Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Inwardness
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.