Sākārajñānavāda; Self-awareness; Cognition of other minds; Subjectivity
This paper aims to examine the role of self-awareness (svasaṃvedana) for the Sautrāntika epistemological tenet known as the doctrine that cognition has a form (sākārajñānavāda). According to this theory, we perceive external objects indirectly through the mental forms that these objects throw into our minds, and this cognitive act is interpreted as self-awareness. However, if one were to interpret the cognitive act such that the subjective mental form (grāhakākāra/svābhāsa) grasps the objective mental form, the position of the subjective mental form becomes problematic—it becomes superfluous, as can be demonstrated with reference to Dignāga’s explanation of the Sautrāntika’s pramā?a-pramā?aphala argument. As a result, self-awareness itself becomes precarious. In connection with this problem, an argument on the relationship between self-awareness and the yogic perception of other minds given by Dharmakīrti leads us to discover that self-awareness is important for establishing subjectivity, in order to avoid another person’s access to one’s own mental states. Through examining Pramā?avārttika 3.448–459, this paper tries to find a way to interpret the svābhāsa-factor without relating to its object-factor (grāhyākāra), and to shed new light on the problem of subjectivity in the Sautrāntika epistemology.
Self-Awareness as the Basis of the Self-Identification of Experience 267 The Two Modes of Cognition: Having Object-Support (a¯lambana) and Being Aware (vedana/a¯) 270 Conclusion: Towards a Better Explanation of the Sautra¯ntika Epistemology 273