Every young apprentice delights in the opportunity to learn from a master. Philosophy apprentices are no different. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was someone-a master philosopher-who could guide them through the maze of philosophy?
In Letters to a Young Philosopher, Ramin Jahanbegloo takes on the role of the master, and through sixteen foundational discourses takes the reader through the most essential philosophical concepts of life. Jahanbegloo begins with defining Philosophy itself, and then proceeds to discussing such diverse areas as love, death, truth, excellence, patriotism, education, technology, and films, among others.
These discourses take the form of letters that a seasoned philosopher writes to a young colleague. The simplicity of the form and its sensitive, personal treatment renders this work within the reach of every individual out there who has a small or a big philosophical quest.
Ramin Jahanbegloo is an Iranian-Canadian philosopher and currently professor and vice-dean at O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India.
Ramin Jahanbegloo is an Iranian-Canadian philosopher and currently professor and vice-dean at O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India. He has worked extensively to foster constructive dialogue between divergent cultures. In his efforts to promote an argumentative tradition, he has interacted with eminent scholars and intellectuals from all over the world.
I have always loved reading philosophers. It didn't matter to me if they were ancient or modern, religious or non-religious, oriental or western. Undoubtedly, philosophers, more than economists, lawyers, or politicians, have held my gaze as a teenager or later as an adult. Philosophy, itself, came to matter to me up to a point that I continued to learn it at different stages of my life, but also to teach it to others. Philosophy, as the love of wisdom, had become for me a way of life. When we say philosophy is a way of life, we mean a certain dwelling in the world and in one's historical time. Unsurprisingly, philosophers themselves had a good sense of their zeitgeist in which their life and destiny came together. Hegel understood this perfectly when he said 'Philosophy is its time apprehended in thoughts'. This is no small observation, and yet I believe it is still a big goal well worth pursuing. As a way of life, but also as a mode of thinking, philosophy and philosophers have taken the responsibility of asking perennial questions for over twenty-six centuries: What is the meaning of life? What is justice? What is happiness? How can human beings live together? Does God exist? What can I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope? And so on. No wonder why history of philosophy is the story of men and women who agonized in asking questions like these. For nearly three thousand years, philosophers, as well-established social figures, had a great impact on the evolution of ideas in human history. As such, despite what people say and think today, philosophical ideas made the world and changed the course of the world. For a long time, to philosophize was to think differently and dangerously.
Philosophy has had a strange history. For the ancient Athenians who invented the term and gave it a recognizable disciplinary shape, it meant love of wisdom. As they understood it, it reflected on the great goals and purposes of human existence, developed a comprehensive vision of individual and collective life, and used that vision to assess the significance or worth of different human activities. It articulated the art of living, and was the noblest and the highest form of inquiry. Christianity, which challenged Greek rationalism and made knowledge of the goals and purposes of human life a matter of divine grace and revelation, nevertheless continued to use the philosophical mode of reasoning to explain and justify its conclusions. Philosophy was now subordinated to theology, but never entirely, because it had its own logic and aspirations, and the relation between the two remained both tense and creative. A major change came with the rise of modern science which, unlike theology, had no obvious use for philosophy and which in fact it intended to replace.
In its search for a new role, philosophy became epistemology analysing, sharpening, and criticizing the central concepts and claims of science, or ethics, or turned inward and emerged as a history of philosophy. Debates between these and other views of philosophy continue, and there is no clear consensus on what it stands for. The old Greek idea of philosophy as an inquiry into the art of living still continues to hover in the back-ground, accepted by some with enthusiasm, hesitantly embraced by some others, and dismissed by several contemporaries as an act of ancient piety lacking intellectual weight.
Ramin Jahanbegloo is an advocate of the Greek view of philosophy.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAR447 Author: Ramin Jahanbegloo Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2018 Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi ISBN: 9780199480388 Language: English Size: 7.50 X 5.00 inch Pages: 188 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.21 Kg