Over time our understanding of the 'political' has been progressively shaped by the secular rational calculations of modern European political thought. This paper aims to critique these 'calculations' with reference to crucial moments of departure and flight within western philosophy itself. It concludes by reclaiming fin de siècle radicalism/philosophy as a forgotten instance of empirical-metaphysical hybridity: a form of politics or ethics capable of housing the imperatives of both desire and prayer.
This essay on the social history of logic discusses arguments in the programmatic writings of Carnap/Neurath, but especially in the widely read book by Lillian Lieber, Mits, Wits and Logic (1947), where Mits is the man in the street and Wits the woman in the street. It was seriously argued that the intense study of formal logic would create a more rational frame of mind and have many beneficial effects upon the social and political life. This arose from the conviction (...) that most metaphysical conundrums, religious and political problems and even fanaticism had their root in the irrationality of ordinary discourse, which had to be replaced by the more logical “ideal language” of Principia Mathematica. The enthusiastic promotion of formal logic occurred at a time when it was widely thought that minds could be “made over”, “reprogrammed” by proper intervention. J.B. Watson, (who claimed that he taught the American woman to smoke) wrote that “[S]ome day we shall have hospitals devoted to helping us change our personality, because we can change the personality as easily as we can change the shape or our nose... I wish I could picture for you what a rich and wonderful individual we should make of every healthy child”. Thesecond part of the essay deals, not with the history of logic as a formal science, but with the social role it was thought to play from Francis Bacon on, during the Enlightenment, in Kant and in the 19th century. (shrink)
THIS BOOK HAS TWO GENERAL THEMES. ONE IS THE AVAILABILITY OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS. IT IS ARGUED THAT A WHOLE RANGE OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS ARE AVAILABLE TO HUMAN BEINGS OUTSIDE A CONTEXT OF ACTUAL RELIGIOUS OR THEISTIC BELIEF. ADMISSION OF THESE IDEAS INTO ONE’S CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK DOES NOT COMMIT ONE TO RELIGIOUS BELIEF, BUT IT DOES EXPOSE THE UNINTELLIGIBILITY OF WHAT MIGHT BE CALLED THE ’IMMANENTIST’ VIEW OF THE WORLD. THE OTHER THEME OF THE BOOK IS THAT OF MORALITY. THE AUTHOR (...) ATTEMPTS TO SHOW THAT AN ADEQUATE ANALYSIS OF THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS REVEALS UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE PRINCIPLES OF MORALITY. IN THIS SENSE MORALITY DOES NOT STAND IN NEED OF ’TRANSCENDENTAL’ SUPPORT. (EDITED). (shrink)
Li2O?Al2O3?ZrO2?SiO2 glasses mixed with different concentrations of TiO2 (ranging from 0 to 5.0?mol%) were synthesised and their dielectric properties (dielectric constant, loss tan?δ, a.c. conductivity σ) investigated over wide ranges of frequency and temperature. Studies of optical absorption, ESR, infrared (IR) and photoluminescence properties have also been undertaken. A decrease in dielectric parameters with increasing concentrations of TiO2 has been observed and this is attributed to an increasing proportion of titanium ions occupying network-forming positions rather than going into interstitial positions. (...) A.C. conductivity in the high-temperature region appears to be connected both to electronic transfer and ionic movements, but conduction attributed to such processes seems to be hampered by the entry of titanium ions into the network-forming positions. Analysis of the results of the IR spectral studies have indicated that there is a decreasing degree of disorder in the glass network with increasing TiO2 content. The optical absorption and ESR spectral studies have revealed that titanium ions exist in both Ti3+ and Ti4+ states in the glasses. Luminescence spectra exhibited an emission band in the visible region and the luminescence efficiency increased with TiO2 content. The excitation of substitutionally positioned octahedral Ti4+ ions is identified as being responsible for the observed luminescence emission. (shrink)
The question of the imperatives induced by the Gandhian concept of non-violence towards animals is an issue that has been neglected by specialists on the thinking of the Mahatma. The aim of this article is to highlight the systematic – and significant – character of this particular aspect of his views on non-violence. The first part introduces the theoretical foundations of the duty of non-violence towards animals in general. Gandhi's critical interpretation of cow-protection, advocated by Hinduism, leads to a (...) general reflection on the duty of non-violence towards animals, the cow being transformed into the representative of all dumb creation. The approach adopted by Gandhi to solving the problem of cow-protection focuses on its practical dimensions and is based primarily on reforming animal husbandry. What limits should be imposed on the exploitation of farm animals within the framework of non-violence? Gandhi devoted nearly 30 years to elaborating an animal husbandry system that would be both economically viable and in conformity with the universal ethical principles he drew from religions (especially Hinduism). The interdiction to kill is absolute, since Gandhi not only rejects the breeding of farm animals for the purposes of butchery but also the slaughtering of animals that are no longer capable of providing the services required of them. He therefore concentrated his efforts on drawing up a scheme to reorganize this activity on a national scale while taking into consideration these constraints, which are less contradictory than they may seem to be at first sight. Reviewing the age-old activity of animal husbandry in the light of non-violence is clearly based on the specific nature of Hindu traditions. However, it goes far beyond cultural or religious relativism, since it is also founded on universal ethical principles. (shrink)
The political thought of Mohandas K. Gandhi has been increasingly used as a paradigmatic example of hybrid political thought that developed out of a cross-cultural dialogue of eastern and western influences. With a novel unpacking of this hybridity, this article focuses on the conceptual influences that Gandhi explicitly stressed in his autobiography and other writings, particularly the works of Leo Tolstoy and the Bhagavad Gītā. This new tracing of influence in the development of Gandhi’s thought alters the (...) substantive thrust of Gandhi’s thought away from more familiar quasi-liberal interpretations and towards a far more substantive bhakti or devotional understanding of politics. The analysis reveals a conception of politics that is not pragmatic in its use of non-violence, but instead points to a devotional focus on cultivating the self (ātman), ultimately dissolving the public/private distinction that many readings of Gandhi’s thought depend upon. (shrink)
Tagore and Gandhi shared a relationship across 26 years. They argued about many things including the means for the attainment of swaraj/freedom. In terms of this central concern with the nature of freedom they came fairly close to an issue that has perhaps dominated the (European) Enlightenment. For the Enlightenment has sought to clarify what is meant by individual freedom and attempted to secure such freedom to the individual. This article argues that the Tagore-Gandhi debate can perhaps be (...) reconstructed around the issue of freedom and the collective. Gandhi was able to employ the idea of collective action with conceptual and practical ease. He seemed to have felt no tension between individual freedom and the notion of the collective of which an individual becomes a part in his/her attempt to deal with the contending ‘other’ and secure his /her freedom/swaraj. To understand Tagore’s opposition to the Gandhian idea of swaraj this article draws a philosophical parallel between Tagore and Kant on individual freedom as primarily the freedom to reason. Tagore’s argument seemed to have centered on the insight that the location of the individual in a collective hypostatized self in order to protect his or her freedom from ‘others’ reaffirms the self other divide. The insider-outsider exclusionary dynamics that are generated not only consolidate such distinctions as external to (and outside of) the collective self, but they also initiate internal dynamics that create the ‘silenced insider.’. (shrink)
This essay explores how the principles of ahimsa and reverence for life provide a foundation for animal welfare in the thought of Mohandas Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer, respectively. This exploration unfolds through a consideration of the contextual background of both thinkers, the scope of life to which they apply their respective principles, and both the ethical ramifications and limitations of this application. Within this common framework, the author delineates the striking commonalities and the significant disparities between Gandhi and (...) Schweitzer. This comparison opens a common space within which ecologically-minded Hindus and Christians can dialogue, augmenting each other's positions by drawing on respected thinkers in their traditions. It also provides an opportunity, within the tensions highlighted at the intersection of Gandhi and Schweitzer's thought, to further construct a foundation for animal welfare in contemporary discussions. (shrink)
Homi Bhabha's idea of hybridity is one of postcolonialism's most keenly debated — and most widely misunderstood — concepts. My article provides some elucidation in the increasingly reductive debates over hybridity in postcolonial studies, suggesting that what is commonly overlooked in these debates is hybridity's complex relationship to temporality. I suggest that this relationship is not given the credit it deserves often enough, resulting in skewed discussions of hybridity as simply (and mistakenly) another form of syncretism. In focusing on the (...) `time of hybridity' in the context of a bicultural politics in Aotearoa/New Zealand, I draw renewed attention to hybridity's investment in temporality as that which both enables a postcolonial politics and shifts these politics into the realm of (Levinasian) ethics, creating an as yet largely unexplored phenomenon which LeelaGandhi has referred to, in a fortuitous phrase, as an `ethics of hybridity'. Key Words: biculturalism ethics hybridity Maori politics postcolonial temporality. (shrink)
While those who sought solidarity between Asians and Europeans in the colonial era often ended up replicating the colonial divisions they had hoped to overcome, the interstitial position of working class and beachcomber Buddhist monks allowed for more substantive modes of solidarity and critique. U Dhammaloka offered a sophisticated critique of British colonialism in its religious, cultural and material modes, but opted to focus his efforts on Buddhism as an avenue of resistance because it offered him a means of connection, (...) like that which LeelaGandhi has identified as a ?politics of friendship.? (shrink)
This paper has been extracted from a book manuscript that attempts to interpret Gandhi’s ethics of nonviolence ahimsa) in terms of virtue theory. The first section addresses the issue of virtue theory’s relationship to consequentialism and concludes that there is no way to avoid the fact that the virtues developed because of their consequences. Therefore, I will join Gandhi’s virtue ethics with P. J. Ivanhoe’s character consequentialism. Particularly significant in distinguishing utilitarianism from virtue theory is the relationship of (...) means to ends. Character consequentialism will insist that moral ends are always internally related to the virtues as means. In the second section I will explicate the distinction between enabling and substantive virtues, discuss the enabling virtues of self-control, patience, and courage, and conclude that the virtue of nonviolence forms an alliance with these enabling virtues. (shrink)
Although there is such a thing as Indian thought, it seems to play no role in the way social sciences and philosophy are practiced in India or elsewhere. The problem is not only that we no longer employ terms such as atman, avidya, dharma to reflect on our experience; the terms that we do indeed use?sovereignty, secularism, rights, civil society and political society, corruption?seem to insulate our experience from our reflection. This paper will outline Gandhi's framing of our predicament (...) in Hind Swaraj. It will then discuss three very different examples taken from our peculiar life with concepts that will also serve to clarify and illustrate the framework I am outlining. It will then very briefly discuss how Gandhi saw the Gita as showing him a way out of the predicament. (shrink)
: Gandhi can serve as a valuable catalyst allowing us to rethink our philosophical positions on violence, nonviolence, and education. Especially insightful are Gandhi's formulations of the multidimensionality of violence, including educational violence, and the violence of the status quo. His peace education offers many possibilities for dealing with short-term violence, but its greatest strength is its long-term preventative education and socialization. Key to Gandhi's peace education are his ethical and ontological formulations of means-ends relations; the need (...) to uncover root causes and causal determinants and to free oneself from entrapment in escalating cycles of violence; and the dynamic complex relation between relative and absolute truth that includes analysis of situated embodied consciousness, tolerant diversity and inclusiveness, and an approach to unavoidable violence. (shrink)
In the first section I compare and contrast Rawls's and Gandhi's views on civil disobedience as a form of persuasion. I discuss the difficulties facing such forms of civil disobedience; the argument that such forms of civil disobedience are redundant is examined and rejected. Some modifications of Rawls's theory are suggested regarding when civil disobedience is justified and what form it should take. Also, I argue, as against Rawls, that the Rawlsian State should, when that is necessary to prevent (...) anarchy, be allowed to use severe measures against disobedients. In the second section I develop a second strand in Gandhi's thinking about civil disobedience, which links it with non?cooperation and which appears to be partly discrepant with his view of civil disobedience as a form of non?coercive persuasion. I attempt to show that Gandhian civil disobedience may effectively frustrate the evil policies of the State, without converting the State and yet without being coercive in any evil sense. (shrink)
The following essay is the main chapter of a book manuscript entitled “The Virtue of Non-Violence: from Gautama to Gandhi.” The book attempts to accomplish two principal goals: (1) to conceive of nonviolence from the standpoint of virtue ethics; and (2) to give Gandhi’s philosophy a Buddhist interpretation. My intent is not to foreclose on the possibility of a Hindu or Jain reading of Gandhi’s work; rather, I argue that there are some distinct advantages in thinking of (...)Gandhi as a Buddhist. (shrink)
The paper considers how Mahatma Gandhi?s Law of Ahimsa (or non-violence) can be reconciled with the necessity of violence; some of the strategies that Gandhi adopts in response to this problem are critically examined. Gandhi was willing to use (outward) violence as an expedience (in the sense of necessity), but he was opposed to using non-violence as an expedience. There are two versions of Gandhi?s doctrine. He makes a distinction between outward violence and inner violence. Both (...) versions grant that outward violence is often necessary and must be administered with compassion. On the more demanding version, outward version is never justified, not even when it is necessary; it is at best excused or pardoned. On the less demanding version, outward violence under certain conditions is justified. (shrink)
The political ethics of Gandhi animated many of Arne Naess's philosophical projects, from argumentation theory to deep ecology. However, the value of Naess's own studies of Gandhi is less clear. This article focuses on the significance and utility of Naess's writings on Gandhi to the study and practice of peace. Naess's approach to Gandhi was distinctive; he attempted a systematic reconstruction of Gandhi, where the essence of Gandhi's action and speech was to be derived (...) from the deeper layers of Gandhi's thought. The definitive expression of this approach can be found in an appendix to Naess's book Gandhi and Group Conflict (1974), where a set of 25 norms and 26 hypotheses are presented as the bare bones of Gandhi's political worldview. As an image of Gandhi's world, the survey is brilliant. As a guide for conflict resolution and peace work, it is limited and even limiting. Naess assumed that moral-normative power radiates from first principles, along the lines of deduction, to norms and to action. But that makes the whole system vulnerable; if you have problems with the first principles, what happens to the normative power of the rest? (shrink)
Both Confucius and Gandhi were fervent political reformers and this paper argues that their views of human nature and the self-society-world relationship are instructively similar. Gandhi never accepted Shankara's doctrine of.
(Gandhi Marg 15:1 [April-June, 1993], pp. 24-36) Individuality is and is not even as each drop in the ocean is an individual and is not. It is not because apart from the ocean it has no existence. It is because the ocean has no existence if the drop has not, i.e., has no individuality. They are beautifully interdependent. And if this is true of the physical law, how much more so of the spiritual world!
Like the dominant moral philosophers in the Western tradition, Mahatma Gandhi reaches moral conclusions that emphasize universality, impartiality, and detachment. This is in apparent contrast to feminist philosophers who have put forth a scheme for reaching moral conclusions that gives centrality to feeling, experience, and interdependence. In the following, I show that Gandhi shares significant agreement with feminists in spite of the kinds of moral conclusions he reaches. The crucial difference between Gandhi and the feminist critics lies (...) in how the distinctiveness of the other is understood. For Gandhi, I show, that the distinctiveness of others which evokes our affection is significant only in so far as it is a starting point that aides us in reaching the highest form of moral concern—a kind of agape (unselfish love for all). (shrink)
The paradox of Gandhi being treated as an ivory-tower idealist despite being one of the most successful political leaders of the twentieth century, can be traced to his using a method to understand social processes that is fundamentally different from the dominant tendency to reduce reality to an underlying system. The fact that his method did not fit into the ideological systems that dominated the twentieth century contributed to it being ignored. This paper seeks to revisit the Gandhian method (...) by first identifying the limitations of viewing democracies entirely in terms of systems. It then goes on to explore Gandhi's alternative view of reality as a mass of actions. It finally uses this philosophical method to understand a rather violent example of identity politics, namely the destruction of the Babri Masjid in the Indian town of Ayodhya. (shrink)
The subject of this article is the attitude of a famous Polish philosopher of the twentieth century, Henryk Elzenberg towards practical work and theoretical achievements of Mohandas Karamczand Gandhi. The analysis of the issue focuses on a question: to what degree are Elzenberg’s opinions about Gandhi’s thought and work an attempt to understand the phenomenon of a moral revolution of the spiritual leader and to what degree are they a presentation of his own comprehension of philosophy? The analysis (...) shows that Elzenberg treats philosophy as an area of confrontation, where referring to others develops his own approach. (shrink)
This paper makes an attempt to philosophically re-construct what I have termed as a fundamental paradox at the heart of deontological liberalism. It is argued that liberalism attempts to create the possibilities of rational consensus and of bringing people together socially and politically by developing methodologies which overcome the divisive nature of essentially parochial substantive conceptions of the good. Such methodologies relying on the supposed universally valid dictates of reason and notions of procedural rationality proceed by disengaging men from the (...) divisive particularities of their plural value contexts. That disengagement is sought to be achieved by conceptualizing the individual as self sufficient in her moral and epistemic being thereby conceptually isolating individual man from the other. The liberal effort to create rational consensus which can bring people together then gets off the ground by isolating the individual from the other. This I have termed as the paradox of the self and the other or alternatively the paradox of social atomism and universalism. As a possible philosophical alternative this paper makes an attempt to re-construct Gandhi’s conceptualization of the relationship between swaraj as self rule and Satyagraha as non-violent resistance. This Gandhian connection, it is argued, has the potential to transform the moral psychology of our response to the other, thereby posing a challenge to the modern, predominantly liberal, conceptualization of such a response. (shrink)
The film Gandhi expands our understanding of how the virtue of care can function in the public sphere by portraying Gandhi dealing with Indian independence from Britain, the subjugation of women and Untouchables, and strife between Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi illustrates in his social and political activism how the virtue of care is animated by benevolence and structured by the building blocks of the care perspective: responsibility and need, relationship and mutual dependency, context and narrative.
To many in India and elsewhere, the life and thoughts of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi are a source of inspiration. The idea of non-violence was pivotal in his thinking. In this context, Gandhi reflected upon the possibility of what is now called ‘euthanasia’ and ‘assisted suicide’. So far, his views on these practices have not been properly studied. In his reflections on euthanasia and assisted suicide, Gandhi shows himself to be a contextually flexible thinker. In spite of being (...) a staunch defender of non-violence, Gandhi was aware that violence may sometimes be unavoidable. Under certain conditions, killing a living being could even be an expression of non-violence. He argued that in a few rare cases it may be better to kill people who are suffering unbearably at the end of life. In this way, he seems to support euthanasia and assisted suicide. Yet, Gandhi also thought that as long as care can be extended to a dying patient, his or her suffering could be relieved. Since in most cases relief was thus possible, euthanasia and assisted suicide were in fact redundant. By stressing the importance of care and nursing as an alternative to euthanasia and assisted suicide, Gandhi unconsciously made himself an early advocate of palliative care in India. This observation could be used to strengthen and promote the further development of palliative care in India. (shrink)
In today's world the need for cultivating non-violence is becoming more pronounced. Gandhi extrapolated an ideal society based on truth and nonviolence. The Bombay Chronicle in its issue of 5th April, 1930, reported "...For the first time a nation is asked by its leader to win freedom by itself accepting all the suffering and sacrifice involved. Mahatma Gandhi's success does not, therefore, merely mean the freedom of India. It will also constitute the most important contribution that any country (...) yet made towards the elimination of force as an arbiter between one nation and another..." For him, two cardinal principles of life, non-violence and truth, were the essence of sociopolitical good. "Satyagraha" was Gandhi's gift to the world. The word was coined by him in South Africa. In the West it was known as passive resistance. Satyagraha signified pure soul-force. Truth or Love is the very substance of the soul. To quote Gandhi in this context: "Non-violence as supreme dharma is the proof of this power of Love. Nonviolence is a dormant state. In the working state, it is Love, ruled by Love, the world goes on.... we are alive solely because of Love....we are all ourselves the proof of this..." In a centrifugal world, Gandhi's views expressed on non-violence and love are guidance to the world today more than at any other time. (shrink)
Although recognized as one of the principal sources of inspiration for the Indian environmental movement, Gandhi would have been profoundly uneasy with many of the most radical strands of ecology in the West, such as social ecology, ecofeminism, and even deep ecology. He was in every respect an ecological thinker, indeed an ecological being: the brevity of his enormous writings, his everyday bodily practices, his observance of silence, his abhorrence of waste, and his cultivation of the small as much (...) as the big all equally point to an extraordinarily expansive notion of ecological awareness. (shrink)
Just war theory has been criticized since it so often is employed by governments and political leadership to justify uses of violent force for nationalistic, political self-serving or otherwise non-moral reasons. This paper acknowledges that reality but argues that just war thinking exemplifies a nonabsolutist mode of moral thinking that actually sets a high bar for morally justifying any use of force. The paper argues that just war thinking must be based on the presumption that force ordinarily ought not be (...) used to settle conflicts. To make the point the author examines Gandhi’s satyagraha, which Gandhi understood as a use of nonviolent force. The paper demonstrates how Gandhi implicitly appealed to the various criteria of just war in thinking about satyagraha. The author concludes that just war theory is not an enemy of peace. (shrink)