Sandhya Basu is Professor of Philosophy at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata She has published one book and many papers in a number of published one book and many papers in a number of philosophical journals and anthologies Realism: Responses and Reactions (2000) published by India Council of Philosophical Research was co-edited by Professor Basu. She has also presented papers in some international conferences. She was a Fulbright postdoctoral research fellow in the United States in 1982-83 and a National fellow of the University Grants Commission during 1992-94
Madhucchanda Senteachers philosophy of Rabindra Bharati University. Her articles on Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology and Philosophy of Language have been published in journals and anthologies. She has co-edited Knowledge, Truth and Realism, ICPR, New Delhi and Empiricism and the Two Dogmas RBU, Kolkata
The present volume is the first in the series entitled Rabindra Bharati Readings in Philosophy. This series is aimed at bringing current research on Philosophy of Language and Communication to all those who are interested in classical debates centring around the ideas of language and communication and also interested in the recent developments in the area. Research is being done in the area of Philosophy of Language and Communication at the Department of Philosophy, Rabindra Bharati University under the Special Assistance Programme: Departmental Research Support (Phase One)of the University Grants Commission.
Being the first volume in the series the editors would like to make a general statement of the thrust area of research, which is focused in this volume and the ones to follow. Classical Philosophy both in the West as well as in the East assigned great importance to dialogue, rhetoric and debate. And ever since disciplines like Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of mind and Philosophy of Consciousness have stemmed off from mainstream philosophy, an area of philosophical discourse underlying all these disciplines has been making its presence felt for systematic consideration. The emerging area can be identified as Philosophy of Communication. A better understanding of the phenomenon of commuciation in all understanding of the phenomenon of commuciation in all its aspects would facilitate research in not only Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Consciousness but also the construction of our knowledge of science, politics, ethics, law religion, gender, environment and culture.
One of the main aims of our research programme is to examine classical theories of rhetoric, dialogue and debate as found in the Indian philosophical tradition and Greek tradition and enquire how these influenced philosophical discourse in general, and initiated a systematic logic of discourse and how this in its turn influenced society in general by making its presence felt in epistemology, politics, law ethics and aesthetics. The first two papers concentrate on the Greek tradition. Kofi Ackah’s paper “Plato on why Discourse is Possible” aims at interpreting the communicative forms in Plato’s Sophist. Nirmalya Narayan Chakraborty’s paper is a discussion on Socrates’ view about the relation between a name and the thing named as we find it in Plato’s Cratylus. The third, fourth and fifth paper concentrate on the Indian tradition. Sukharanjan Saha’s paper on “Arguing for Nyaya Theory of Sentential Meaning”, as the name suggests, is a elucidation of the Nyaya theory of sentential meaning.Prabal Kumar Sen’s paper “Nyaya Criticism of Anvitabhidhanavada and Abhihitanvayavada” is a defence of Nyaya theory of meaning in the backdrop of the two rival theories mentioned in the title. P.K. Mondal’s paper “On Some Forms of Communication” discusses the Indian notion of language as a means of communication. Rupa Bandyopadhyaya’s paper “Contextuality of Meaning A Review of Anvitabhidhanavada” discusses the Prabhakara account of sentence meaning, the main contention of which is that every sub-sentential expression can have only such meaning as is connected with the meanings of the other sub-sentential expressions.
We move from classical philosophy to modern philosophy in Susanta Chakraborty’s paper, which discusses “Locke’s Theory of Linguistic Communication”. Garry Kemp’s paper entitled “what is a Theory of Proper Names?” discusses more contemporary views on the subject, mainly those of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Kripke, and Dummett. These two papers are strictly within the purview of Philosophy of Language Madhucchanda Sen’s paper on “Davidson, Dummett and the Manifestation Argument” discusses how a truth conditional theory of meaning may be defended in the face of criticisms brought against it by anti-realistic arguments. Maushumi Guha’s paper entitled “Reading Minds” addresses the issue of communication within the purview of Philosophy of Mind. This paper discusses how communication possible simply because we are able to ascribe mental states to others while communicating with them. Tirthanath Bandyopadhyaya’s paper “Language, Man and Reality” tries to show that it is through language that is related to reality or the world Sadhan Chakraborty’s paper entitled “Language Communication and Miscommunication” discusses the aspects of understanding a person vis-a-vis his/her language and also the conditions associated with the different aspects the fulfilment of which makes the understanding possible. Sandhya Basu’s paper “Possibility of Communication between Man and his Environment” concentrates on Man-Nature communication. All the other papers are about human communication and so their focus on the phenomenon of communication has been anthropocentric In Basu’s paper we find a widening of the scope of communication. That our physical environment comes to play an important role in structuring the way we think and communicate is a fact we can no more ignore.
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