The Sense of Ego-Maker in Classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga: Reconsideration of ‘ahaṃkāra’ with Reference to the Mind-Body Problem

In Girishwar Misra (ed.), Psychology & Psychoanalysis. History of Science, Philosophy. New Delhi: Munshiram Monoharlal. pp. 291-308 (2013)
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While elucidating the sense of ego-maker in classical Samkhya and Yoga philosophy I bear in mind several meanings of the word ‘sense’, or different levels of its understanding, namely: the semantic, ontological and epistemic as well as axiological sense. Thus, my aim is, firstly, to specify the semantic sense of the term ‘ahamkara’, that is to explain its contents or denotation. Secondly, when focusing on the ontological context I will try to define the nature and reason, or purpose (arthavattava), of ahamkara. Thirdly, I shall also discuss the ego-maker in epistemic terms by displaying its function of the particular means or determinant of all experience. And finally, when concentrating on the axiological level I am going to consider the significance or value of ahamkara in the context of self-understanding and spiritual development.
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