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Social Relevance of Philosophy
Social Relevance of Philosophy
Description

From the Jacket 

What is the role of philosopher? Can philosophy be of any use to man's social living? These are some of the questions that the philosophy teachers try to answer in this book of twenty-two essays. It closely scrutinises the relevance of philosophy at the social level, throwing light on various philosophical systems and view of thinkers, both Indian and western. It shows how people can be guided on their many problems in a philosophical and holistic manner. 

Presented at a national seminar, the essays discuss a wide range of philosophical issues and perspectives on how man can modify his individual thinking, develop the spiritual dimension of life, transform his social conduct and manage personal and social relationships better. They deal with the relevance of Gandhi's concept of freedom, the ethical importance of Tiruvalluvar's philosophical outpourings, Buddhist perspectives on mindfulness and social reformation, and significance of Yoga for harmonious living. They take up contemporary concerns like reservations, dalit philosophy, growth of philosophical Counseling, ethical and bio-ethical dimensions of abortion, professional ethics, and role of philosophy in tackling the harmful effects of consumerism and materialism.

This book will be extremely interesting for scholars of philosophy as well as general readers, and highly useful as a textbook in Applied Philosophy for student.   

About the Author

Prof. P. George Victor (born: 1953), professor of Philosophy, and Founder Director, Centre for Religious Studies, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam has been teaching Sankara Vedanta, and Western Philosophy for postgraduate students for more than two decades.

He has participated in many seminars in India and abroad. He has organised the 'First National Seminar on Teaching Philosophy in India' during March 1998 in association with the editors of Teaching Philosophy journal, USA sponsored by ICPR. His major published works include 'Social Philosophy of Vedanta', 'Life and Teachings of Adi Sankaracarya' and 'Moral Science'.

Preface

THE Department of Philosophy, founded in 1932 by Professor S. Radhakrishnan when he was the Vice-chancellor of Andhra University, has been a forum for philosophical dialogue, inviting distinguished professors from all over India, England, Germany and the USA. It has hosted twice, in 1961 and 1984, the Indian Philosophical Congress and conducted a number of seminars and summer schools in Vedanta, Buddhism, Idealism, Empiricism, Rationalism and Peace, inviting specialists in all schools of Indian philosophy and Western philosophy.

The rich academic tradition, 'Global Perspective with Vedantic Spirit' laid down by Professor K. Satchidananda Murty, has been the guiding spirit in the Department of Philosophy to conduct tought-provoking seminars that subsequently influenced the philosophic circles all over the country. They are What is Living and What is Dead in Indian Philosophy (1975), Indian Philsophy: Some Thinkers and Themes (1979), Indian Philosophy in the Context of World Philosophy (1982), Teaching Philosophy in India: A Vision for 21st Century Education (1998).

Attempting further to advance the teaching of philosophy, the Department of Philosophy, Andhra University, Visakha- patnam, has conducted a national seminar on 'Social Relevance of Philosophy in the New Millennium' from 7 to 9 December 2000 under UGC Special Assistance Programme. The aim of the seminar was to promote awareness in Applied Philosophy and initiate teachers of philosophy to discover a working philosophy for everyday living. How to guide people on their various problems, what kind of solutions, not problems, the philosophers have professed for harmonious living and how philosophers became social reformers, are some of the issues on which papers were invited from scholars.

Professor J.P. Shukla, Chairman, Indian Philosophical Congress, was the chief guest of the seminar. He brought forth some of the notable ideas expressed in Plato's Republic, perennial ideas of the French Revelation, and the noble thoughts expressed by Mahavira, the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi that are relevant for the present times. He said that philosophy is essential and it is the duty of philosophy departments in the universities to make philosophy relevant so as to educate the younger generation of the nation for a better society tomorrow. Professor T.S. Devadoss of Madras University has delivered the Keynote Address in which he maintained:

Today, we need a radical reorientation of philosophical studies to suit the social needs of the society at large. The objective of this seminar, as rightly pointed out by the organisers is 'to promote awareness in applied philosophy and initiate teachers of philsophy to discover a working philosophy for everyday living'.

What is the role of philosopher? Can philosophy be of any use to man's social living? These are some of the questions that the philosophy teachers try to answer in this book of twenty-two essays. It closely scrutinises the relevance of philosophy at the social level, throwing light on various philosophical systems and views of thinkers, both Indian and Western. It shows how people can be guided on their many problems in a philosophical and holistic manner.

Keeping in view the task of a philosopher and to instill enduring values, the essays discuss a wide range of philosophical issues and perspectives on how man can modify his individual thinking, develop the spiritual dimension of life, transform his social conduct and manage personal and social relationships better. They deal with relevance of Gandhi's concept of freedom, the ethical importance of Tiruvalluvar's philosophical outpour- ings, Buddhist perspectives on mindfulness and social reformation, and significance of Yoga for harmonious living. They take up contemporary concersn like reservations, dalit philosophy, growth of the philosophical counselling, ethical and bio-ethical dimensions of abortion, professional ethics, and role of philosophy in tackling the harmful effects of consumerism and materialism.

Philosophy teachers from many States of India have come and presented their essays relating to popular themes on Philosophy and Public Issues, Philosophy and Business, Professional Ethics, Philosophers as Social Reformers, Philosophy as the Golden Mean, and Philosophy and Harmonious Living. The essays are titled in this volume on the basis of the concepts the authors have emphasised and the conceptions they have evolved. I am fortunate in being its first reader for I have derived immense pleasure and satisfaction on certain concepts and issues. I believe that this is one of the best books on Applied Philosophy contributed by Indian scholars.

All the credit for this publication goes to the University Grants Commission, which made the seminar possible and to the scholars who have presented these essays. I express my deep sense of gratitude to Professor R. Radhakrishna, Vice-Chancellor, Professor J.M. Naidu, Registrar and Mrs. K. Samrajya Lakshmi, Finance officer of Andhra University for their encouragement and administrative help. I am indebted to Professor J.P. Shukla, Professor T.S. Devadoss and Professor D.K. Chakravarty for recommending the papers for publication. My profound thanks to Sri Susheel K. Mittal, Director of D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd., for publishing this work.

Contents

Preface
1.Philosophy and Consumerism1
2.The Task of Philosophy9
3.Towards Caturvarga N aturalised15
4.Gandhian Praxis for the New Millennium21
5.Value Education must be Ingrained31
6.State and the Reservations (John Rawls: Theory of Justice)41
7.Deliberations on Dalit Philosophy53
8.Ethical Claim of the Other Face (Phenomenological Analysis of Levinas)57
9.Relevance of Thiruvalluvar's Philosophy75
10.Philosophical Counselling83
11.Humanitarian Indian Outlook91
12.Abortion: Ethical and Bio-ethical Issues97
13.Gandhiji's Concept of Freedom and Sarvodaya113
14.Buddhist Perspective of Mindfulness, Satipatthana125
15.Professional Ethics of Doctors135
16.Science and Values141
17.Professional Ethics for Teachers151
18.The Buddha and Social Reformation157
19.Yoga: A Way for Harmonious Living163
20.Relevance of Being a Man of Value169
21.Fusion of Material, Social and Spiritual Values173
22.Liberation and the Public Life177
List of Contributors191
Index193

Sample Pages









Social Relevance of Philosophy

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2002
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From the Jacket 

What is the role of philosopher? Can philosophy be of any use to man's social living? These are some of the questions that the philosophy teachers try to answer in this book of twenty-two essays. It closely scrutinises the relevance of philosophy at the social level, throwing light on various philosophical systems and view of thinkers, both Indian and western. It shows how people can be guided on their many problems in a philosophical and holistic manner. 

Presented at a national seminar, the essays discuss a wide range of philosophical issues and perspectives on how man can modify his individual thinking, develop the spiritual dimension of life, transform his social conduct and manage personal and social relationships better. They deal with the relevance of Gandhi's concept of freedom, the ethical importance of Tiruvalluvar's philosophical outpourings, Buddhist perspectives on mindfulness and social reformation, and significance of Yoga for harmonious living. They take up contemporary concerns like reservations, dalit philosophy, growth of philosophical Counseling, ethical and bio-ethical dimensions of abortion, professional ethics, and role of philosophy in tackling the harmful effects of consumerism and materialism.

This book will be extremely interesting for scholars of philosophy as well as general readers, and highly useful as a textbook in Applied Philosophy for student.   

About the Author

Prof. P. George Victor (born: 1953), professor of Philosophy, and Founder Director, Centre for Religious Studies, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam has been teaching Sankara Vedanta, and Western Philosophy for postgraduate students for more than two decades.

He has participated in many seminars in India and abroad. He has organised the 'First National Seminar on Teaching Philosophy in India' during March 1998 in association with the editors of Teaching Philosophy journal, USA sponsored by ICPR. His major published works include 'Social Philosophy of Vedanta', 'Life and Teachings of Adi Sankaracarya' and 'Moral Science'.

Preface

THE Department of Philosophy, founded in 1932 by Professor S. Radhakrishnan when he was the Vice-chancellor of Andhra University, has been a forum for philosophical dialogue, inviting distinguished professors from all over India, England, Germany and the USA. It has hosted twice, in 1961 and 1984, the Indian Philosophical Congress and conducted a number of seminars and summer schools in Vedanta, Buddhism, Idealism, Empiricism, Rationalism and Peace, inviting specialists in all schools of Indian philosophy and Western philosophy.

The rich academic tradition, 'Global Perspective with Vedantic Spirit' laid down by Professor K. Satchidananda Murty, has been the guiding spirit in the Department of Philosophy to conduct tought-provoking seminars that subsequently influenced the philosophic circles all over the country. They are What is Living and What is Dead in Indian Philosophy (1975), Indian Philsophy: Some Thinkers and Themes (1979), Indian Philosophy in the Context of World Philosophy (1982), Teaching Philosophy in India: A Vision for 21st Century Education (1998).

Attempting further to advance the teaching of philosophy, the Department of Philosophy, Andhra University, Visakha- patnam, has conducted a national seminar on 'Social Relevance of Philosophy in the New Millennium' from 7 to 9 December 2000 under UGC Special Assistance Programme. The aim of the seminar was to promote awareness in Applied Philosophy and initiate teachers of philosophy to discover a working philosophy for everyday living. How to guide people on their various problems, what kind of solutions, not problems, the philosophers have professed for harmonious living and how philosophers became social reformers, are some of the issues on which papers were invited from scholars.

Professor J.P. Shukla, Chairman, Indian Philosophical Congress, was the chief guest of the seminar. He brought forth some of the notable ideas expressed in Plato's Republic, perennial ideas of the French Revelation, and the noble thoughts expressed by Mahavira, the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi that are relevant for the present times. He said that philosophy is essential and it is the duty of philosophy departments in the universities to make philosophy relevant so as to educate the younger generation of the nation for a better society tomorrow. Professor T.S. Devadoss of Madras University has delivered the Keynote Address in which he maintained:

Today, we need a radical reorientation of philosophical studies to suit the social needs of the society at large. The objective of this seminar, as rightly pointed out by the organisers is 'to promote awareness in applied philosophy and initiate teachers of philsophy to discover a working philosophy for everyday living'.

What is the role of philosopher? Can philosophy be of any use to man's social living? These are some of the questions that the philosophy teachers try to answer in this book of twenty-two essays. It closely scrutinises the relevance of philosophy at the social level, throwing light on various philosophical systems and views of thinkers, both Indian and Western. It shows how people can be guided on their many problems in a philosophical and holistic manner.

Keeping in view the task of a philosopher and to instill enduring values, the essays discuss a wide range of philosophical issues and perspectives on how man can modify his individual thinking, develop the spiritual dimension of life, transform his social conduct and manage personal and social relationships better. They deal with relevance of Gandhi's concept of freedom, the ethical importance of Tiruvalluvar's philosophical outpour- ings, Buddhist perspectives on mindfulness and social reformation, and significance of Yoga for harmonious living. They take up contemporary concersn like reservations, dalit philosophy, growth of the philosophical counselling, ethical and bio-ethical dimensions of abortion, professional ethics, and role of philosophy in tackling the harmful effects of consumerism and materialism.

Philosophy teachers from many States of India have come and presented their essays relating to popular themes on Philosophy and Public Issues, Philosophy and Business, Professional Ethics, Philosophers as Social Reformers, Philosophy as the Golden Mean, and Philosophy and Harmonious Living. The essays are titled in this volume on the basis of the concepts the authors have emphasised and the conceptions they have evolved. I am fortunate in being its first reader for I have derived immense pleasure and satisfaction on certain concepts and issues. I believe that this is one of the best books on Applied Philosophy contributed by Indian scholars.

All the credit for this publication goes to the University Grants Commission, which made the seminar possible and to the scholars who have presented these essays. I express my deep sense of gratitude to Professor R. Radhakrishna, Vice-Chancellor, Professor J.M. Naidu, Registrar and Mrs. K. Samrajya Lakshmi, Finance officer of Andhra University for their encouragement and administrative help. I am indebted to Professor J.P. Shukla, Professor T.S. Devadoss and Professor D.K. Chakravarty for recommending the papers for publication. My profound thanks to Sri Susheel K. Mittal, Director of D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd., for publishing this work.

Contents

Preface
1.Philosophy and Consumerism1
2.The Task of Philosophy9
3.Towards Caturvarga N aturalised15
4.Gandhian Praxis for the New Millennium21
5.Value Education must be Ingrained31
6.State and the Reservations (John Rawls: Theory of Justice)41
7.Deliberations on Dalit Philosophy53
8.Ethical Claim of the Other Face (Phenomenological Analysis of Levinas)57
9.Relevance of Thiruvalluvar's Philosophy75
10.Philosophical Counselling83
11.Humanitarian Indian Outlook91
12.Abortion: Ethical and Bio-ethical Issues97
13.Gandhiji's Concept of Freedom and Sarvodaya113
14.Buddhist Perspective of Mindfulness, Satipatthana125
15.Professional Ethics of Doctors135
16.Science and Values141
17.Professional Ethics for Teachers151
18.The Buddha and Social Reformation157
19.Yoga: A Way for Harmonious Living163
20.Relevance of Being a Man of Value169
21.Fusion of Material, Social and Spiritual Values173
22.Liberation and the Public Life177
List of Contributors191
Index193

Sample Pages









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