Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Self and agency : a defence of Praśastapāda's differential naturalism
Author: Sinha, Shalini
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 2830
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis discusses the Vaiśeṣika philosopher Praśastapāda's conception of self in his text, the Padārthadharmasaṃgraha, and its key commentaries. It examines the arguments these texts propose for the existence of a self that is non-physical and yet non-Cartesian, based in a paradigm I term ‘differential naturalism'. I examine Praśastapāda's four arguments for the existence of a self from: the structures of agency and action in human cognition; in intentional mental and bodily acts; in the homeostatic regulation of the human body; and in the biological life of the human organism. The core thesis, I argue, is that the rational structures of agency and action we find in these activities require a conscious owner. This must be a self. The dualist argument for the self's non-physical nature emerges from a dichotomous ontology of mental and physical properties and causal powers, which entails that only a non-physical substance can be a bearer of the normative and intentional structures that agency and mental causation demand. The minded self is, however, necessarily embodied. Praśastapāda, I suggest, postulates a naturalistic conception of self. Such a self enables the integration of the mental, moral and physical realms as aspects of natural order, for self is the bearer not only of psychological, vital and normative powers in the natural world, but of natural law qua moral law. This integrative, yet differential, naturalism provides an innovative alternative to Western and classical Indian physicalist and dualist perspectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B0132.V2 Vaise?ika