• Economics,  Philosophy,  Physics

    Why Sāńkhya Doesn’t Have Objects of Action

    Even a casual look at Sāńkhya reveals an apparent asymmetry in its ontology, namely that there are five sense-objects called Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether, corresponding to the five senses of knowledge Nose, Tongue, Eyes, Skin, and Ears respectively, but there aren’t corresponding sense-objects for the five senses of action, namely, Hands, Legs, Anus, Genitals, and Speech. Why do senses of knowledge have their corresponding objects and the senses of action don’t? This post delves into this question and demonstrates how action and sensation are unified in Sāńkhya. In getting to this conclusion, the post also discusses why many fundamental ideas in science such as “force”, “property” and “law”…

  • Overview,  Philosophy

    What are Manifest and Unmanifest States of Matter?

    This is a follow-up to the previous post, which discussed the nature of space in Śrimad Bhāgavatam (SB). The goal of this one is to describe the ideas of “manifest” and “unmanifest” states of matter. Matter in the Śrimad Bhāgavatam (and indeed in many other Vedic literatures) is described as originating in an “unmanifest” form, which essentially means that it cannot be known and observed, although it exists. From this “unmanifest” state, a “manifest” state of matter is produced, which can be known and observed. This post discusses how we must understand these states of matter, and how this understanding is related to the observer’s knowledge.

  • Overview,  Philosophy,  Physics

    What is Fixed and What is Free?

    If the universe was not determined in some sense, then we could not make any scientific predictions. If, however, we did not have free will to choose among alternatives, there could be no moral judgments. This contentious issue confuses many of us, as we tend to either capitulate to free will and lose scientific predictions (which is often what religions do), or deny free will based on our current successes in empirical predictions (which is often what science does). This post discusses why both these positions are false, and how deterministic predictions can exist without compromising free will and morality.