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The Philosophy of K. Satchidananda Murty

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The Philosophy of K. Satchidananda Murty

The Philosophy of K. Satchidananda Murty

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Item Code: IDG804
Author: Sibajiban Bhattacharyya & Ashok Vohra
Publisher: Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR)
Language: English
Edition: 1995
ISBN: 8185636184
Pages: 340
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.7" X 5.6"
weight of the book: 540 gms
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From the Jacket

Among philosophers in India today, Professor K. Satchidananda Murty is in a class by himself. He is a heterodox thinker as well as a critical traditionalist. Few specialists in Advaita Vedanta have been so severely critical of it as he has been in his Revelation and Reason in Advaita Vedanta (1959), and few have presented such and admiring exposition of it as he has done in his Advaitic Notion {1985}. His interdisciplinary works on Indian culture and his contribution to peace studies, as well as his pioneering work Far Eastern Philosophers {1976}, contain original ideas, critical observations and insightful comparisons. Murty's writings range across Indian and western philosophy, covering ethics, religious studies, social and political thought, culture, peace studies, philosophy of education and Indian foreign policy. This volume contains interpretative and critical essays which evaluate the implicit or explicit assumptions, starting points, beliefs, arguments, conclusions, underlying theories, undercurrents of thought normative statements, and prescriptions of Murty's works, and develop them in alternative ways. The contributors comprise an international groups of philosophers from India, Russia, the USA and Japan.

About the Editor

Sibajiban Bhattacharyya has taught philosophy for more than four decades in universities and institutions in India and abroad. His publications include: Gadadhara's Theory of Objectivity (in two parts) and Gangesa's Theory of Indeterminate Perception: Doubt, Belief and knowledge, Professor Bhattacharyya is at present a National Fellow of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi.

Ashok Vohra is a reader in Philosophy at the University of Delhi, South Campus. He taught philosophy at St. Stephen's College for a decade, and was for sometime Director {Planning and Research}, of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi. He is the author of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mind {1986}, and has co-authored Radhakrishna: his Life and Ideas {1989}. He has recently translated Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations and Culture and Value into Hindi.


In a plural democracy like ours which has a national culture with multiple components, at least some who have acquired a world culture and openness of mind deserve to be identified and hon- oured. They should have the patience to listen to others, allowing the latter their say, and be prepared to enter into dialogical rela- tions with others, understanding with sympathy their points of view, and modes of life, belief and thought. There are indeed a few persons of vision who have transcended day-to-day happenings and with knowledge of the past and contemporaneity, contribute crea- tively. Professor K. Satchidananda Murty is one of those.

Apart from his important contributions to philosophy and the significant interdisciplinary work he has done in the interconnected domain of religion, culture, political thought, moral science and international relations, there are very few intellectuals in our coun- try who embody better than him our complex, yet integrated, composite national culture. It is difficult to think of another emi- nent Indian philosopher, who having specialized in classical Indian philosophy, has also studied philosophies of other cultures, such as the Islamic, Chinese and Japanese.


Professor K Satchidananda Murty, who in 1963 was regarded by Humayun Kabir as one "among the outstanding philosophers of the younger generation" and considered by Suniti Kumar Chatter- jee in 1970 as the one on whom "the mantle of Dr. Radhakrishnan had fallen worthily", has been described in 1988 by Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of Delhi and the North, "as the leading philosopher of my country". Acharya Tulsi, the famous Jain Muni, portrayed him in 1989 as follows:

'The vision and capacity to realise it as noticed in Professor Murty is found in rare persons only. In the modern age such honesty authenticity and integrity of purpose as found in him are not commonly found.'

Those who have the privilege of knowing Murty personally know that besides being a profound scholar, a distinguished teacher and an efficient and able administrator, he has many endearing per- sonal qualities. As we consider it to be our privilege to be among his friends, we resist the temptation to use our editorial preroga- tive to discuss his personality.

So, when the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (I CPR) requested us to plan and organise a seminar and later edit a vol- ume on 'The Philosophy of K. Satchidananda Murty", we readily agreed to do so. We invited a number of scholars from India, and a few from abroad, to contribute papers to the seminar and the volume. We requested the prospective contributors to write ana- lytical and critical essays on any aspect of Murty's philosophy. They were requested to expound and discuss the interpretations, implicit or explicit assumptions, starting points, beliefs, axioms, arguments, conclusions, underlying theories, undercurrents of thought, nor- mative statements and prescriptions in Murty's works; and to evalu- ate them or bring out their implications, and develop them in alternative ways. The response was overwhelming. The scholars depending upon their expertise and liking chose to write on any topic dealt with in Murty's writings which range over Indian and Western philosophy, ethics, religious studies, social and political thought, culture, peace studies, philosophy of education and In- dian foreign policy.

The seminar on 'The Philosophy of K.Satchidananda Murty" was held on October 14 and 15, 1992. More than twentyfive papers were presented at the seminar and over one hundred scholars from India and abroad participated in it. Murty was present at the seminar to respond to these papers.

This volume consists of papers specially written,as well as the revised versions of some papers presented at the seminar. A num- ber of papers presented at the seminar by scholars of high repute could not be included in this volume, though their authors had a great deal to say on the subjects they had written on. Constraints of finance and space have prevented us from including in this volume all the papers presented at the seminar. We hope they will be published in due course.

We hope that interpretative and critical discussion of various themes of Murty's thinking published here would lead to further discussion. We would like to remind our readers of Russell's say- ing, "it is hard to imagine any arguments on either side which do not beg the question; on the fundamental issues, this is unavoid- able"; and draw their attention to what Murty himself says: "No mortal is omniscient and infallible, and there can be no policies and programmes which are perfect and immutably correct. Practi- cal wisdom is often the result of a heated and direct clash of many different viewpoints."

The work on this volume as well as the seminar could not have been undertaken, much less brought to a successful completion, without the co-operation of Professor Murty. We are grateful to him for this.

Our thanks are also due to each of the contributors who spared no efforts to come to grips with Murty's ideas. Without their active co-operation and response this volume would never have come into being.

We express our gratitude to Professor D.P.Chattopadhyaya, for- mer Chairman, Indian Council of Philosophical Research, in whose term the Council decided to have a seminar on Murty's writings and bring out a volume as a result of it. It was he who requested us to organise the seminar and edit the volume.

Professor R. Balasubramanian, the succeeding Chairman, ICPR, took a keen and sustained interest in organizing the seminar and having this volume published. We are thankful to him. Our thanks are also due to Professor Bhuvan Chandel, Member-Secretary, ICPR, for helping us to organise the seminar. We thank Professor Mrinal Miri, the present Chairman, ICPR, for his support for the publication of this volume.

We are grateful to Shri Buddhadeva Bhattacharya, Executive Editor, ICPR, for his personal care and professional help in bring- ing out this volume.

  Foreword V
  Preface Ix
  Classicism and Contemporaneity in Murthy's Works Xiii
1 The Ramifications of the Real in the Philosophy of Inclusiveness
R. Balasubramanian
2 The Philosophy of K. Satchidananda Murthy
Sibajiban Bhattacharyya
3 Murthy's Conception of Philosophy
J.S.R.L. Narayana Moorty
4 The Ideal of Philosophy as Globally Informed
Stephen H. Phillips
5 Murthy and Advaita Vedanta
Sengaku Mayeda
6 Murty's Critique of Revelation: A Pleasure –Tripper's Ovreview
Rajendra Prasad
7 Sitting at the Feet of Sankara
N. Isayeva
8 Sleep-learning or Wake-up Call? Can Vedic Sentences Make Us Aware of Brahman?
Arindam Chakrabarti
9 The Realms of Between: Some Reflections on Murty's The Realm of Between Daya Krishna 169
10 Two Paradigms of Religious Language
John Grimes
11 Murty as a Religious Thinker
N.K. Devaraja
12 Some Critical Remarks on the Comparative Method in Philosophy and Religion
N.S.S. Raman
13 Murty on Peace: a Critical Appreciation
D.P. Chattopadhyaya
14 Murty's Concept of the Indian Spirit
S.S. Barlingay
15 The Indian Spirit-An Exercise in Philosophy of Indian Culture
A. Ramamurthy
16 Murty's Notion of Culture: An Appraisal
Ashok Vohra
17 Murty on Far Eastern Philosophies
A.I. Kobzev
18 Iconoclastic Ideas in Murty's Writings
Bhuvan Chandel
19 A Survey Murty's Works in Telugu
P. Sriramachandrudu
  Major Works of K. Satchidananda Murty 305
  Contributors 309
  Index 311

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