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Object reidentification and the epistemic role of attention

Das, N; (2018) Object reidentification and the epistemic role of attention. Ratio , 31 (4) pp. 402-414. 10.1111/rati.12214. Green open access

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Abstract

Reidentification scepticism is the view that we cannot knowledgeably reidentify previously perceived objects. Amongst classical Indian philosophers, the Buddhists argued for reidentification scepticism. In this essay, I will discuss two responses to this Buddhist argument. The first response, defended by Vācaspati Miśra (9th century CE), is that our outer senses allow us to knowledgeably reidentify objects. I will claim that this proposal is problematic. The second response, due to Jayanta Bhaṭṭa (9th century CE), is that the manas or the inner sense, functioning as a capacity of attention, helps us knowledgeably reidentify objects. I will explain how this second response answers the Buddhists’ challenge.

Type: Article
Title: Object reidentification and the epistemic role of attention
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/rati.12214
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/rati.12214
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: attention, Buddhism, Nyāya, object reidentification, scepticism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061169
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