The Department of Philosophy, University of North Bengal, functioning under the UGCSAP scheme since 2002 in its 3 phases of DRS-I, DRS-II & DRS-III has so far published successfully 17 volumes of UGC-CARE enlisted annual journal Philosophical Papers: Journal of The Department of Philosophy with variously rich contents and this endeavour has been highly appreciated in the Philosophy community at large.
As a continuation of the rich tradition, the department has made an honest and sincere attempt to publish the 18th volume of the journal this year, with valuable and well-knit essays. The department hopes and believes that this volume also will not fail to satisfy the enthusiastic readers in the philosophical circle and also the general readers.
We take this opportunity to thank all our valuable and respected contributors. We express our sincere gratitude to all the esteemed members of the editorial board. We are also thankful to all the colleagues in our department for their all round guidance and also their valuable and thoughtful suggestions in publishing this journal. We express our warm regards and indebtedness to our most beloved honorable Vice-Chancellor. Last, but not the least, our special thanks are due to the Registrar(Officiating), Finance Officer, and the University Press whose constant support has made the publication possible.
Philosophy is the mother of all disciplines because it gave birth to and nurtured every other discipline that exists today. Since every single idea is built upon a quest for the truth, Philosophy is considered mother of all disciplines. Philosophy, as a mother, gives birth to a field through asking questions and nurtures through study that field until it is mature enough to live on its own and leave the nest of Philosophy.
The famous Philosopher A.C. Grayling observes in his book ʻPhilosophyʼ, a recent study of intellectual history where one can see Philosophy as giving birth in the seventeenth century to Natural Science, in the eighteenth century to Psychology, and in the nineteenth century to Sociology and Linguistics; while in the twentieth century it has played a large part in the development of Computer Science, Cognitive Science and research into Artificial Intelligence. No doubt it oversimplifies the role of philosophical reflection, but it does not much exaggerate it, because in effect Philosophy consists in enquiry into something not yet well understood to constitute a self-standing branch of knowledge. When the right questions and the right methods for answering them have been identified, the field of enquiry in question becomes an independent pursuit. The journal makes an attempt to present such initiatives of philosophical exercises in dynamic ways through different papers. Brief outlines of those have been presented here.
Raghunath Ghosh in his paper, „Some Ethical Issues Of Jurisprudence: An Indian Approach‟ observes that the main purpose of the Indian Judicial System is to provide justice to the people who are deprived of the same. This motto of the legal system is symbolized through the idol of a lady with a balancing rod in hand and having eyes closed with black tape in front of the Judges, picture of Gandhi in the court premise and a line behind it quoted from Indian tradition - Satyameva Jayate. Prof. Ghosh makes an attempt to find out what is presumed from the above set-up in the court premise. He argues that if justice is to be taken in the sense of balance where there is no partiality and no favoritism and if this view is taken as true in the field of jurisprudence, it gives rise to much philosophical questions. He analyses all these in detail in his paper.
Md. Sirajul Islam, in his paper, „Possibility and relevance of Universal Religion: as Envisaged by Swami Vivekananda‟ has tried to establish that Swami Vivekananda‟s universalistic approach of religion is beyond any sectarian division. He feels that his quest for truth and unsurpassed love towards humanity is to be considered an inherent propensity of human being that elevates a man from beastly stage to the stage of humanity and ultimately of the state of Divinity.
The concept of ānvikṣiki vidyā is noticed in many pieces of ancient Indian literature while its exact nature is not specified clearly by its proponents. As such many scholars are of the opinion that enquiry into the nature of this vidyā is worth pursuing. Jyotish Chandra Basak in his paper, „Ānvikṣiki vidyā : An Enquiry Into Its Nature And Development‟ has tried to state the views of some scholars‟ about the nature and development of this vidyā as well as his own analysis in this respect.
Nirmal Kumar Roy in his paper,” Some Aspects Of Niṣkāmakarma: A Critical Study.” addresses some of the important problems regarding Niṣkāmakarma along with the logical solution to them. Through critical and skillful analysis, he ultimately finds replies to all the questions raised in respect of Niṣkāmakarma and comes to the conclusion that all those questions and problems raised are mainly due to lack of proper understanding of the same.
Prashant Shukla in his article “A Critical Exposition Of „Human Natureʼ In Kant‟s Perpetual Peace”, has tried to explain lucidly how „Human Nature‟ has been exposed in Immanuel Kant‟s 200 years old essay ʻPerpetual Peaceʼ. A detailed description of the grand vision for „World Peace‟ has been presented in that essay. Due credit is attributed to this seminal work on account of the lasting impact it made on Peace Studies, the conception of the United Nations and the realization of a new world-order based on everlasting peace. He stresses that the temporary conclusion is not about „What will be?‟ or „How it can be realized?‟, rather about „What ought to be?‟. The paper proposes to have a closer look on the notion that Nature, standing in for a divine providence, employs the very inclination that push people to make war, and guide them further towards eventual peace.
The issues and problems surrounding Descartes‟ Cogito have fascinated humans for many centuries. It has influenced all kinds of modern philosophy, as well as literature, art, social science, and religion. It was first introduced by Descartes, in his Discourse on Method which was published in French as Je pense, donc je suis (1637). The paper of Akoijam Thoibisana on “Re-Reading Descartes‟ Cogito: A Study ˮ seeks to bring out the most complicated debates of Descartes‟ cogito which otherwise is taken to be very simple, clear and distinct.
Anureema Bhattacharyya in her paper “The Unique Status of Meta-ethical Emotivism in Stevensonˮ makes an attempt to exhibit a comprehensive meta-ethical study in the tone of a non-cognitivist through establishing the entire pursuit in the most pragmatic setting of human social existence where exactly Ethics finds its expression. Hence, the uniqueness of such version of meta-ethical emotivism is thoroughly analyzed and justified in the paper.
Ngaleknao Ramthing‟s article “Morality As Categorical Imperative” attempts to foreground morality as a categorical imperative. For Kant the categorical imperative is the fundamental principle of morality grounded on the idea of autonomy. Kant believed that an action can only be morally worthy if it is performed in accordance with the categorical imperative, meaning, that it is performed out of a sense of duty to the moral law. The categorical imperative must be universally applicable to all autonomous beings. The author agrees with Kant that a principle which applies to all autonomous beings must be a categorical imperative based on universal law.
A Nobel Laureate, Nationalist, and Idealist, Rabindranath Tagore‟s literature portrayed female characters like Charulata, Kalyani, Binodini, Mrinal, Giribala etc. with spitfire personalities. In her paper “Progressive Females By Tagore: A Psycho-Philosophical Analysis”, Gitanjali Roy presents psychological hermeneutic perspectives of these characters for understanding the similarity and difference in the portrayal of females now and decades ago.
Among the Indian Philosophical systems, Sāṁkhya philosophy represents one of the oldest traditions. Like the other orthodox schools of Indian Philosophy, the Sāṁkhya system too considers liberation to be the highest goal of human life. According to the Sāṁkhya Philosophers, though liberation is nothing but the absolute cessation of the three-fold sufferings, yet it can only be attained through the realization of the discriminatory knowledge (vivekajñāna ) between the puruṣa and the prakṛti. Swagata Ghosh, in her paper “The Notion Of Bondage And Liberation In Sāṁkhya Philosophy : A Critical Study” has presented lucidly her observations through critical study of the subject.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the renowned academician and intellectual figure earned reputation not only in India but also globally. In her paper, “The Conception Of Philosophy and the East West Synthesis in S.Radhakrishnan: An Exploration”, Baishali Majumder has made an attempt to explore the various aspects of Radhakrishnan‟s concept of Philosophy and the East-West synthesis.
Amit Mondal in his paper, “Meanings and Development of The Idea of Compromise: A Political And Philosophical Discourse” attempts to demonstrate the different meanings of compromise and its connection with contractarianism and representationism. Keeping in mind the differences in the meanings of compromise across the ages and the differences in representation, he has tried to explain compromise in a comprehensive way. The paper also focuses on how the classical sense of „compromise‟ had undergone a sudden change from the early decades of the sixteenth century, and how the change persisted till the eighteenth century in European political and philosophical discourse
The article “An Assessment Of Radical, Liberal, And Contractarian Views On Sex Work” of Ankita Paul provides a comprehensive overview of the philosophical perspectives of radical, liberal, and contractarian views that try to address the phenomenon of sex work from a theoretical and context-sensitive approach. In her paper she demonstrates through discussions of these perspectives how sex workers are qualified as real workers and show that they also have control over their working life and, most importantly, are not always passive victims of patriarchy without voices.
The main contention of Avhijit Ghosh‟s paper “Mysticism: Wittgenstein And Advaita Vedānta.” is to explain the concept of mysticism with special reference to Wittgenstein and Advaita Vedānta. Thus in a sense, it is a comparative study in nature between Wittgenstein and Advaita Vedānta. The concept of mysticism is a tricky philosophical concept which leads to different philosophical interpretations. Mysticism occupies significant philosophical areas both in Wittgenstein as well as in Advaita Vedānta. Therefore, a contrast and comparison between Wittgenstein and Advaita Vedānta are worthy in philosophy. The paper makes a conscious effort to find the meeting point based on mystical aspects of Wittgenstein and Advaita Vedānta.
B. Ananda Sagar in his paper, “On Phenomenalism: A Critical Analysis” aims to analyze the theory of Phenomenalism and its basic assumptions in the philosophies of Berkeley, Russel and Ayer. He has also analyzed the way Phenomenalism and its sense-datum theory has been opposed by Austin and Strawson. His main argument is that Phenomenalism as a theory of reduction of the objects to sense-data can never be sustained because no such reduction is possible and we can never give up the conceptual system in which the material bodies and persons are primary particulars.
The article of Beauty Das, “Dynamics Of Reason: Its History and Development” is based on the idea that the Dynamics Of Reason can be illustrated employing a Historical analysis of the conception of reason. The article clearly shows the development of the conception by analyzing the viewpoints of different philosophers regarding this notion. It also spreads light on what role does a reason play to constitute human nature as well as to understand the nature of the world.
The Philosophy of Free Will is an old debate which like anything longstanding, has rehabilitated over time. Dr. Rajan‟s paper, “Free Will Debate: From Illusionism To Compatibilism.” aims at understanding the above very fact with three objectives: a) to introduce the Free Will problem as it exists in recent philosophical debates, (b) to explain how the idea of Free Will may be an illusion in the first place and (c) to speculate that critical conjectures on the same issue may help us to feel the matter to a great extent. With the above objectives, we are free to take the decisions in life in order to feel that human existence may worn out the existential nihilism, and subsequently may embrace meaningfulness.
The Bhagavadḡitā occupies the central place in the ethical history of Indian Philosophy. It is the quintessence of Hindu culture and the sum and substance of Indian philosophical theory and practice, metaphysics and ethics, religion, mysticism, tradition etc. For millions of people it is the gospel of truth, the message of divine life and an inspiring and stimulating ideal for the conduct of life. Anyone, in any social status, sex, religion or society, can desire practical guidance from it. Krishna Paul, in his article, “The Status Of The Ethical Theory Of Sriḿadbhagavadḡitā: A Critical Analysis” has discussed about the status of the ethical theory of Sriḿadbhagavadḡitā.
Sanchayaita Sen in her paper, “Nature Of Self-Awareness: Privacy And Beyond” has made an attempt to discuss whether the privacy of self-awareness is admissible or not, The paper contains two main sections. In section 1 she has discussed some plausible accounts about the nature of self-awareness where different layers of self are being accepted. In section 2 she has tried to discuss that there is a fragmentation in the structure of self-awareness.
Phenomenology which started as a movement is mostly identified with the name of Edmond Gustav Albrecht Husserl. Great thinkers like Martin Heidegger, Jean Paul Sartre, Maurice, Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricoeur and others were influenced by Husserl‟s thoughts. In one of Husserl‟s many books, named „Crisis‟, Husserl elaborates on the concept of the life-world. The main goal of Subhajit Dutta‟s article “The Notion Of Life-World In Husserl‟s Crisis: An Overview” is to comprehend the Husserlian interpretation of the notion of the life-world and its connectedness with the transcendental phenomenological project. This paper aims at particular focus to the lifeworld, the epoche of objective science and transcendental reduction.
In Indian Philosophy, we come across a long-standing burning controversy among the different philosophical schools regarding the supreme end of human life. All the philosophical schools excepting Cārvāka consider Mokṣa as the ultimate or supreme end of human life but the Cārvāka school recognizes Kāma or pleasure as the ultimate end of us. Sujan Mondal in his paper, “The Supreme End Of Human Life According To Cārvāka School: A Critical Study.” addresses this issue with utmost logical analysis and ultimately substantiates the Cārvāka view.