About the Book
The series entitled Facets of Recent Indian Philosophy is collection of addresses delivered by eminent philosophers as general Presidents in the annual session of the Indian Philosophical Congress. Initially conceived to be published in three volumes, and the idea having been accomplished, the proposition transgressed itself and this fourth volume symbolizes the transcending finale of the venture.
Now all the available Presidential addresses till date have been included in th series. They have been arranged thematically as below:
Vol. 1: the Metaphysics of the Spirit;
Vol. 2 Indian Philosophy and History;
Vol. 3: Problems of Indian Philosophy;
Vol. 4: The Philosophy of Life.
The first three volumes of the series contain seventeen addresses each. The last one has twenty-one entries, including a couple of addresses of Sectional Presidents, one Endowment lecture and one paper submitted to a section.
The addresses included in these volumes deal with some of the major and perennial problems of philosophy in general and of Indian philosophy in particular. Thus, problems of ego, fear, sorrow, violence, peace, freedom, time, life and the like, have received focal attention. Some of the addresses discuss temporal and social issues, such as unity in diversity, dogmatism, ecology and the malady of the age. Viewed together, they evince our philosophers' concern with eternal, as well as, immediate problems and their eagerness to solve the problems by making sincere efforts.
12These volumes ill undoubtedly be useful for the researchers and students of contemporary Indian philosophy as they give a good idea of the direction in which twentieth-century Indian philosophy has been moving since the mid-thirties.
About the Author
S.P. Dubey (b. 1944 is Professor of Philosophy at Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Currently he is also the Dean of the Arts Faculty in the University. He was educated at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and McMaster University., Hamilton (Canada). Formerly a member of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research he is at present General Secretary of the Akhila Bharatiya Darshan Parishad. Besides three books- Rudolf Otto and Hinduism, Idealism East and West and On Religion -and a Hindi translation of Burnet's Greek Philosophy, Professor Dubey has contributed a large number of papers to learned journals and anthologies.
The Hillarian feat of sailing through the philosophical currents
between Calcutta and Haridwar is now accomplished with the
realisation on the bank of Narmada that Gangotri/Gomukhi
could not be reached by man-made boat. The four volumes of
the series have covered many Ghats of the Philosophical Ganges
between 1925 and 1997. While sitting at Jabalpur, the venue of
the last Presidential Address included in the series, I feel happy
to conclude the task of editing these volumes. I wanted to include
the Presidential Address of the 1996 session of. the I. P. C. (at
Pune) but that was not delivered. And I am not waiting for the
forthcoming Addresses. If the task is worthwhile a younger stu-
dent of philosophy may take it up in days to come.
Titles of the essays at Serial Nos. 4, 5 and 18 of the present
volume are given by the editor as they were missing in original
In this volume twenty-one essays from eminent scholars of Indian
philosophy are included. Each one of them relates to one or the
other session of the Indian Philosophical Congress (I. P. C.).
Thirteen of them (at serial nos. 3-6, 8-10, 12, 17-21) are the.
Addresses of the General Presidents. As they were not sufficient
to make the collection large enough to be comparable in size
with earlier ones, some more essays from the proceedings of the
I. P. C. have been included in this volume. Six of them (at serial
nos. 1, 2, 7, 11, 14 & 16) are Addresses of Sectional Presidents,
one (at s. nos. 15) is an Endowment Lecture and the remaining
one (at s. no. 13) is a Sectional Paper.
No argument is being advanced for selecting the entries other
than those of the first category. The series itself was conceived to
include them. With the present volume almost all the Addresses
of the General Presidents of the I. P. C. so far have been made
available in print. Selection of other essays here could be treated
as ad hoc or due to personal likings. However, even for ad hoc
or personal choices there are implicit reasons behind them which
I would not like to make explicit. I would Simply say that all of
them flow from pens of eminent scholars of the subject.
Entries in the volume are made in chronological order - as•
they were presented in various session of the Indian Philosophi-
The title of the volume is chosen to indicate the major thrust
of essays included. At least eight of these including those by S. K.
Maitra, M. N. Sircar, John McKenzie, Humayun Kabir, J. L.
Mehta, R S. Srivastava, Indra Sen and Darshan Singh, have
emphasised the importance of the concept of life. Maitra holds
that Indian philosophy is concerned with the whole of life. He
notes that 'Life' is now a catch-word in the modern West as well.
Sircar feels that in India philosophy and life are uniquely united.
McKenzie maintains that philosophy is an endeavour to discern
the right way of life. Kabir finds that man's perennial quest is to
understand the meaning of life. For Mehta life and thought are
embedded in the tradition .of the country. Srivastava is an advo-
cate of spiritual life of man. Indra Sen hopes for a divine life
integrating knowledge and experience. For him the concept of
Moksha provides a proper direction to man's life. To Darshan
Singh religion in general, and Sikhism in particular, .presents a
creative attitude to life.
The idea of providing this title to the volume is strengthened
,by a national seminar of the I. C. P. R. on 'Meaning of Life in
Aftro-Asian Thought' at the Professor K. Satchidananda Murty
Centre for Studies in Afro-Asian Philosophies at the Nagarjuna
University in September 1996. The proceedings of that seminar
and the content of this volume would make a good reading on
the concept of life.
Some of the essays of the volume show integration of philoso-
phy, religion and science. Maitra, McKenzie, C. P. Ramaswami
Aiyer, Mookerjee and S. C. Sengupta stand for such harmony.
They are well aware of the difference in these disciplines. But
they also find that these approaches come close in a human
situation. Such integration obviously helps us understand the
meaning of life in a better and wider perspective. This factor also
justifies the title of the volume.
Essays by other scholars in the volume throw light on some of
the fundmental issues of philosophy. S. N. Dasgupta calls upon to
create a new world of culture by harmonising the past tradition
of India with the Modem West. H. M. Jha analyses some of the
key concepts of Navya Nyaya in terms of modem logic. D. Y.
Deshpande discusses the problem of future contingents in
Aristotle. R. A. Sinari advocates an Atmalogy and underlines
subjectivity in our endeavour to understand the world. G.
Srinivasan explains man's encounter with the divine. K. N.
Upadhyaya feels that a proper understanding of key terms like
God and Self would show the compatibility in the Brahmanic and
the Buddhist traditions of India. Mushirul Haq finds religion to
be the sincere faith in God. He advocates freedom to choose
one's own path to God. B. K. Lal is concerned with the problem
of secularism in India today. J. A. Yajnik underlines the need to
understand the spiritualistic metaphysics so that one could be-
come a world-citizen. Rajendra Prasad, in his essay on applied
ethics, finds that Krishna is the best example of hyper-committal
level in moral sphere.
A summary of all the entries of the volume is being given here
for a synoptic appraisal of the content.
Dr. Shishir Kumar Maitra, through a large number of books
written in course of his long philosophical career, has developed
a theory of Emergent Value. According to him the only correct
standpoint for philosophy is that of value. Value and reality are
not opposed. He admits the impact of Hegel, Bergson,
Hartmann, Brajendranath Seal and Sri Aurobindo on his
In his presidental address at the History of Philosophy session
of the fourth session of the Indian Philosophical Congress at
Madras in 1923 Professor Maitra concentrates on the March of
the History of Philosophy. He finds the present juncture in the
history as a period of calm, not very creative or disturbed by
conflicting ideas. This, he maintains, is good for the progress of
philosophy in the right direction. It provides favourable condition
to comprehend the complexities of philosophical problems. It
will prepare the ground to rethink problems from a newer and
wider standpoint. Indian philosophers today have a very impor-
tant role to play. Now they are not passive spectators. They are
active participators. They can and should provide leadership in
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