BRIAN CARR a1 a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD
One of Sankara's most fundamental claims is that nirguna
‘unqualified reality’, is the origin of the world of experience. A serious challenge is
posed by the Sankhyan philosophers in terms of a principle of material causation,
that the properties manifested in the effect are inherited from the material cause.
brahman and the experienced world are so different, the principle
implies that the former cannot be the material cause of the latter. Versions of the
principle in relation to alternative kinds of candidates for the role of material cause
are discussed, considering the particular cases which motivate both Sankara's and
the Sankhyans' metaphysics alike. Sankara seems forced to accept an implausible
version of the principle by his own analysis of material causation.