Absolute (philosophy)

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Absolute (philosophy)
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{{redirect|The Absolute|the Animorphs novel|The Absolute (Animorphs)||Absolute (disambiguation)}}{{Use American English|date=January 2019}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2019}}{{Short description|Concept of an ultimate being in philosophy}}In idealist philosophy, the Absolute is "the sum of all being, actual and potential". In monistic idealism, it serves as a concept for the "unconditioned reality which is either the spiritual ground of all being or the whole of things considered as a spiritual unity.BOOK, Sprigge, T.L.S., Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, 10.4324/9780415249126-N001-1,weblink 1998,


{{See also|God|Ultimate reality|Nondualism|New Age}}The concept of "the absolute" was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".BOOK, Frederick Charles Copleston, History of Philosophy: Fichte to Nietzsche,weblink 1963, Paulist Press, 978-0-8091-0071-2, 166–180, {{CathEncy|wstitle=The Absolute}} For Hegel, states the philosophy scholar Martin Heidegger, the Absolute is "the spirit, that which is present to itself in the certainty of unconditional self-knowing".BOOK, Martin Heidegger, Heidegger: Off the Beaten Track,weblink 2002, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-80507-0, 97–98, According to Hegel, states Frederick Copleston – a historian of philosophy, "Logic studies the Absolute 'in itself'; the philosophy of Nature studies the Absolute 'for itself'; and the philosophy of Spirit studies the Absolute 'in and for itself'.BOOK, Frederick Charles Copleston, 18th and 19th Century German Philosophy,weblink 2003, A&C Black, 978-0-8264-6901-4, 173–174, The concept is also found in the works of F.W.J. Schelling, and was anticipated by Johann Gottlieb Fichte. In English philosophy, F. H. Bradley has distinguished the concept of Absolute from God, while Josiah Royce, the founder of American idealism school of philosophy, has equated them.

Indian religions

The concept of the Absolute has been used to interpret the early texts of the Indian religions such as those attributed to Yajnavalkya, Nagarjuna and Adi Shankara.BOOK, Hajime Nakamura, The Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India-China-Tibet-Japan,weblink 1964, University of Hawaii Press, 978-0-8248-0078-9, 53–57, , Quote: "Thus the ultimate Absolute presumed by the Indians is not a personal god but an impersonal and metaphysical Principle. Here we can see the impersonal character of the Absolute in Indian thought. The inclination of grasping Absolute negatively necessarily leads (as Hegel would say) to the negation of the negative expression itself."According to Takeshi Umehara, some ancient texts of Buddhism state that the "truly Absolute and the truly Free must be nothingness",JOURNAL, Umehara, Takeshi, Heidegger and Buddhism, Philosophy East and West, 20, 3, 1970, 10.2307/1398308, 271-281, the "void".JOURNAL, Orru, Marco, Wang, Amy, Durkheim, Religion, and Buddhism, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 31, 1, 1992, 10.2307/1386831, 47-61, Yet, the early Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna, states Paul Williams, does not present "emptiness" as some kind of Absolute, rather it is "the very absence (a pure non-existence) of inherent existence" in Mādhyamaka school of the Buddhist philosophy.BOOK, Williams, Paul, Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition, 2002, 146–148, According to Glyn Richards, the early texts of Hinduism state that the Brahman or the nondual Brahman–Atman is the Absolute.BOOK, Richards, Glyn, Studies in Religion, Modern Hinduism, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995, 978-1-349-24149-1, 10.1007/978-1-349-24147-7_9, 117–127, JOURNAL, Chaudhuri, Haridas, The Concept of Brahman in Hindu Philosophy, Philosophy East and West, 4, 1, 1954, 10.2307/1396951, 47-66, , Quote: "The Self or Atman is the Absolute viewed from the subjective standpoint (arkara), or a real mode of existence of the Absolute."JOURNAL, Simoni-Wastila, Henry, Māyā and radical particularity: Can particular persons be one with Brahman?, International Journal of Hindu Studies, Springer, 6, 1, 2002, 10.1007/s11407-002-0009-5, 1–18, The term has also been adopted by Aldous Huxley in his perennial philosophy to interpret various religious traditions, including Indian religions,BOOK, The Perennial Philosophy, Huxley, Aldous, 2009-01-01, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 9780061724947, New York, English, and influenced other strands of nondualistic and New Age thought.

See also

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Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
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