Fred Lawrence mentioned something yesterday in his comment on my paper, about making Sankara better than he is. And yes, I thought, that is how De Smet has proceeded, not only w.r.t. Sankara, but w.r.t. to the whole Indian tradition that he studied: his eye of love enabled him to see things as perhaps better than they were. And, if that sounds terribly triumphalistic, perhaps it was that his eye of love saw and highlighted and promoted the good.
So interpretation and history might concentrate on What did he mean, and What really was going forward, but dialectic tries to develop the positions while reversing the counterpositions. Developing the positions: making things better than they were. Taking the good things forward in directions that perhaps were not actually taken by the protagonists.
So De Smet's interpretation of Sankara, even if proved 'wrong,' would certainly be in the line of such dialectic. And that is a legitimate thing!