Seminar: ‘Philosophy in India’ or ‘Indian philosophy’: Some Post-Colonial Questions

Seminar: ‘Philosophy in India’ or ‘Indian philosophy’: Some Post-Colonial Questions by Prof. Bhagat Oinam



      Mode of philosophising in post-colonial India is deeply influenced by the two centuries of British rule (1757–1947), wherein popular divide emerged between doing classical Indian philosophy and Western philosophy. However, a closer look reveals that the divide is not exclusive, but there are several crisscross modes of philosophizing shaped by the forces of colonialism and nationalist consciousness. Contemporary challenges lie in raising new philosophical questions relevant to our time keeping in view both what has been inherited and what has been imbibed in these centuries-old civilizational journeys. There is need to recognizeIndia’s rich intellectual traditions based on cultural diversity, and also at the same time raising fundamental questions that are transcendental in nature yet historically rooted in our temporal presence. The challenge toarticulate the nature of Indian philosophy (as anviksiki or darsana) has remained one of the daunting tasks of philosophy scholars. Contemporariness of Indian philosophy is another issue to be deliberated. Contemporariness lies not only in raising new questions to classical Indian philosophies, but also find newness in old questions. It should further include engaging the classical philosophies with new methodological questions, be it from western philosophical methods or internally generated. Contemporariness will include narrating new stories driven by the dynamics of the present where drive for questioning comes with authentic philosophical issues from our time.


   Bhagat Oinam is Professor of Philosophy at JNU, New Delhi. In addition, he is Concurrent Faculty at North East India Studies Programme, JNU. His areas of interest are ethics, social and cultural philosophy, existentialism and phenomenology, and contemporary Indian philosophy. Apart from these, he takes keen interest in intellectual discourses related to North East India. His co-edited volume on---Perspectives on Manipuri Culture---under the multi-volume series History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization has been published recently (2017). His co-edited compendium---Northeast India: A Reader---first of its kind on Northeast India, will be published by Routledge, New York and London on 7 May 2018. 

Event Date: 
Thursday, 3 May 2018 - 3:00pm
Seminar Hall, Department of HSS
IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai