The concept of rationality has often been discussed within the restrictive bounds of the Cartesian dualism between mind and body, reason and tradition. In this work, I have sought to question this sharp distinction between reason and tradition. My argument has led me to think that the questions of theoretical rationality as in mathematics and the sciences, as well as of practical rationality as in the value disciplines or in choosing one from amongst different competing theories and traditions, cannot be asked nor answered in isolation from their relevant traditions of inquiry (the epistemic enterprise), that rationality essentially is tradition embedded. Given the plurality of diverse traditions, problems of relativism and incommensurability arise. I endeavour to address these problems in the light of the brute fact of actual contact, interaction, understanding and communication between different traditions. I show that the incommensurability thesis does not necessarily lead to relativism and that the view of tradition embedded rationality which is maintained in this work need not be characterized as relativistic. In the course of my argument, I have considered different ways of examining the issue of conflict resolution between rival traditions in terms of growth and development of inquiry with a view to transcending the narrow limitations of particular viewpoints.
This work is divided into nine chapters. In the first chapter, which is introductory, context and statement of the focal problem is given. In the second chapter, the Cartesian legacy, the Cartesian perspective on the sharp contrast between reason and tradition is analysed. In the
third and fourth chapters, the concept of tradition and the complex game of gaining and evaluating knowledge are elucidated with special reference to John Dewey and Alasdair Macintyre. They argue that we obtain and evaluate knowledge as part of the ongoing process of problem solving activity, and that there is nothing essentially changeless and perfect in the nature of things whatever.
In the fifth chapter, features and criteria which make a tradition of inquiry rational are discussed. In the sixth chapter, John Dewey's and Alasdair Macintyre's views on resolving conflicts between competing rationalities and rival traditions are examined. In the seventh chapter, questions of incommensurability and relativism are considered. It is argued that objectivity and relativism are not the only alternatives, there is a need to transcend both and go beyond them.' In the eighth chapter, the question whether it is possible to have communication and rational dialogue between different, incompatible and conflicting points of view is explored. In the ninth chapter, I round up the results of my study.
A note about the spelling of word "inquiry". The word has been spelled out in two ways as "inquiry", and "enquiry". Throughout this work the word is used with "i" as the first letter but in the citations from Macintyre the spelling as used by him is retained, i.e. "enquiry" with "e" as the first alphabet.
Here, first and foremost, I express my gratitude to my Ph.D. thesis supervisor, Professor Deepa Nag Haksar, for her support without which this work could not have been completed. I am also grateful to Professor H.S. Prasad, Head of the Department of Philosophy, University e are of Delhi, for his tremendous support and encouragement and in my career. I am deeply indebted to my revered and teacher, Professor V.K. Bharadwaj, for his scholarly of suggestions, undiminished criticism and many discussions thing with him during the entire course of this work.
I would like to thank all the members of my family for their love and support. I am specially grateful to my father, Professor Madan Mohan Agrawal, who has been sixth as always an incessant source of light, hope and views encouragement in this endeavour and life. His and unconditional love and affection made me who I am. ter, Also, I extend my heartiest thanks to dear Gopal, my are husband, for his love that enabled me to see this work to are completion.
Lastly, I wish to thank the staff of the central library, University of Delhi for their kind help whenever I needed it the most.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend