About the Book:
The essays in this volume explore, from various angles, the issues relating to the role of logic in the understanding of reality, the role of belief and imagination in the creation of reality, the multi-dimensional, pluralistic and conflicting nature of values, the centrality of freedom as both the foundation and end of all values, the role of arts in the cognitive enterprise of man, the nature of revolution, culture and society and the epistemological and ontological problems that arise in understanding Man and his Creations.
The essays also discuss, in detail, the work of Merton, Sorokin, Northrop, Lazerowitz and Marx.
About the Author:
Daya Krishna (b. 1924) taught philosophy at the universities of Saugar and Rajasthan. He has been visiting Professor at Carleton College, Northfield and the University of Hawaii. He has held Fellowships at, among other places, East-West Center, Hawii; the Rockefeller Foundation, U.S.A.; Indian Institute of Philosophy, Amalner; Indian Council of Philosophical Research; and Indian Council of Social Science Research.
Professor Daya Krishna has written extensively on theoretical issues in the realm of philosophy, sociology, economics and literature. His major works are: The Nature of Philosophy; Social Philosophy: Past and Future; Considerations Towards a Theory of Social Change; Political Development - A Critical Perspective; and The Development Debate (with Fred Riggs).
To be asked to select one's articles for publication by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research is, in one sense, to be reminded that perhaps it is time for stock-taking, to be accountable to the world of fellow-philosophers and the academic community at large and display for their critical attention and evaluation what one had been doing all these years in an ad hoc, piece-meal manner. One does write and publish an occasional piece which might be noticed or not by one's colleagues, but to be asked to collect all, or most of them, at one place is to be asked to give an account of what one has intellectually done an these years. And, even if no one else cares to look into the collection, one cannot escape it oneself as the very process of choosing, editing, arranging, correcting, proofreading makes one ask: what does it all add up to, and was it really worthwhile?
The earliest article included in this collection, 'An Attempted Analysis of the Concept of Freedom' was published in June, 1952 and the latest 'Self and Its Representations in Literature: Some Epistemological Problems' in 1985-a period spanning more than thirty years, bridging the dawning horizons of youth to the setting horizons of age, a long time in the life-time of an individual, scarcely noticeable in the history of thought.
Looking back, it seems that there is a perennial concern with certain central philosophical issues in these articles-the relation of logic to reality and its relevance to philosophy or philosophizing, the multifariousness of values and their essential conflict with one another, the essential irreducibility of diverse realms and the concepts and categories through which we demarcate them, the centrality of consciousness and the strange fact that beliefs tend to bring corresponding realities into being through the actions they influence, the strange and paradoxical nature of social reality as the continuing creation of a plurality of free beings, each simultaneously a subject and an object, an agent and a recipient, all rolled into one.
These themes have been explored elsewhere in my writings also. Sometimes, the reference has been given in the articles themselves; sometimes not. Many of the issues relating to the understanding of social reality, for example, have been extensively discussed in Social Philosophy-Past and Future Considerations Towards a Theory of Social Change Political Development—A Critical Perspectiue, and the Development Debate. The issues relating to logic and reality and the relevance of logic to philosophy have not only been discussed focally in the first seven articles included in this volume, but also in The Nature of Philosophy and in a book edited by me entitled Modern Logic: Its Relevance to Philosophy These issues relate to what has come to be called Philosophical Logic now-a-days and they still seem to me to formulate the issues in a focal manner.
The articles selected for publication in the volume have been classified under three major headings: Logic and Epistemology, Moral Philosophy and Social, Political and Economic Philosophy, But these are only broad headings to indicate the primary area in which the issues discussed in the articles may be said to fall into. There are bound to be overlappings and some of the articles could easily have been placed under a different heading. Similarly, the articles in each part have been arranged in a logical and not in a chronological order. This has resulted in some anomalies which the reader is bound to notice if he reads the articles in a sequential manner. In some cases, it did not seem quite clear as to what should be the logical order or where exactly an article should be placed in the series or even under which heading. The articles on Sorokin and Northrop, for example, could as well be included under 'Social Philosophy' as under 'Logic and Epistemology.' In any case, the articles are listed chronologically in the 'Acknowledgements' so that the reader may judge of the development of thought on an issue over a period of time, if any. It may, however, be borne in mind that the chronological sequence gives only the sequence in which the articles were published in the various journals and not the one in which they were actually written. Different journals take different time in publishing an article after acceptance and with some journals the process of acceptance itself may take time depending upon the procedure adopted. Besides this, there may occur unpredictable reasons for delay in publishing for which no one is exactly responsible. The article entitled 'Self-fulfilling Prophecy and the Nature of Society', for example, had to wait several years for publication as the editor of the American Socio- logical Review thought it would be best to publish it with Prof. Merton's reply as it had raised certain basic issues regarding what he had written on the subject. And, as Prof. Merton had agreed to reply to the points made in the article, he decided to defer its publication till such time as his Reply was received. But, for some reason or other, Prof. Merton kept on postponing writing his Reply for years till one day 1 received a letter from the editor that as he was leaving the editorship of the Journal, he had decided not to wait any longer and was publishing the article in the next issue of the Journal, the last under his editorship.
The story of Western thinkers' response to a basic criticism of their work is interesting as it reveals a strange sort of resistance to come to terms with a foundational critique of their work, particularly from persons belonging to other cultures. Prof. Northrop at Yale did not seem to have known of the critique published on his theory of concepts in The Philosophical Review, published from Cornell. Prof. Lazerowitz has gone on writing as if nothing had been written regarding his whole methodology of dealing with philosophers and philosophical problems in the pages of the Mind, though personally he has complained to friends and wondered why I have been so 'hostile' to him. And this, in spite of my writing at the end of the article, 'I should confess that 1 myself am not highly impressed by such sort of refutations, but if 1 have taken the trouble to play the game with Lazerowitz's work, it is only that he may come to share my dissatisfaction with the type of arguments he so often employs against other thinkers' work.'
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