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Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Inwardness

Religion and the Human Person Series
OCHS Library
Prof. Gavin Flood
Thursday, 8 November 2012 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Abhinavagupta, the greatest thinker of the Śaiva Age, is a philosopher of inwardness. He presents an analysis of the human person in response to other competing philosophical systems and promotes a particular vision of human liberation and the highest good. The human person for Abhinavagupta is an appearance of pure consciousness, which becomes differentiated into subjects and objects in a process of development in which unity becomes fragmented. But even this language of emanation in some ways compromises the pure non-dualism Abhinavagupta wishes to promote. The lecture will examine his philosophy of the person and present the themes that Abhinavagupta is dealing with in a broader intellectual framework and the history of ideas in South Asia.