The Philosophy of J. N. Mohanty

Item Code: IDG800
Author: Daya Krishna&K.L. Sharma
Publisher: Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR)
Language: English
Edition: 1991
ISBN: 8121504958
Pages: 277
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Weight 430 gm
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Book Description

From the Jacket

Jitendranath Mohanty is one of the leading philosophers of the Indian sub-continent. Known equally for his path-breaking contributions in the field of phenomenology, and insightful undertakings in the field of Indian philosophy, particularly Nyaya, Mohanty has striven not only to extend the frontiers of philosophical thought in new directions, but also to build bridges of understanding between the Anglo-American and the European schools of contemporary philosophy.

The essays in the present volume subject his contributions in various fields of philosophy to a searching examination, which is both sympathetic and critical at the same time. Some of the most fundamental and deep-rooted tensions and dilemmas in the field of phenomenology and Indian philosophy are brought to light in the course of the discussion by such well-known authorities as Karl H. Potter, Bimal K. Matilal, William k. Mckenna and R. A. Mall, among others, Mohanty's Reply to many of the criticisms and observations made in the course of these articles will remain of interest to all serious students of phenomenology and Indian philosophy, for a long time to come.


The volume on the philosophy of Professor J. N. Mohanty was conceived as a part of the exercise to awaken interest in the work of contemporary Indian thinkers in the field of philosophy, to subject their work to a critical scrutiny and to persuade the thinker to creatively respond to this criticism. The enterprise itself was part of a wider concern that for certain reasons, both the past and the present traditions of philosophizing in India had ceased to be matters of living interest to the philosophical community in the country. In fact, there was no philosophical community; there were only individuals who took interest in philosophy, or sometimes phi- losophized on their own. And, though there were a few outstanding individuals, there was no live give-and-take, no feeling of growth, no sense of critical indebtedness to the achievements of the past masters, or of intellectual accountability to future generations of philosophers in India.

It was these feelings that made the Department of Philosophy at Jaipur in the University of Rajasthan undertake a series of activities such as the preparation of Subject and Author Indexes to about twelve important philosophical periodicals published in English in India, the holding of a series of seminars in which contemporary philosophical issues were to be examined in the light of classical Indian philosophy, the establishment of a live dialogue with traditional pandits in the field of philosophy, the attempt at a dif- ferentiated conceptual mapping of the hard .core intellectual terrain in different fields ofknowledge in the Indian tradition, and a critical examination of the philosophical writings of some of the important living thinkers in contemporary India.

The present volume, The Philosophy of J. N. Mohanty, is a part of this last activity which along with others, though initiated earlier at the Department of Philosophy, Rajasthan University, Jaipur, were later taken over and pursued more systematically by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research after its formation in 1981. The earlier seminars in this series were held on the philosophy of Kalidas Bhattacharyya and the philosophy of Nikunja Vihari Banerjee. The volume, arising out of the earlier seminar on the philosophy of Kalidas Bhattacharyya, along with his response to the critical comments and the reformulation of his position in their light, has already been published by the Indian Philosophical Quarterly in its own series of publications in 1986 from Pune. The volume on the philosophy of Nikunja Vihari Bannerjee edited by Margaret Chatterjee has been published by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research in 1990.

Professor Mohanty has made a significant contribution in the field of both phenomenology and Indian philosophy. Yet, it appears from the articles in this volume that his contributions to pheno- menology are less known to his Indian colleagues. Perhaps, his long stay abroad has been responsible for this. Also, as few per- sons in the contemporary philosophical scene in India seem to be engaged in phenomenological enquiry on their own, they may not have been aware of his contributions therein. In any case, the articles of R. A. Mall and William McKenna, we hope, would correct this deficiency to some extent and arouse the interest and curiosity of the Indian philosophical community to his outstanding con- tributions in this field of philosophy.

In the field of Indian philosophy, Protessor Mohanty has persis- tently been pointing out the serious difficulty in understanding it •in terms of the conceptual and categorial mapping in the western philosophical tradition. The discussions and debate on some of these issues in the papers of Karl Potter, B. K. Matilal and J. L. Shaw should prove interesting to any serious student of the subject.

There seems, however, a significant difference in the contributions of Mohanty in the field of phenomenology and those in the field of Indian philosophy, at least as reflected in the papers in this volume. The former seem bold, challenging, innovative, indepen- dent developments in the field of phenomenological studies. The latter are primarily exegetical, interpretive, trying to find what a term or doctrine exactly means-and, interestingly, the dispute is about the interpretation. To ask the question: 'why is it so?', or wonder how a person who can be so innovative in the context of a wes- tern philosophical tradition fail to be so regarding a tradition which presumably is his even in a more intimate manner, is perhaps to raise the most disturbing question with respect to the situation of philosophy in India today. Ultimately, the paradoxical situation seems to derive from the deep fundamental attitudes which are inculcated with respect to these two traditions of philosophizing in the way they are taught in this Country along with the fact that for most persons trained through the present university system in India or the west, the norms of intelligibility are derived from the conceptual structures developed in the western intellectual tradi- tion. That alone may perhaps explain the pathetic sight of such brilliant minds as Mohanty, Matilal and Potter disputing for decades whether prama is knowledge or something else.

The heart of the volume, however, is Mohanty s rejoinder and reply to many of the criticisms and observations made on so many facets of his work. On reading the response, one may wish that he had taken some of the criticisms more seriously and articulated his philosophical position on the issues concerned more clearly. But there can be little doubt in the mind of any serious reader of this volume that here is one of the most original and creative minds in the field of philosophy in India today. Let us hope, more and more people in the world of philosophy, both in India and abroad, take his thought more seriously and respond to it critically and creatively.

  Preface vii
1 On Mohanty's Conception of Intentionality
Mrinal Kanti Bhadra
2 The Noetic and the Noematic
Ramakant Sinari
3 Some Reflections of Prof. J. N. Mohanty's Article 'The Given'
Ramesh Chandra
4 On Prof. Mohanty's 'On Reference'
R. S. Bhatnagar
5 The Concept of Internationality and the Problem of Aesthetic Response
Pabitra Kumar Roy
6 Certain Ambiguities and Clarifications in Prof. Mohanty's Gangesa's Theory of Truth
Raghunath Ghosh
7 Some comments on Professor Mohanty's View of Reference
N. S. Dravid
8 Professor Mohanty on the Concept of Person in Indian Philosophy
Sujata Miri
9 Some Reflections on Prof. J. N. Mohanty's Theory of Philosophy
Sanat Kumar Sen
10 Mohanty as a Phenomenologist: Hussaerl and Mohanty
Ram Adhar Mall
11 Does Indian Epistemology Concern Justified True Belief
Karl H. Potter
12 Professor Mohanty on Meaning and Transformation in Indian Philosophy
J. L. Shaw
13 Knowledge, Truth and Pramatva
Bimal Krishna Matilal
14 Mohanty on the Possibility of Transcendental Philosophy
William R. McKenna
15 Recollections and Response
J. N. Mohanty
Appendix Some Remarks on Indian theories of Truth
Kaishor Kumar Chakrabarty
  List of Publications of J. N. Mohanty 237
  Contributors 247
  Index 249

Sample Pages

Indian Council of Philosophical Research

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