This new edition of Social and Political Philosophy is intended to be a short but intimate introduction to the problems of social and political philosophy in the contemporary world. All major issues have been examined in the light of Indian as well as Western traditions of thought on the subject. Its major contents include Nature and Scope of Social and Political Philosophy, Scientific Temper and Progress (including the views of Vivekanand, Gandhi and Nehru), State and Sovereignty (including the context of Kautilya), Individual and the State (including the context of the Indian Constitution, apart from the analysis of Rights and Duties, Accountability and the Curse of Corruption). It examines various aspects of Democracy (including Deliberative Democracy), Liberty (including the views of Gandhi, Macpherson and Amartya Sen), Equality (including Ambedkar's analysis of Inequality), Justice (including the viewpoints of Rawls, Nozick and Amartya Sen), Crime and Punishment (including the debate on Capital Punishment). Then it explores the wider implications of the principles of Humanism (including the views of Kant, Vivekanand, Tagore and M.N. Roy), Secularism (including the views of Gandhi and Nehru), Multiculturalism (including the genesis of Composite Culture), Anarchism, Socialism (including the views of Narendra Dev, Nehru and Jayaprakash Narayan), and Marxism (including Neo-Marxism). Finally, it introduces the rich variety of thought associated with Gender Perspective (including Liberal, Radical and Socialist streams of Feminism), Ecological Perspective (including the concept of Sustainable Development) and Gandhian Perspective (including its contrast with Marxism and Rawls's theory of Justice). All relevant issues have been examined in comparative and critical perspectives.
The matter has been presented in simple language and a reader-friendly style. Intricate concepts are elucidated through suitable headings, subheadings, flow charts, comparative charts and explanatory diagrammes. On-the-spot definitions of important terms, a brief description of historical references and some crisp quotations are given in boxes. Through this kind of work the author has exploded the myth that philosophy is an obscure subject.
Dr. O.P. Gauba studied at D.A.V. College, Dehradun and the University of Delhi. He obtained B.A. Degree in Literature and Philosophy, M.A. Degrees in Sociology and Political Science from Agra University, and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Delhi. He taught in the University of Delhi from 1967 to 2004. Presently he is fully devoted to academic writing. Apart from Social and Political Philosophy, his important works include Indian Political Thought; Western Political Thought, An Introduction to Political Theory, Key Concepts in Political Theory, Political Ideas and Ideologies, Reading Gandhi, Dimensions of Social Justice, and Constitutionalism in a Changing Perspective. He is also the author of a host of university-level academic books and several standard reference works in Hindi.
Philosophy is the mother of all knowledge. It comprehends knowledge about the secrets of life, the universe, and beyond. It includes all the categories of social, religious, artistic, scientific, mathematical and logical thought. It relies on empirical as well as transcendental sources of knowledge. Scientific knowledge is not opposed to philosophy; it is derived from philosophy itself. Philosophy provides us with the conjectures which serve as a starting point for our scientific investigation; it embraces all the results of scientific investigation; and finally it includes the conjectures about what is yet beyond the reach of science. In short, philosophy offers the clue to all types of knowledge concerning nature, society and values.
Social and political philosophy covers that part of philosophy which seeks to make human life worth-living. It seeks to dispel superstition and fear arising out of ignorance and pave the way for progress. While moral philosophy enlightens us about the values of human life, political philosophy endeavours to translate those values into practical objectives of public policy, Without a sound political philosophy our knowledge of human values will remain an academic exercise without the prospects of their realization in actual life. While politics is concerned with the acquisition and use of power, political philosophy is intended to ensure the use of power in the public interest. Social philosophy largely indicates the sphere of application of public policy. Hence social and political philosophy should be treated as a single discipline although their scientific counterparts, viz. sociology and political science could be identified as separate disciplines.
The present essay on Social and Political Philosophy is intended to be a short introduction to the problems of social and political philosophy in the contemporary world. Its major contents include nature and scope of social and political philosophy, scientific temper and progress, concept of sovereignty, individual and the state (including the concept of human rights, accountability and the curse of corruption), concepts of democracy, liberty, equality, justice, humanism and secularism, crime and of punishment, principles of socialism and Marxism, gender perspective, ecological perspective and Gandhian perspective. Attempt has been made to examine the relevant issues in a global perspective rather than confining oneself to the Western perspective. Special effort has been made to introduce the relevant contribution of Indian social and political thought in various contexts. So apart from the references to Western thought and institutions, frequent references will be found here to the thought of Kautilya, Vivekanand, Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore, Ambedkar, Narendra Dev, Jayaprakash Narayan, M.N. Roy, Amartya Sen and other Indian thinkers as well as to the Indian Constitution.
I have tried to make this work reader-friendly in order to explode the myth that philosophy is an obscure subject. Language has been kept as simple as possible without diluting its content. Suitable headings and sub-headings have been given throughout the book. On-the-spot definitions of important terms and historical references as well as some crisp quotations have been given in boxes. The matter has been made more comprehensible through explanatory diagrammes, flow-charts and comparative charts.
This new edition represents a substantially improved version of all previous editions of my Social and Political Philosophy. All parts of the book have been thoroughly read and revised, and reset to make it more reader-friendly and richer in content. Relevant data have been updated, and many new arguments have been introduced and examined in the relevant contexts. It is hoped that this new edition of the book will prove to be more useful and acceptable to the academic community.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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