Gandhi & The Moral Life
At the turn of the century Gandhi is an important figure for moderns to understand not because he was a Mahatma but as a man who lived an authentic and effective moral life. The question is how can the Gandhian legacy be authentically articulated and recovered. It seems clear that Gandhi’s life and thought really rested on a dynamic unity of conception with politics, morality and religion being intimately interlinked. This unity was explained by and rested upon a basic moral vision. The volume attempts to disconceal that moral vision and its connection with the Indian tradition of thinking. It also attempts to make the contents of Gandhi’s moral conception philosophically available by raising and to some extent challenging the distinction between moral philosophy and moral practise, between ‘knowing’ and ‘having’ morality. As a part of this exercise two dimensions emerge in the work. The first uses the sources of literature by examining the portrayal of Gandhi in three Indian English novels, in order to aid ethical understanding. The second dimen-sion relates to making a comparison between Aristotle’s ethical theory as developed in the Nichomachean Ethics and Gandhi’s conception of morality. The purpose being to demonstrate the centrality of Gandhi for moral Philosophy and also the complete lack of justi-fication for his neglect by professional philosophers.
Bindu Puri has a Ph.D in Philosophy from the Delhi University on Gandhi’s Conception of Morality: a Philosophical Study. She is interestedin problems in moral philosophy and in culture studied and has been seriously engaged in attempts at articulating and recovering the Gandhian legacy. She has writtenpapers in professional journals and edited anthologies, around the same and related subjects. She has editedand contributed to a volume brought out by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla, entitled Mahatma Gandhi and His Contemporaries. She has an abiding interest in socio-political problems and has also attempted to relate Gandhiana to the current socio-political complexities in the country through her articles in the national dailies. Bindu puri teaches philosophy at Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi.
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