Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

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Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:32 pm

"We cannot live by ourselves in a world where aircraft and steamships, railways and telegraphs are linking all men together into a living whole. Our system of thought must act and react on the world progress. Stagnant systems, like pools, breed obnoxious growths, while flowing rivers constantly renew their waters from fresh springs of inspiration. There is nothing wrong in absorbing the culture of other peoples; only we must enhance, raise and purify the elements we take over, fuse them with  the best in our own. The right procedure regarding the fusing together of the different elements tossed from outside into the national crucible, is indicated in the writings of Gandhi and Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh and Bhagavan Das. In them we see the faint promise of a great future, some signs of a triumph over scholasticism, as well as a response to the discovery of a great culture." ...  Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy (Vol. 2), Oxford University Press, 1999 (First published 1923), P. 780 
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:13 pm

A number of comments (1-3) in Facebook by me, reproduced in the following, in a recent discussion on S. Radhakrishnan 

(1)  Dr. Radhakrishnan's two volumes on Indian philosophy (Vol. 1 & 2 by Oxford University Press) are good enough if you read them carefully and understand the content. I have a number of blogs on the Internet (Geocities and Sulekha etc.) on Indian philosophy covering different topics which were compiled from the material in his books. Radhakrishnan was thorough and extremely knowledgeable in philosophy, both Indian and Western, and had excellent command in the English language to author superb literary works in philosophy. Above all, he remained neutral during his writings, without showing any undue partiality to any particular thought, philosophy or philosopher, which gives the reader a good opportunity to make up his / her own mind and objective opinion after reading Radhakrishnan's books.  (Nov. 6, 2017)

(2)   The statements about S. Radhakrishnan having no knowledge about the western philosophy and philosophers are without basis. If you look carefully into Radhakrishnan's books on Indian philosophy (Vol. 1 & 2), he makes ample references to western philosophies and philosophers making comparisons and comments with corresponding Indian philosophies and philosophers. That clearly shows that Radhakrishnan had a thorough knowledge and understanding about the Western philosophies and philosophies. He did not write separate articles and books on western philosophies and philosophers, which probably gives some people the wrong idea that Radhakrishnan did not know about western philosophies and philosophers, but that certainly is not true. Moreover, the idea that Radhakrishnan is not relevant anymore and that he is not much in news these days as a philosopher and philosophy author, that is because people (including scholars and academics) have been in the past and still continue to use his books on philosophy, sometimes verbatim, to write their own articles and research papers without citing his name as reference. I have personally come across such philosophy articles by others.   (Nov. 7, 2017)  

(3)  Some of the names (cited in the statement, "He (i.e. Radhakrishnan) shows no knowledge of more rigorous recent work by Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Moore, Carnap, Vienna circle. Not even real study of Kant, Hegel etc.) became prominent as philosophers rather recently while even appearing on stage as philosophers as the contemporaries of Radhakrishnan (while he was still into philosophy) or later (pursuing political career as Vice President and President of India, etc.). Naturally, he can't be blamed if he did not comment or write extensively about them, including others before him from the West, considering his writings concentrated on Indian Philosophy and many names in the above from the West are rather recent and were not well known as great philosophers during his time. Thus his not writing and referencing, especially in great detail, about the relatively recent Western thinkers does not imply that he was lacking knowledge and understanding about philosophies and philosophers from the West (especially those before his time). His cross comments (as discussion, not simply as reference) about Western philosophies and philosophers in his writings on Indian philosophy are a proof that he had a great knowledge and understanding of both the Indian as well as the Western philosophies.  (Nov. 7, 2017)
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:24 am

A sample in the following paragraph from S. Radhakrishnan's book, showing detailed references to Western thinkers / philosophers during a discussion on 'higher wisdom and lower wisdom' in the chapter on the Advaita Vedanta of Samkara (Ref.: S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. 2, Oxford University Press, 1999 (First published 1923), footnote on p. 519-520).

Cp. Dr. McTaggart: "A mysticism which ignores the claims of the understanding would no doubt be doomed. None ever went about to break logic, but in the end logic broke him. But there is a mysticism which starts from the standpoint of the understanding and only departs from it in so far as that standpoint shows itself not to be ultimate, but to postulate something beyond itself. To transcend the lower is not to ignore it" (Hegelian Cosmology, p. 292). Spinoza draws a distinction between Ratio and Scientia Intuitiva. He believes in three kinds of knowledge: (1) That due to imagination which gives mere options. To it belong all inadequate and confused ideas. It is also the source of erroneous knowledge. (2) Reason which gives us common notions and the knowledge of science, which tries to " understand the agreements, differences and contrasts of things" (Ethics, vol. ii, p. 29, Scholium). While Imagination accounts for the content of the average uninstructed man's thinking, Reason is responsible for the systematic knowledge of the man of science. (3) Intuition involves the exercise of philosophic genius, artistic insight and creation. Its object is individual. However, Samkara reminds us most among European thinkers of Plato. Both were great spiritual realists who synthesised the main tendencies of the past in their own thoughts. Both distinguished knowledge into two kinds, higher and lower, the former referring to the ultimate truth or the ideal good, the latter to the world of shadows. Admitting that reality lies far behind the surface appearances, both tell us that it can be grasped by a complete withdrawal of the soul into its own self. Both believe in intuition which gives us the transcendent vision of reality.
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by garam_kuta on Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:06 am

Seva Lamberdar wrote:A sample in the following paragraph from S. Radhakrishnan's book, showing detailed references to Western thinkers / philosophers during a discussion on 'higher wisdom and lower wisdom' in the chapter on the Advaita Vedanta of Samkara (Ref.: S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. 2, Oxford University Press, 1999 (First published 1923), footnote on p. 519-520).

Cp. Dr. McTaggart: "A mysticism which ignores the claims of the understanding would no doubt be doomed. None ever went about to break logic, but in the end logic broke him. But there is a mysticism which starts from the standpoint of the understanding and only departs from it in so far as that standpoint shows itself not to be ultimate, but to postulate something beyond itself. To transcend the lower is not to ignore it" (Hegelian Cosmology, p. 292). Spinoza draws a distinction between Ratio and Scientia Intuitiva. He believes in three kinds of knowledge: (1) That due to imagination which gives mere options. To it belong all inadequate and confused ideas. It is also the source of erroneous knowledge. (2) Reason which gives us common notions and the knowledge of science, which tries to " understand the agreements, differences and contrasts of things" (Ethics, vol. ii, p. 29, Scholium). While Imagination accounts for the content of the average uninstructed man's thinking, Reason is responsible for the systematic knowledge of the man of science. (3) Intuition involves the exercise of philosophic genius, artistic insight and creation. Its object is individual. However, Samkara reminds us most among European thinkers of Plato. Both were great spiritual realists who synthesised the main tendencies of the past in their own thoughts. Both distinguished knowledge into two kinds, higher and lower, the former referring to the ultimate truth or the ideal good, the latter to the world of shadows. Admitting that reality lies far behind the surface appearances, both tell us that it can be grasped by a complete withdrawal of the soul into its own self. Both believe in intuition which gives us the transcendent vision of reality.

In this context, where does sadhguru stand?

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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:35 pm

Two more examples in the following on S. Radhakrishnan's cross-referencing the Western (European, Greeks etc.) philosophies, philosophers and thinkers in his books on Indian philosophy.

(1) Dravya and guna of the Vaisesika (Indian philosophy of Atomistic Pluralism) correspond to Aristotle's substance and quality. Aristotle's quantity is brought under guna. Relations are of two kinds: external, like conjunction (samyoga), or internal, like inherence (samvaya). The first is regarded as a quality and the second is made a separate category. The remaining categories fall under relation, while time and space are taken as independent substances. Activity is karma, while passivity is only the absence of activity. Property may be either general or particular. Disposition is a quality. If Aristotle had proceeded on a definite principle, he would have argued thus: Things possessing qualities, either permanent or temporary, exist in relations of time and space bound together with other things in a network of reciprocal relations, and in that case substance, quality, action and relation would be the main heads. The defective character of Aristotle's analysis was noticed by the Stoics and Neo-Platonists, Kant, who thinks that Aristotle simply jotted down the categories as they occurred to him, and Hegel, who observes that Aristotle threw them together anyhow. Mill rather contemptuously remarks that Aristotle's list "is like a division of animals into men, quadrupeds, horses, asses and ponies." (Ref.:S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. 2, Oxford University Press, 1999 (First published 1923), footnote on p. 185-186 on Categories in the chapter Atomistic Pluraralism of Vaisesika)

(2) The Samkhya view of prakrti is different from the view of nature popularised by Huxley in his Romanes Lecture or by Hardy's lines: ".... Some vast Imbecility, Mighty to build and blend, But Impotent to tend. .. An Automaton, Unconscious of our pains."(Ref.:S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. 2, Oxford University Press, 1999 (First published 1923), footnote on p. 288 on Purusa And Prakrti in the chapter The Samkhya System)
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:13 am

Incidentally, these cross-referencing citations, in the above and previous comments, are much more than the instances of mere journalism, provided someone reads the book on philosophy by Radhakrishnan, especially its chapters to which these citations relate. Moreover, these citations were meant only as examples to show that Radhakrishnan did not sit in vacuum while writing books on Indian philosophy with knowledge and sources about India and Indian philosophy alone, but he also was quite well-versed about Western thinkers and their ideas and he could compare and contrast with them effectively using his knowledge in Indian philosophy and philosophers. That certainly implies a high degree of academic scholarship on his part.

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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:00 pm

garam_kuta wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:A sample in the following paragraph from S. Radhakrishnan's book, showing detailed references to Western thinkers / philosophers during a discussion on 'higher wisdom and lower wisdom' in the chapter on the Advaita Vedanta of Samkara (Ref.: S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. 2, Oxford University Press, 1999 (First published 1923), footnote on p. 519-520).

Cp. Dr. McTaggart: "A mysticism which ignores the claims of the understanding would no doubt be doomed. None ever went about to break logic, but in the end logic broke him. But there is a mysticism which starts from the standpoint of the understanding and only departs from it in so far as that standpoint shows itself not to be ultimate, but to postulate something beyond itself. To transcend the lower is not to ignore it" (Hegelian Cosmology, p. 292). Spinoza draws a distinction between Ratio and Scientia Intuitiva. He believes in three kinds of knowledge: (1) That due to imagination which gives mere options. To it belong all inadequate and confused ideas. It is also the source of erroneous knowledge. (2) Reason which gives us common notions and the knowledge of science, which tries to " understand the agreements, differences and contrasts of things" (Ethics, vol. ii, p. 29, Scholium). While Imagination accounts for the content of the average uninstructed man's thinking, Reason is responsible for the systematic knowledge of the man of science. (3) Intuition involves the exercise of philosophic genius, artistic insight and creation. Its object is individual. However, Samkara reminds us most among European thinkers of Plato. Both were great spiritual realists who synthesised the main tendencies of the past in their own thoughts. Both distinguished knowledge into two kinds, higher and lower, the former referring to the ultimate truth or the ideal good, the latter to the world of shadows. Admitting that reality lies far behind the surface appearances, both tell us that it can be grasped by a complete withdrawal of the soul into its own self. Both believe in intuition which gives us the transcendent vision of reality.

In this context, where does sadhguru stand?
There guys (gurus, swamis, babas etc.) are religio-spiritual guides, and not philosophers or "darshnics".
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:43 pm

The comments related to S. Radhakrishnan as a great scholar of Indian and Western philosophies in the above were posted by me (as Subhash C. Sharma) originally in the Facebook discussion on 'The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy' -- https://www.facebook.com/nirmalangshu.mukherji/posts/10154820025776761?comment_id=10154826345376761
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:23 am

Incidentally, there seems to be little evidence to support the claim in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarvepalli_Radhakrishnan) about Vivekananda or his works influencing S. Radhakrishnan's interest and experience ("His (S. Radhakrishnan's) specific interest in experience can be traced back to the works of William James (1842– 1910), Francis Herbert Bradley (1846–1924), Henri Bergson (1859–1941), and Friedrich von Hügel (1852–1925), and to Vivekananda."), considering especially that S. Radhakrishnan made no mention or reference to Vivekananda, in terms of philosophy or otherwise (not even in the sense he referred in his works to Gandhi, Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh and Bhagwan Das, as indicated earlier) in his most significant literary works (Indian Philosophy by S. Radhakrishnan, Vols. 1 & 2, Oxford University Press).
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by TruthSeeker on Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:17 am

" while flowing rivers constantly renew their waters from fresh springs of inspiration."




Translation for Hindi Challenged: http://www.filmyquotes.com/songs/1682





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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:56 pm

In response to the following comment on S, Radhakrishnan by Sumantran Ray on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nirmalangshu.mukherji/posts/10154820025776761)

"Sumantran Ray[/url]: Respected Sirs, with due respect to the mentioned author--Dr.Radhakrishnan , we wish to assert that there are other Critically Acclaimed Authors of Indian Philosophy. Prof. Surendranath Dasgupta, M.Hiriyanna, Jadunath Sinha etc. 1. Surendranath Dasgupta authored multi-volume History of Indian Philosophy drawing from original sources in multiple languages. 2. Dr.Radhakrishnan has been considered by some critics to have Hindu idealist (Brahminical) bias .According to Dr.Raghuramraju, Radhakrishnan's treatment of Buddhism show his Hindu idealist proclivities. 3. While appealing to facts, it may be noted that Dr.Radhakrishnan faced serious academic misconduct charges of plagiarizing from his distinguished student Dr.Jadunath Sinha .[Source: https://roundtableindia.co.in/index.php... ] 
[ Source:googleweblight.com/i?u=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surendranath_Dasgupta&grqid=gsGKghT0 ]
Originally Dasguptas plan was to write out the history of Indian systems of thought in one volume. Therefore, he tried to condense the materials available within the compass of one book. But as he went on collecting materials from all parts of India, a huge mass of published and unpublished texts came to light, and the plan of the work enlarged more and more as he tried to utilise them.
This was the first and only attempt to write out in a systematic manner a history of Indian thought directly from the original sources in Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit. In a work of the fourteenth century A.D., the Sarva-darsana-samgraha of Madhavacarya, we find a minor attempt to give a survey of the different philosophical schools of India."


>>> my two responses (dated: Dec. 17, 2017) to the above on Facebook are listed below.

(1) Subhash C Sharma: Any accusations against S. Radhakrishnan plagiarizing others' works as his own, especially those of his students, are moronic and imply the accusers not having read S. Radhakrishnan's books on philosophy (Vol. 1 & 2, Oxford University Press). These baseless charges are just a case of some intellectually dishonest nutcase(s) trying to bring down and taint the stellar reputation of S. Radhakrishnan, who undoubtedly was one of the greatest scholar and author in philosophy India ever produced.[/size]

(2)Subhash C Sharma: As for another baseless accusation in the above (S. Ray's post) about S. Radhakrishnan's idealist (Brahminical) bias, that is a typical ignorance about Brahmins and Sanskrit,   http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/sanskrit_sruti.html
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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by TruthSeeker on Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:19 pm

Hi Seva - I read your original post, as an American, not as an Indian.

My first thoughts?

1. Were folks in 1940s of India, so colonized as to speak complicated English? I mean - I see this in erudite SIs as well - the inclination to exhibit mastery over English as a language rather than conveying the message to masses. 

2. Very unlike Kabir, who realized, understood, complicated concepts about life, and then had the ability to reproduce them in simple words for common man to understand. Just like how Buffett explains financial world vs. MBA Wall St analysts.

3. I never knew that Dr. Radhakrishnan preferred English vocabulary over simplified conveyance of message.

English driven colonized mindset has damaged a far superior civilization of India,
TS.

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Re: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's insightful statement about philosophy and culture

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:36 am

TruthSeeker wrote:Hi Seva - I read your original post, as an American, not as an Indian.

My first thoughts?

1. Were folks in 1940s of India, so colonized as to speak complicated English? I mean - I see this in erudite SIs as well - the inclination to exhibit mastery over English as a language rather than conveying the message to masses. 

2. Very unlike Kabir, who realized, understood, complicated concepts about life, and then had the ability to reproduce them in simple words for common man to understand. Just like how Buffett explains financial world vs. MBA Wall St analysts.

3. I never knew that Dr. Radhakrishnan preferred English vocabulary over simplified conveyance of message.

English driven colonized mindset has damaged a far superior civilization of India,
TS.
TS,

1. There is nothing wrong in flaunting it if a person got it, including the use of superior / better language (English).

2, 3. Kabir was conveying the common sense messages on better living to the masses in ordinary lingo, whereas Radhakrishnan lectured on philosophies at the great institutions of learning and had to speak and write in perfect English.
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