Sāńkhya and Science
Applications of Vedic Philosophy to Modern Science
Sāńkhya is the name of the Vedic theory of objectivity. Objects, in Sāńkhya, are not a priori real. Rather, objects are created when consciousness adds meaning to matter. Matter, therefore, prior to addition of meaning, is undifferentiated, and we can liken it to an empty space-time container. In both modern science and Sāńkhya, objects are created from this empty container. However, unlike modern science where the creation of objects is supposed to be random, in Sāńkhya, the creation of objects is caused by meanings.
Since objects are produced by adding meaning to matter, objects in Sāńkhya are treated as symbols of meaning rather than physical objects. These objects can encode one or multiple aspects of an observer’s experience including sensations, concepts, propositions, intentions and morality. Every aspect of the observer, in Sāńkhya, is present in matter and can be sensed. However, explanations of such phenomena require a theory of the observer rather than a theory of physical properties alone.
The book shows how this semantic view of nature can be useful to solve unsolved problems in modern science. It shows that problems in atomic theory require a theory of concepts, problems in chemistry require a theory of propositions and biological intentionality needs a theory of informational reference. To build such theories a new mathematical foundation based on types rather than quantities is needed.
The book will be of interest to those trying to solve current scientific problems, to those who have contacted Vedic culture through alternative medicine, Indian music, dance and yoga and wish to understand the Vedic outlook about material nature better, as well as to people who are interested in East-West philosophical dialogues.