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Social Philosophy Past and future

Social Philosophy Past and future


Item Code: IDH223

by Daya Krishna

Paperback (Edition: 1993)

Indian Institute of Advance Study, Shimla
ISBN 8185952132

Size: 8.2" X 5.3"
Pages: 82
weight of book 138 gms
Price: $12.00
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This book was first published in 1969 on the basis of lectures delivered by Professor Daya Krishna at the Indian institute of Advanced Study in 1968. The first edition was exhausted slowly but steadily. It is not surprising, therefore, that this book is still in demand. This reprint is meant to meet that demand.


These lectures continue the theme of my earlier book Considerations Towards a Theory of Social Change, though they form a self-contained whole and possess a unity of their own independent of the earlier work. They seek to focus attention on an aspect of thought about man and society which most scientists and philosophers happen to miss; that is, the effect of their thought in shaping the human and social reality itself. Man's thought about himself and society is not causally ineffective. But if this be accepted, its implication have to be understood by all those who concern themselves with society and man in any capacity whatsoever. The present lectures attempt to spell out these implications for the attention of he social scientists and philosophers for consideration and discussion.

The past civilizations, in this context, are treated as the result of the ways in which men conceived of themselves and society and the two of the most significant among them, the Indian and the Western, are singled out and discussed as paradigmatic cases illustrating the basic contentions of these lectures. An attempt is made to provide a focal concept around which the thinking in the social sciences may be organized and which may bridge the gap, and provide the continuity between the great typal civilizations of the past and open the way for their fecundating relationship with the present and the future.

Freedom, it is suggested, is such a concept and if it be given an operational definition and subjected to quantitative criteria of measurement, it might provide an effective guide to the policy sciences, which seem so much in demand today by the planner and the politician. The link between the mathematical concept of model and utopia is explained and it is suggested that the building of scientifically articulated utopias should be the task of the social scientist of the future.

These lectures were delivered at the invitation of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla, and I am thankful to the authorities for providing me with the opportunity to crystallize my thought on the subject.

The indirect presence of my friends and colleagues at the University of Rajasthan would be evident to an attentive reader of these pages. To one of them, the late Prof. M. M. Bhalla, this book is dedicated. His sudden death has deprived us all of a mind so versatile and sensitive that it is difficult to think of another like him. I still remember vividly the time when he made the point referred to on page 47 standing on the gate of the garden one morning. Who could have thought, then, that soon there will be no more mornings or evenings or late nights with their subtle intellectual delight over cups of coffee and an element of charm, sparkle and grace which is so rarely found these days in company, private or public?


The Concept of Society 1
The Two Predicaments 12
Reflection on Action 24
Perspectives of Freedom 37
The Search for a Measuring Rod 50
Society: Reality or Utopia 68

Sample Pages

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