https://doi.org/10.31979/2151-6014(2013).040204">
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Abstract

Regarding each philosophy as a variation of that of Spinoza, this article compares the German Idealism of Schelling and Hegel with the Indian Vedanta of Sa?kara and Ramanuja, as well as Abhinavagupta's Kasmiri Saivism. It argues that only Hegel's philosophy does not fail. For Śaṅkara, Ramanuja, Abhinavagupta, and Schelling, the experience of ultimate reality—Brahman for Śaṅkara and Ramanuja, Siva for Abhinavagupta, the Absolute for Schelling—is self-authenticating and so excludes the possibility of error. However, there is also no possibility of truth as no criterion distinguishes truth from error when individuals make contradictory claims. By contrast, Hegel's Geist is an extended mind that potentially encompasses the human community. Geist develops historically. Experience is conceptual and concepts must be socially recognized to be legitimate. Experience is fallible, for Hegel, and better accounts are obtained through mutual criticism. Although disagreement represents an impassible impasse for Sa?kara, Ramanuja, Abhinavagupta, and Schelling, it is the road forward for Hegel.

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