Contemporary knowledge systems have given too much importance to visual symbols, the written word for instance, as the repository of knowledge. The primacy of the written word and the representational world built around it is, however, under debate—especially from recent insights derived from cognitive science that seeks to bring back action, intent and emotion within the core of cognitive science (Freeman and Nunez in J Consciousness Stud 6(11/12), 1999). It is being argued that other sensory experiences, apart from the visual, (...) along with desires (or intent) and emotions—like pain, pleasure, sorrow or joy—constitute equally important building blocks that shape an individual’s cognition of the world around. This multi-sensory cognition colored by emotions inspire action and hence is valid knowledge. This is probably nowhere more apparent than in the world of the visually impaired. Deprived of visual sensory capability, they have to perforce depend on other senses. But the dominant discourse in wider society plays a major role in determining what they (the blind) can do. A society built around visual symbols and the written word underplays other elements of cognition and in the process undervalues them. This also gets reflected in the construction of social artifacts of various kinds, such as the educational certification system (The Braille system is an attempt to make the written world accessible to the blind through tactile signals—so that words are ‘felt’ and ‘read.’ But it is quite cumbersome. For instance, even a blind highly skilled at writing in Braille would not be able to match the writing speed of an ordinary visually endowed literate person. Effective and efficient computer-based voice–text–voice converters might solve this problem better.)-based primarily on skills over the written word. Linguistic ability becomes most valuable and at another level the written word gets salience over the spoken word. The blind hardly has a chance, therefore, except through concessions or piety. A practice built around the imagery of an empowered blind person, therefore, must depart from mainstream conceptualization—for power is derived from what one has rather than from what one lacks. It must begin by tapping and valorizing one’s own endowments. This paper is an attempt to identify such a departure based on the experience of Blind Opera—a theatre group of the blind working in Kolkata, India. It seeks to provide an exposition in written word of an experience that can only be partially captured within the confines of a text. It is an incomplete account, therefore, and may be taken as an attempt to reach out and seek an exchange of experiences and insights. (shrink)
Conceptual knowledge inspires imagination. On the other hand, it is a claim to power as well. Multiple knowledge claims often, therefore, are engaged in a contest. This contest can take the form of several discourses. Extant power structures play a significant role in lending (or not lending) a voice to one or several such discourses. To one with the power to govern, knowledge claims flowing from abstract concepts generated in an elite discourse not only inspires imagination but also often leads (...) to ‘norms’ and ‘rules’ that drive governance in the system which leads to action. Norms and rules define actionability of the conceptual knowledge claim. However, for the one weighed by powerlessness in being governed, knowledge claims often get generated only in action, since an autonomous discourse is often lacking. Yet the sheer powerlessness of the authors of such knowledge claims generated in action leads to its non-celebration. It fails to get elevated. It might also wither away. Such actionable knowledge claims of the powerless often then gets manifested as something like an ‘unvoiced’ or an ‘unvoicable’ discourse, in macabre forms of subversion of ‘norms’ and ‘rules’ of the system that leads to a sense of failure in governance among those with power as well. Power, thus, brings actionable knowledge to the fore, but in two different forms. For the power-holder, it takes the form of a ‘deviation’ from norms and rules in the actionable domain through subversion by the powerless, revealing a gap between knowledge in the conceptual and actionable domain that is reluctantly (often tacitly) tolerated. For the powerless, on the other hand, actionable knowledge is living; negotiating on the ‘deviation’ is an existential requirement. This paper is an attempt to explore these dichotomies, how power (and the lack of it) alters the significance and implications of actionable knowledge. (shrink)
The Einstein-de Broglie soliton concept is applied to simulate stationary states of an electron in a hydrogen atom. According to this concept, the electron is described by the localized regular solutions to some nonlinear equations. It is shown that the electron-solilon center travels along some stationary orbit around the Coulomb center. The electromagnetic radiation is absent as the Poynting vector has non-wave asymptote O(r −3)after averaging over angles.
The aim of this short article is to introduce a topical text called the Daśaślokī of Ᾱdi Śaṃkara, widely known as Śaṃkara and its only available commentary the Siddhāntabindu by Madhusūdana Sarasvatī. While these two classics delineate in a nutshell the basic tenets of Advaita Vedānta philosophy and are placed with great significance in the tradition, very little work on them, particularly those based on textual study, has been done in modern scholarship. Thus, the article, without going into much detail (...) of the content of these two works and the commentaries available, gives, in brief, their introduction, in order to revisit them. (shrink)
Environmental debates are frequent nowadays. It is a common trend to seek the solutions of these issues in the fields of science and technology. There are at least two main arguments in support of this view. The first is that science provides objective answers that are based on fact. And the second is that the ecological threat that confronts us can only be measured with the help of advanced technology. The present paper tries to show that although science and technology (...) are of great help in solving these issues, environmental problems are not exclusively of a scientific or technical nature. This paper is divided into two sections. The first section tries to show why these problems are not exclusively scientific or technical in nature. And the second section tries to unveil the need for environmental ethics in the present-day society. (shrink)
The Vedānta philosophy has its roots in scriptural sources, specifically, in three canonical texts, viz. the Brahmasūtra-s by Bādarāyaṇa, which is called nyāya-prasthāna or tarka-prasthāna; the Upaniṣad-s, which are called the śruti-prasthāna; and the Bhagavadgītā, which is regarded as the smṛti-prasthāna. Thus, like the first two constituents of this trio, the third one has a tangible legacy of commentarial tradition; as almost all well-known advocates of the Vedānta schools have commented on these three sourcebooks. In this paper, an attempt has (...) been made to give a brief sketch of such commentarial tradition of the Bhagavadgītā, starting with its commentary by Śaṃkara to the other major commentaries available up to the 15th–16th centuries. While each of these commentaries finds support in the text for their respective philosophical doctrines, an impartial evaluation, with support of modern scholars, shows that none of the commentaries can claim to represent faithfully the true intent of the text, and that the true import of it can only be had if the text is judged from its literary and historical point of view. (shrink)
Buddhism traces its origin to the teachings of the historical figure of Gautama, the Buddha. Buddhist system addresses perennial human concerns and articulates profound insights into human nature and thus provides a practical context against the back ground of which it is possible to unravel the meaning of lives. Different branches of this school developed various scriptural traditions. Among them early Buddhist thought branched out into diversity of orders, schools of thought and teaching lineages. Wisdom and compassion are the distinctive (...) marks of Buddhism and this strife-tormented world is in dire need of these qualities. Buddhism not only talks about these qualities, it also illustrates the way how to acquire the same. Post-modernism which is a movement in different fields, culture, philosophy, literature, and arts etc. claims to decentralize the importance of reason. There are many post modern thinkers like, Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze, Guattari, Levinas who worked in their own way and they discerned a shift in the art and culture of their societies from a distinctively modern phase to a postmodernist phase. Considering these observations this paper is motivated by two questions. On the one hand, one is constantly intrigued by the vast treasures of early Buddhist heritage; on the other hand, one is perplexed by the post modern deconstructive method which has some point of similarities with early Buddhistthought. In between these two lines of thinking this paper tries to argue that the better our understanding and appreciation of this ancient legacy of Buddhist treasures becomes, the more able we will be to grasp the lines of post-modern thinking. There are certain concepts of Buddhism namely, language, writing, desire, suffering, death which are all important issues to the post-modern thinkers. The present paper is an effort to high light some of these concepts against the back ground of early Buddhist traditions. (shrink)
The ethnic conflict between tribals and non-tribals compounded by the insurgency has disturbed the peace in the state for more than 20 years and also resulted in the internal displacement of thousands of people. In order to restore peace and to prevent future internal displacement it would be necessary to give to the tribals their due share in governance.
Here, the authors address questions about the utilization of knowledge from social research and offer evidence that challenges allegations about the 'awful reputation' of educational research and its supposed lack of impact.
In understanding the implicative resonance of biotech applications research and development, it is necessary to apply the intricate consonance of bioethics studies like behaviourome studies in the form of mental mapping in diverse groups of society for trying to resolve moral issues such as IPR or biosafety. Social perception analysis being the subjective domain of bioethics and related biotechnological issues are the functional epitome in ensuring benevolent biotechnological entrepreneurship development. In this pursuit studies of social genomics can ascertain the positive (...) implications of functional genomics being one of the most important fragments of science of biotechnology. The development of guidelines should be culturally sensitive in the way ethical, social and legal aspects are considered. Having a map of human ideas will enable us to reflect more diversity of ideas into policy frameworks. (shrink)