western philosophy to imply western universalism leads to westernization of a person or country.

This notion as explain by Anthony Roberts is Objectivity is predicated on ideas such as the removal of context and the ability to transcend social, cultural and discursive position. So the objective words like Varna, Jati, Karma, Guna, Dharma, Ataman, Murthi, Guru, Guyana, Yoga can be interpreted with the western perception or philosophy. My argument is that during this interpretation from Sanskrit to English or Sanskrit to any other western language “the meaning of Objective terms change because of the subjective imposition of western philosophy over them”. I have written a blog about six Sanskrit terms which mostly misinterpreted by the west and has very different meaning in the eastern framework but now become universal.

Why Hinduism is different than Abrahamic religions?

How Western Philosophy digested the eastern understanding of various Non-Transferable traditional words and theory?

India has the long history of civilization. From the bank of Saraswati River to modern India, this nation has watched the three waves of invasion and five waves of Indology studies. These phenomenal events of history have disrupted the knowledge system, institutional meaning, understanding and social fabric of Indian society. From the cultural subjugation of Mughals to superimposition of western universalism has change whole Indian paradigm.

The Three Major Invasion:-

  1. Mughal colonization of India
  2. Portuguese colonization of India
  3. British colonization of India.
  4. US soft colonization of India.

Mughal colonization of India: The early Islamic invasion of India from 7CE to 15CE has disrupted the Indian Kingdoms from time to time. But Mughal empires have a very strong cultural impression on India and Indian society. A whole set of Religion, Language, Religious Taxes had been imposed on native Indians within 200 years. Indeed India has imported many cultural from outside. [In case of central European migrated and merging with the native of North Indians, Zoroastrian and Jews been accepted by society and their culture are accepted by Native Indians]. Mughal imposition was different from other cultural additions because mutual cross culture flow was never part of Mughals imposition. Example, Many Jews in Himachal Pradesh lived and very much culturally equal to native Hindus [They never been demanded Hebrew, no specific religious privilege and no separates rituals except syngaouge]. the similar case has been found with Zoroastrians who were outsiders but latter assimilated with native Indians without losing their identity. But In Mughal empire, the cultural assimilation was uniflow, from Muslims to Hindus because of strong imposition. This leads to disruption of language and rituals. Social fabric was disrupted and many impositions were so brutal that identity of Hindus been diluted into Mughal Muslims. Mughals introduced the Persian language which also partially affect the Hindu objectivity because Mughals were not interested into reeducated Hindus into Islamic universalism. But they indeed try to change the demographics by conversions. In long-term many Indian languages accepted the Arabic and Persian words which have the major effect on India dialect and thought process.

Portuguese colonization of India: Before East India company, Portuguese started to colonized India coast and introduced word caste. They have been failed to capture the larger part of India but still has some effect along with British Raj.

British colonization of India. This Invasion/Colonisation was the most effective and problematic for Indian social system. East India Company (Hereafter, EIC) was the gigantic systemic trading corporation which found India in early 1600. British was so astonished by Indian traditional school system, the Social justice system, Indian industries (mind it, India was world largest export and manufacture economy up to 1750). The period when British extensively invested in the study of Indian classical, Philosophy, Social system and Scripture was known as “Era of British Romanticism with India”. On the other hand, Germany, France, and Other European countries started to invest in understanding this gigantic country. Jhon William, Griffith, Max Muller, Thomas Babington Macaulay, G V Pope and Robert Campbell spent their life in understanding language and transforming scripture. But this was not because of sheer Romanticism of India. Thomas Babington Macaulay, was sheer believers of Moral right for colonization so native can be educated based on Western perception.

For Macaulay, the belief that colonialism was a moral right of the British Empire constituted such an ideology. That is why his wide-ranging essay is well worth reading in full. Unfortunately, even scholars tend to focus on select passages pertaining mainly to his suggested deployment of English-educated natives for the Empire’s strategic purposes.

Indians, and perhaps Arabs too, are rightly indignant when Macaulay claims that in his conversations with learned men in India, no one would deny that “a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia”. Still, I believe it is important to try to unravel the logic of the minute from other perspectives as well, without thereby excusing its egregious power claims and the cunning of British imperial politics.[11]

In  Minute by the Hon’ble T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835. 

In this meeting, he never bothers to change the basic phrase meaning in name of reviving of Indian literature.

The words on which the supporters of the old system rely do not bear them out, and other words follow which seem to be quite decisive on the other side. This lakh of rupees is set apart not only for “reviving literature in India,” the phrase on which their whole interpretation is founded, but also “for the introduction and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories”– words which are alone sufficient to authorize all the changes for which I contend.[12]

Similarly, people like Jhon William, Max Muller, Griffith learn Sanskrit and translated many words intentionally to create the divide. Aryans word invented by Max mullar which is later rubber roused by postcolonial people to create a racial identity.


The Five waves of Social theory and Eastern Philosophical objectivity digestion

  1. Marxism – Marxism was imported by many Western and Indian scholars as a Social theory in India. Indeed it was a powerful attempt to introduced this theory without actually understanding the Indian social fabric. This theory been champion in Bengal and started to hold politically. Marxism tried to digest the Indian society based on Interpretation of Westerners like Macaulay and Max Muller. Marxism still exercises Western philosophical objective understanding about India and Indian society.
  2. Postcolonialism Studies- These studies were part of decolonizing the British construction of understanding about the state like Americas. In was taken quickly by Western US scholar and many books written based on decolonization of India. Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Sita Ram Goel, and Radhakrishnan Sarvapalli was the great writer which exercise these studies to the reduced colonial hangover. These studies create a vacuum about “Indians Identity” which should be filled with more indigenous and positive theories but unfortunately, it never happened at that time.
  3. Postmodernism- vacuum created by Postcolonial studies taken by postmodernist studies like Globalisation, the world economy, religious free states, ultra secularism, ultra-liberalism. these studies blindly ignore the Indian philosophy which was demanded to be revived after Independence. Instead of eradicating the superstitious and social evil from Hindu and Muslim religion. Nehru took a neo secularism stands by bluntly ignoring and undermining the dharmic and eastern view on the world platform. This was the era when a large investment of education might be helpful for eradicating the caste, women atrocities and re-educating the Hindus and Muslims about their core philosophy. The Marxist inspired view of Nehru become the problem for this resurrection.
  4. Sub Alteren studies is started by Ranjit Guha and Eric Stocks which consider that Marxist Antonio Gramsci idea of reconstructing the Indian history. These studies were against any narrative about India and consider it oppressive and subjugative. (Mind it there is no group in this field who experiment this studies on United State. The UK, Japan, and China have already rejected these studies except India).

The term “subaltern” in this context is an allusion to the work of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937). It refers to any person or group of inferior rank and station, whether because of raceclassgendersexual orientationethnicity, or religion.[13]

One of Insider scholar also revolts against these studies considering it Marxist propaganda for digesting India.

One of the group’s early contributors, Sumit Sarkar, later began to critique it. He entitled one of his essays “Decline of the Subaltern in Subaltern Studies”, criticizing the turn to Foucauldian studies of power-knowledge that left behind many of the empiricist and Marxist efforts of the first two volumes of Subaltern Studies. [13]

5. Neo-Orientalism – Its next generation of Indologist who directly attacking the Indian classical and painting them subjugated and oppressive texts by using western philosophical models like Philology, Freud psycho-analysis, and other western analogical tools.  The Scholar working on such projects are Sheldon Pollock, Jeffery kripal, Wendy Doniger and many Indians like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib.

Eastern Philosophical objectivity.

After understanding the western philosophical imposition in Indian objectivity. I would like to present a case in favor of Eastern Philosophical objectivity. Like west, Indian philosophy has their subjective perception about objects. Like we have the different understanding of God, Nation, Worship, Temple, and Life. Indian philosophy like Samkhya and Vedanta also has their subjective understanding of nature and universe. Example:

Karma is the first factor in Indic Universalism. Dharma is not the religion but righteous way of living with purusartha. If I am able to summarise the Indic thought in short with my novice knowledge:-

Dharma is the righteous way of living and can be achieved by Purusartha with cosistent upholding the Rightoues karma to attend moksha.

Now mind it, Dharma is not religion, Purusartha is not trying, Karma is not active and Moksha is not salvation. This Indic universal way that can only be understood with subjective perception in light of Eastern philosophy. Implying the western philosophy completely ruined its meaning.

However, saying that eastern philosophy can explain the whole meaning of various western based accepted ideas. The example is Modernism, in India people are confused with Modernism and westernization. while no country in the world has such confusion. Japanese are modern but not western. They don’t accept the westernization. Chinses has developed the Confucious theory which is modern but western. So India has such theories Like Samkhya and Mimamsa. We have Buddhist theories which are Indic and very pertaining to current world modernity.

Unfortunately, the study of Indian philosophy has lost Adhikara (authority) over the last two hundred years. The epicenter of Indian studies has been only shifted from England to United state. All studies are now under United state subaltern groups which are focusing on the deconstruction of India or groups which used neo orientalism theory for our Scripture to propagate their Marxist agenda. The current govt also fails to understand this issues.

Abstract

Eastern objective philosophy and western objective philosophy is fundamentally different. Eastern objective philosophy and western objective philosophy has ground effect on objective reality. Indic philosophical objectivity mostly digested into western subjective perception about Indian objectivity and now universal in term of western understanding of object than eastern. This superimposition and entirely new meanings of various objective term and theories have become food for postmodernist, subalterns and neo orientalism western scholar who wanted to digested and break India in term of race, language, oppression, and religion. In long run, It is like digesting a large elephant bit by bit so it would be digested into something else and entire existence transformed into something else.

Reference


  1. “ Objective reality” to refer to anything that exists as it is independent of any conscious awareness of it (via perception, thought, etc.). Common mid-sized physical objects presumably apply, as do persons having subjective states. Subjective reality would then include anything depending upon some (broadly construed) conscious awareness of it to exist. Particular instances of colors and sounds (as they are perceived) are prime examples of things that exist only when there are appropriate conscious states. Particular instances of emotions (e.g., my present happiness) also seem to be a subjective reality, existing when one feels them, and ceasing to exist when one’s mood changes.- Source: Internet encyclopedia of philosophy.
  2. Varna in Sanskrit
  3. Borrowed from Portuguese or Spanish casta (lineage, breed, race), of uncertain origin. The OED derives it from Portuguese casto (chaste), from Latin castus. Coromines (1987) argues instead for a hypothetical Gothic form *𐌺𐌰𐍃𐍄𐍃 (*kasts), cognate with the English cast, from Proto-Germanic *kastuz. (source Wiktionary)
  4.  A hierarchical system of race classification created by Spanish elites in Hispanic America during the eighteenth century.
  5. Jati, also spelled jatcaste, in Hindu society. The term is derived from the Sanskrit jāta, “born” or “brought into existence,” and indicates a form of existence determined by birth. In Indian philosophyjati (genus) describes any group of things that have generic characteristics in common. Sociologically, jati has come to be used universally to indicate a caste group among Hindus.- Encyclopedia Britannica.
  6. Word of Varna
  7. Tribes and caste of Bengal
  8. Philosophy
  9. Modern or Modernity
  10. Westernization.
  11. A Minute for Macaulay
  12. Minute of Indian education in 1835
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subaltern_Studies