I. A Historical Perspective
problem of the proper handling of the diversity of knowledge systems
is being faced by human civilization for the very first time in its
Earlier, mankind has had some occasion to handle the diversity
of belief systems as such, whether these belief systems be
ideologies of the sacred (That is to say, religions) or secular ideologies
(such as Confucianism, Sthaviravadi Buddhism, Libertarianism, or Dialectical
Materialism). Broadly speaking, two trends have emerged in
the course of this handling. One
trend is represented by Islamic notions of infalliability and kufr
(the denial of this ideology amounts to ingratitude to God) or the
Marxist notions of ideological correctness and bad faith.
The other trend in the opposite direction is represented by
the Jaina notion of intellectual nonviolence (the key expressions
being anekānta, nyaya and syāt : reality being
inherently many-layered but its knowledge being one-sided, any knowledge-claim
is at best entitled to qualified assent) or the Europe Enlightenment
notion of tolerance. Later, impressed by the diversity of flora
and fauna and of languages in the rest of the world, the European
civilization invented the ‘comparative method’ and, having applied
it to botany, zoology, and philology, extended it to religion, literature,
and the arts, and finally, to philosophy, without quite realizing
the full implications of its extension from natural diversification
to ideological and intellectual diversification.
Until recently, however, mankind hasn’t had any in-depth experience
in the handling of the diversity of knowledge systems as such,
whether these knowledge systems are epistemic disciplines (such as
Euclid’s geometry, Bhrtṛhari’s
grammatical theory, or the Chinese science of botany) or technical
or useful disciplines (such as Pāṇini’s grammar and phonetics
or the Arabic horse lore or shipping lore). Civilizations freely ‘borrowed’
specific useful facts or skills or even specific fascinating insights
or attitudes and grafted these on to their ‘own’ knowledge system
without any hesitation or reservation.
(Thus, Yānānī medicine of the Islmaic civilization
is almost wholly made up of borrowals from Classical Greece, Yānān,
that is Ionia to the Arabs and Classical India, Ayurvedic treaties
being translated into Arabic. Venetian
merchants freely borrowed the Indian zero and the Papal whimpers fell
by the wayside.) But all the remains piecemeal borrowing. The
signal examples I human history of wholesale borrowing of knowledge
even involve borrowings from a conquered people by the conquerors
(thus, Romans from the Roman province of Greece, from 146 BC onwards,
or Mongol rulers from China from the time of Kublai Khan in 13th
But then came a loss of such cheerful innocence. The secularization
of European natural and moral philosophy into modern natural and human
sciences and of European mechanical and medical useful arts into modern
engineering and medicine was to erode this happy unselfconsciousness
about diverging knowledge systems.
There were also other factors contributing to the loss of innocence:
(a) European exposure to various non-European civilizations and the
eventual European hegemony of the Ecumene (that is, the known inhabited
world.) (b) the Semitic religious
habit, to be seen in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, of advancing
monopolistic belief suasions getting carried over into monopolistic
knowledge claims, (c) the initial lack of clarity in the distinction
between belief systems and knowledge systems (a case in the point
being Marxist ideology getting presented as a science.) (Note, incidentally, that the expression ‘human
sciences’ being used here comprises not only the canonical social
sciences of economics, sociology, and political science but also psychology,
anthropology, linguistics and others, and that the expression ‘European’
being used here is inclusive of European and societies in North America,
Australia and elsewhere.)
The loss of innocence in dealing with divergent knowledge claims
critically affected the handling of diversity botlr with and across the boundaries of European civilization.
In the history of modern European science, one finds it plausible
to use a terminology reminiscent of the history of religious or political
ideology. One could thus speak of schisms in certain cases. (Is anagenesis
entirely self-engendered, as Darwin said, or largely environment-engendered,
as Lamarck did? Does the cosmos
have a single center or many centers or none at all? Human beings
are alike in some respects but unlike one another in other respects
– are these resemblances and differences largely nature-made or largely
man-made?) But one could speak rather of mainstream revolutions in certain
cases. (Vitalism was discarded in organic chemistry, Evolutionism
replaced creationism in biology.)
And one could end up speaking only of marginalized heresies
in certain other cases. (Homoeopathic medicine seceded from mainstream
medical science.) The ‘paradigm
shifts’ I Thomas Kuhn’s account of the structure of revolutions in
European science sound painfully like disorderly gang wars rather
than orderly debates. Again,
in the history of European attitudes towards non-European knowledge
systems. Europeans self-consciously looked upon them
with fascination(how exotic the native lore is!), with hegemonic arrogance
(it is nothing but sheer superstition!) alternating with benevolent
indulgence (ethnic science offers some amazing-insights!), and, in
turn, in these post-modern times, with penitential recompense (how
could we possibly have ignored non-global or local science!). It is
as if Europeans often treat knowledge systems as belief systems.
It is as if Europeans often treat knowledge systems as belief
systems. A magnificent and trend-setting exception to
this sorry tale was Otto Böhtlingk’s quietly adopting the Pāṇinian
model when called upon to analyze a Siberian language, Yakut. Whitney’s carping criticism of clumsy Hindu
grammarians simply fell by the wayside of history.
Again, in the history of non-European attitudes towards European
knowledge systems, non-Europeans in their turn self-consciously looked
upon these with cultivated horror or indifference, or with abject
uncritical acceptance, or in these post-colonial times, with cultivated
nativistic hauteur. (Thus, Ayurveda and Acupuncture are no longer
seen as mere ancestral relics but ‘our’ still viable medical systems.)
Vishwanath Rajwade, the historian fro Maharashtra, and Krishna
Chandra Bhattacharya, the philosopher from Bengal, are some of the
exceptions for whom Western thinkers were no more and no less than
colleagues across the seas. When it comes to the attitudes of the Indian
intelligentsia towards non-dominant knowledge systems of women, lower
castes, and tribes one sees a somewhat comic reprise of the treatment
dished out by Europeans to traditional Indian knowledge, one sees
the attitudes of fascination, arrogance, indulgence, and penitential
recompense by turns!
It will be readily seen, therefore, that a simple uncritical
distinction between global and local knowledge systems may turn out
to be problematic if not questionable even in these globalizing times.
An interrogation is certainly in order.
It is the responsibility, then, of the contemporary generation
to work out the appropriate strategies for handling the diversity
of epistemic and technical knowledge systems of the ecumene of today.
To summarize the argument so far, mankind has been handling
diversity of belief systems for quite some time, it has done so either
dogmatically or tolerantly. Faced
with the diversity of knowledge systems, however, people responded
with a certain innocence in the past but lately with a far from innocent
self-consciousness after the emergence of European secularization
of natural and moral philosophy and hegemony of the known inhabited
world. A historical perspective
thus reveals the dubious character of any proposed distinction today
between global and local knowledge systems.
II. The Question of Political-Economic
Now that the problem of knowledge system diversity is being
squarely faced for the first time in human history, one certainly
needs to look into the considerations of political attitude or economic
exigency that are liable to enter into the selection, whether appropriate
or not, of strategies for handling the problem.
An improper handling of this diversity has been motivated in
the past by notions of the civilizing and globalizing mission of Europe. The civilizing mission was naturally defined I Graeco-Roman and
Judaeo-Christian terms, and the globalizing mission in Roman-Catholic
and Roman-Imperial terms. Just
as the Islamic civilization never forgave India for her passive resistance
(refusing to be swamped by Islam the way Egypt or Persia were swamped),
so did the European civilization find it impossible to forgive Indian
for offering a civilization that just had to be taken seriously (any
arrogance or even patronizing beginning to sound unmistakably ridiculous).
A more respectful handling of this diversity in these post-modern
times has been motivate by political correctitude (which is the 1968
descendent of the ‘ideological correctness’ of Marxist vintage.)
Motivation, however, is not justification.
Consideration of political exigency (such as the post-colonial
North-South ambience) or even of political attitude (such as extending
power-sharing to the sharing of knowledge-as-power) are essentially
irrelevant to the selection of appropriate strategies for the handling
of knowledge diversity. True, improper handling is often traceable
to wrong-minded attitudes and proper handling to well intentioned
attitudes. But such unhappy or happy circumstance is no help in identifying
what is proper and what is improper in handling knowledge diversity.
Convincing arguments for such discrimination have to be looked for
This is even clearer as we turn from political attitudes to
economic exigencies. Improper
handling of this diversity has been motivate in the past by considerations
of economic exploitation of non-European peoples as ready sources
of raw materials, trainable labour, and captive markets.
Thus, the ‘native’ textile technology of India was an obstacle
rather than as asset to the newly mechanized textile industry of Britain. But then the contemporary trend towards a more
‘enlightened’ handling that reserves a corner of the market for ‘ethnic’
textiles may equally be motivated by the very same economic considerations.
Enlightened self-interest is still self-interest, only being
more adaptive to the contemporary global North-South set-up than the
more old-fashioned rapacious self-interest would be.
What about the economic and political considerations brought
into play by globalization? A
clearer understanding of the process globalization and its historical
roots is called for at this point in our argument.
The revolution of intensive riverine agriculture in ancient
Egypt and elsewhere led to the accumulation of surplus goods and the
acquisition of surplus land and labour through land conquest and labour
migration. This led to the
rise of extensive civilization out of local cultures and of large
empires out of local principalities and republics. This as well as mercantile and adventurist
explorations together led to the gradual enlargement of the ecumene. This in turn created a favourable milieu for
proselytizing ideologies (such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, or
Marxism), and for the widespread acceptance of classical languages
and literatures (such as Sanskrit, Greek, Chinese, Arabic and others). The European hegemony of the Ecumene (complete by mid-19th
c) facilitated the ecumene-wide adoption of modern science and technology
and of the notions of public instruction and constitutional government
(howsoever etiolated these may be).
It also created conditions for the ready cosmopolitanism of
the cinematic art and of the communication media (whether linguistic,
audial, or visual). The current spurt in globalization is thus
only the latest phase of an age-long process.
Owing to a combination of certain circumstances, the drive
to export one’s surplus goods turned, around 1980, into a drive to
produce goods specifically for export in order to meet previously
identified local needs. This
was the Japanese policy of dochakucha (global localization),
that consists in adapting exported goods and services to changing
local needs and demands through advertising to changing marketed goods
and services. It will be seen,
therefore, that contemporary globalization is not by any means an
unanticipated upstart or a cunning manoeuvre and, more reassuringly,
that it has built into it mutually contrary tendencies, the tendency
seen in centralization, standardization, and co-ordination on the
one hand and the tendency seen in decentralization and encouragement
of variety and local initiative on the other hand.
The paradigm case is the progressive globalizing of language
(adopting and developing an insight from Otto Jespersen’s essay on
the dialect) : the gradual replacement of local idioms each imposing
a uniform pattern of cognition and communication on their users by
widely intelligible literacy languages that place a rich variety of
styles and vocabularies at the disposal of the speaker; listener who
is then invited to choose from among them in accordance with the needs
and inclinations. In Medieval
north India, for example, what were basically local or social idioms
(the Braj of Mathura, the Avadhi of Ayodhya, and the pilgrims’ contact
language of Varanasi) got assigned to religious modes (bhakti of Kṛṣṇa,
Rāma; and the abstract godhead respectively). A more problematic case is that of single-control production (patent,
copyright, demand preference) with widespread marketing. This may turn out to be exploitative rather
than protective in practice. Imposing
uniformity, Eurocentric or otherwise, in the name of globalization,
will indeed be a travesty of globalization as a truly understood historical
A proper handling of knowledge system diversity naturally presupposes
that one has correctly understood the diverging systems in the first
place, at least carefully studied and reconstructed them.
Sheer curiosity and fascination undoubtedly motivated Europeans
to undertake such study, which was often followed by comparative study,
pace Edward Said. But then
political and economic self-interest also came to motivate the study
of non-European cultures, belief systems, and knowledge systems in
all their particularity. Teams
of Orientalists, Africanists, and Americanists of earlier times and,
more recently, institutionalized ‘area studies’ offered useful inputs
to effective governance, effect exploitation, and yes, effective proselytization.
Political and economic consideration also affect the response
of various non-European civilizations to the study of knowledge systems. Thus, the doctrine of swadeshi in India got extended beyond the
boycotting of foreign goods to the revitalization of traditional Indian
knowledge systems, whether philosophical, scientific, technical, or
artistic. At this point, it
is worth recalling the controversy between the orientalists and the
occidentalists in the early 19th century India among British
policy-makers as well as among some Indian intellectuals in respect
of the content and the medium of public instruction.
The orientalists lost the battle but not completely so.
The new university-educated Indians espoused a combination
of occidental and oriental learning and gloried in their double heritage. In contemporary India, the controversy has
shifted from the content of education to the language medium of education. Macaulay’s dream of a generation of brown sahibs
is being fulfilled today to all appearances, at least in the professional,
administrative, and managerial cadres. To the intellectual, swadeshi no longer holds any appeal. The scientist, the technologists, or the thinker
does not argue in favour of giving primacy to ‘our’ tradition over
‘their’ tradition, but rather is slowly veering round to the doctrine
of swaraj rather than swadeshi. Let
us not be content to play second or third fiddle to the European initiative,
but rather let us feel free to draw upon both the European and the
Indian heritages and to seize the initiative where we can; and let
us in this way repay the intellectual debt we owe to the European
In sum, now that the problem of handling knowledge diversity
is being squarely faced by mankind, it is all the more important to
realize that political and economic considerations are legitimate
as motivators, but not as arguments in selecting the proper mode of
handling the diversity of knowledge systems. The tide of globalization offers both centralizing
and decentralizing, assimilative and variationist possibilities towards
the proper mode of handling diversity.
III. Ideological Considerations
The discussion so far is predicated on a rather sharply drawn
distinction between belief systems and knowledge systems, that is,
between religious and secular ideologies on the one hand and epistemic
and technical knowledge disciplines on the other hand.
Diversity is something ingrained in belief systems and so is
effort at persuasion. Knowledge is inherently uncomfortable with
diversity, it is content with just making the claim along with presenting
evidence by way of validation. Belief
of systems are ultimately made up of persuasive used statements and
mands; knowledge systems are ultimately made up of factively used
statements and mands.
Before we proceed further with the argument a terminological
digression is in order. In
the course of their use, sentences exhibit both the functions of language,
namely, the communicative function and the cognitive function.
Language performs the communicative function of conveying mental
contents from sender to receiver and thus helping people to gain access
to social life and secure cooperation.
Language, at the same time, performs the cognitive function
of processing mental contents and thus helping people to gain access
to the world and feel at home in the environment that the world has
to offer. In performing the communicative function, sentences
take the shape of either statements or mands or language gestures.
(Language gestures comprise exclamations, greetings, abuses
or the like and need not detain us any further.)
Statements offer either reports, that is, observations of reality
(It is raining), or comments, that is, observations of reality (Rain
was untimely). Statements are supposed to fit reality or else stand rejected as
unsupported. In the course of communication, if statements chiefly
call for their actual fulfillment in reality, they are being used
factively, but if they chiefly call for the acceptance of the report
or comment, they are being used persuasively.
Mands are distinct from statements; imperatives, wishes, alls
for attention, and questions are all mands.
Mands stake either a claim from reality by way of a demand
(Rain, rain, go to Spain!) or a claim on reality by way of a recommendation
(If only it rains!). Reality
is supposed to fit mands or else stands rejected as unsupportive.
Mands too can be used factively or persuasively in the course
of communication; if they chiefly call for the acceptance of the demand
or recommendation, their use is persuasive.
To use a statement (or mand) factively is to take the stand
that, since one is offering the right description (or prescription)
that is being supported by reality, its suasion, that is, acceptance
by the addressee can take care of itself. On the other hand, to use a statement (or mand)
persuasively is to take the stand that, since one is offering the
ascription (or inscription) that is rightly being accepted by the
addressee, that is, effecting suasion, its validation in reality can
take care of itself. Knowledge
systems, whether epistemic disciplines or technical disciplines, are
on the whole content to offer statements or mands in factive use.
Belief systems, whether religious ideologies or secular ideologies,
are on the whole intent on offering statements or mands in persuasive
This account of knowledge and belief systems should now be
of help to us in understanding how the two are distinct but not wholly
separable kinds of systems that offer an understanding of reality. True, knowledge systems are affected by ideological considerations
and belief systems are affected by factively considerations. On the whole, however, the two perform distinct
functions in the life of people.
Thus, when a certain group within a community establishes its
hegemony over other groups in political and economic terms, it tends
to consolidate its hegemony by getting the other groups to accept
not only its belief system but also its knowledge system.
That is what Antonio Gramsci’s argument was all about.
Again, when a certain community within the ecumene establishes
its hegemony over other communities in political and economic terms,
it tends to consolidate its hegemony by getting the other communities
to accept not only its belief system but also its knowledge system.
That is what the suspicions and reservations about any Eurocentric
proposal for globalization of knowledge that are so rampant in non-European
civilizations are all about.
One must not lose sight of the fact that ideological considerations
do not have equal weight in varying knowledge systems.
To begin with, one needs to differentiate between epistemic
and disciplines in which statements predominate and mands subserve
them and technical disciplines in which mands predominate and statements
subserve them. (Technical
disciplines include not only engineering and technology in the narrow
sense but also agriculture, animal husbandary, medicine, education,
the useful arts of management and communication, and so forth.)
Diversity of technical disciplines can be countenanced when
linked with diversity of natural environments and diversity of lifestyles. Farming systems in tropical and subtropical wet lands and in subtropical
and temperate semi-dry and dry lands are bound to differ. Even global plant science can profit from inputs
from local plant lore, but the latter cannot be expected to survive
competing plant science. But
then even farming systems may involve ideological considerations concerning
the whole relationship between mankind and natural environment. The use of inorganic fertilizers, organic manure, and ‘natural’
straw-mass are successively less invasive methods. Likewise, with successively less invasive methods of disease management
in medicine. Global Eurocentric
medicine is primarily a management of illness; deformity and injury,
and degeneration; the India medical system of Ayurveda is primarily
a way of health-maintenance. The
latter could certainly offer worthwhile ideological inputs to the
former, over and above specific remedies and therapies.
But then Ayurveda is already coming to terms with the disciplines
of anatomy and physiology proposed by the global Eurocentric epistemic
Further, one also needs to differentiate between two kinds
of epistemic disciplines, namely, natural sciences and human sciences.
In natural sciences, factively used statements (with subservient
mands) tend to exercise a fuller control over persuasively used statements
(with subservient mands). In
human sciences, the control is not so complete; ideological considerations
keep slanting factively used statements.
The underlying reason is not, as is often supposed, the greater
exactness and quantifiability of the former than of the latter. Exactness is not simply a mater of number-crunching so much as a
mater of logical rigour. Quantifiability
is not just a matter of calculability but also a mater of statistical
assessment of probability. Both
of these requirements enter into both groups of sciences. Again, the underlying reason is not, as is
often supposed, the greater scope for determinacy in the former and
contingency in the latter. Contingency
comes into play in natural sciences (chaos theory, evolution theory)
and determinacy in human science (regularity of sound change in linguistics
and the general equilibrium theory of Walras in economics).
Rather, the underlying reason for the difference between natural
sciences and human sciences is twofold.
Sciences vary from one another is respect of (a) the degree
of context-intrusion into events and objects under observation and
(b) the degree of observer- intrusion into the observation of and
on reality (inclusive of manipulative observation involving instrumentation
and experimentation). In both these respects, life sciences are intermediate
in character between physical sciences with their minimal context-intrusion
and observer-intrusion and human sciences with their maximal context-intrusion
and observer-intrusion. Physical
sciences, of course are not entirely free from context-intrusion (terrestrial
and cosmic space-time, micro-scale object-events and macro-scale object-events)
or observer intrusion (Heisenberg uncertainty, work in relation to
kinetic and potential energy, recoverable and ‘lost’ information-where
‘recoverable’ stands for being open to observer-interpretation of
space-transmitted or time-recorded messages whether natural, as with
spectroscope or carbon-dating or man-made, as with sending our/looking
for outer-space signals or leaving behind/looking for imprints and
other geological messages. In
human sciences, the context-intrusion amounts to the decisive presence
of natural and human history and geography and the observer-intrusion
amounts to the decisive presence of ascribed object properties and
event properties and corresponding relations along with purely describable
object-properties and corresponding relations (thus, phonemes weigh
more than phonetic facts, gender and conjugal relation mores weigh
more than the facts of human sex). (The biology of humans is of course a life
science and not a human science.)
In life sciences, of course, the picture is intermediate in
character. Given this peculiar state of affairs, ideological
considerations progressively weigh more as one moves from physical
sciences through life sciences to human sciences. Consequently, the proper handling of knowledge system diversity
is seen to be even more of a challenge than the proper handing of
belief system diversity.
In view of their close relationship with each other, knowledge
systems and belief systems are liable to be confused with each other. A knowledge system may be mistaken for a belief system (consider
Christian fundamentalist objections to Darwin). Alternatively, a belief system may be mistaken for a knowledge system
(Christian science is a case in points). The secularization of philosophy qualified it to be deemed a knowledge
system rather than a belief system or ideology, and yet Hegelian cosmology
and account of human history and its projection into future have come
to be looked upon by some as secular myths within a secular ideology. Together, knowledge and belief systems constitute
the worldview of human beings, and play connected though distinct
roles in human life. The two
shape each other and shape the worldview as a whole; the worldview
in its turn shapes the knowledge and belief systems encompassed by
In sum, while diversity and hopes to persuade are ingrained
in belief systems hopes to validate and the minimizing of diversity
are ingrained in knowledge systems.
Ideological considerations shape knowledge systems, technical
disciplines and human sciences more so than other knowledge disciplines.
Ideological considerations, therefore, influence our strategy
for handling knowledge diversity, but influencing the selection does
not amount to justifying its appropriateness.
Ideologies and knowledge disciplines operate within a human
IV. Philosophical Considerations
It should be clear by now how a historical perspective, political-economic
considerations, and ideological considerations all help us to understand
how knowledge system diversity can be a serious problem today, but
these cannot help us to find out what the appropriate strategy of
coping with the problem will be.
To this end, we need to do three things : (a) to understand
what knowledge systems are all about; (b) to distinguish between two
kinds of relationships between knowledge systems, namely, diversity
and complementarity, and (c) to set our possible alternate strategies
to the handling of diversity from which to make an intelligent choice.
We have already seen (at the end of section III) that belief
systems and knowledge systems together constitute the worldview of
human beings. Human beings interact with their environment.
They seek to cope with the environment, modifying it if need
be through their practices and procedures. At the same time, they seek to understand that
environment through their beliefs and their knowledge. The practices and procedures adopted by human
beings constitute their lifestyle.
The beliefs and knowledge accepted by human beings constitute
their worldview. The worldview
is naturally shaped by the lifestyle and the lifestyle by the worldview. The lifestyle and the worldview together shape
and are shaped by human life.
Human Life (as Interaction with Environment)
Coping with the Understanding
(organized into a (organized into
Informal Body of Informal Body of Beliefs Body of knowledge
Procedures (organized into (organized into
A Belief system) Knowledge System)
Religious and Epistemic and
Personal, Social, and
Systems in Perspective
Human lifestyle mediated by the personality
of the coping human being, by the society surrounding the person,
and by the culture modifying, enriching, or diminishing the coping
by the person. Human worldview mediates between the objects
and events (the object-events, for short) together with their properties
and relations on the one hand and the understanding subject equipped
with certain capacities and disposed along certain inclinations on
the other hand – in other words, between the incoming given and the
processor. The processing may be on-line and so relatively quick or off-line
and so relatively leisurely – in other words, belief-yielding and
(One may note in passing that language gestures, unlike statements
and mands, partake in the relevant personal, social, or cultural lifestyles
rather than any worldview as such.)
Being the outcome of relatively leisurely
processing, knowledge is more amenable to scrutiny and to systematizing
than belief is. The traditional
British definition of knowledge as justified belief is not wholly
satisfactory, but it certainly serves to underline the scrutiny-friendly
character of knowledge. Turning
to its system-friendly character, one has only to turn to the Continental
Europeans grappling with the two rival conceptions of truth – the
relatively unsophisticated correspondence conception of the truth
of a proposition or the reference of a term and the apparently more
sophisticated coherence conception of the truth of a proposition or
the reference of a term. A consideration of the complex systems of theory-laden
propositions and theory-laden terms from ideologies and sciences strengthened
the case for the coherence conception without quite detracting from
the down-to-earth appeal of the correspondence conception. A viable compromise was struck : in the case
of theory; laden propositions and terms, the correspondence to look
for was not between isolated propositions and terms and isolated facts
and object-evens. But rather
between coherent groups or systems of propositions and terms and system-contextualized
facts and object-events. (W.V.O.
Quine was of course the author of this compromise, though he may not
probably care to be so designated.)
Given this insight, scrutiny-friendliness consists in the amenability
of propositions and terms to derivation from relatively more primitive
propositions and terms. We propose to adopt this insight in our consideration
of knowledge and belief systems without losing sight of the permeability
of the boundaries of these systems to single propositions or single
terms. Indeed, in the course of history, knowledge
disciplines typically arise as a consolidation of what till then has
been little better than a knowledge aggregate : thus, star lore is
systematized into astronomy. Occasionally,
knowledge disciplines may degenerate into aggregates or, worse still,
into bricolage, to use Claude Lévi-Strauss’s term.
The astronomy underlying latter-day astrologies is often little
better than degenerate astronomy. Folk Ayurveda would be another example. Knowledge systems have typically been losing out by relying excessively
on correspondence (Ptolemy’s astronomy was so smug about its correct
identification of objects and predictions of events that it overlooked
the increasing incoherence of its epicycles on circular geocentric
orbits) or relying excessively on coherence (Freud’s psychology or
Marx’s political economy were so smug about the elegant coherence
of the apparatus of propositions and terms that they overlooked the
increasing untenability of the predictions and tenuousness of reference
of the terms.) System-friendliness and scrutiny-friendliness
are both important. Knowledge
systems need not be hermetically sealed, but they should not be utterly
porous either. Knowledge systems
need not hug the observational ground all the time, but then they
should not utterly take to the clouds either.
Any knowledge system has a certain anatomy : It comprises the
following components (with varying degrees of explicitness, to be
sure), namely, (a) a domain, (b) its treatment, and (c) the underlying
It has a furniture of objects and events, which are delineated either
through a set of concrete images or a set of abstract concepts or
some mixture of the two. In
terms of language, this turns out to be a set of names or nomenclature,
a set of terms or terminology, or a combination of names and terms,
and of course a syntax yielding epistemically well-formed statements
and mands. This component serves to set out adequately
the facts that constitute the domain of the knowledge system.
Setting out the facts adequately is setting them out exhaustively,
relevantly, precisely, and accurately.
A furniture of first and second order insights. The first-order collational insights set out,
for example, simple positive or negative correlations between object-events
of various sorts within certain domains, or more complicated functions
linking inputs and outputs of the processor. The second-order explicational insights offer
explications either through certain manifestations of potency or energy
or through certain interactions of forces.
The historically earlier of the two explicational
strategies invokes the notion of participation and operates from the
following principles : (i) The discrete and complex be traced to the
continuous and simple. (ii) The determinate be traced to the contingent. (iii) The apparent be traced to the potent,
whether immanent or transcendent.
later of the two explicational strategies invokes the notion of efficacy
and operates from the following principles : (i) The continuous and
complex be traced to the discrete and simple.
(ii) The contingent be traced to the determinate.
(iii) The apparent be traced to the interactive.
of language, this second component turns out to be a system of primitive
and derived sentences. The
sentences may be either statements with subservient mands or mands
with subservient statements.
component constitutes the heart of the knowledge system offering a
treatment of the domain.
(c) An apparatus of the practices and procedures
of discovery-making and claim-scrutinizing.
In terms of language, this turns out to be a set of mands setting
out the practices and procedures of knowledge-seekers and a set of
statements distinguishing between the presuppositions and the demonstrables
within the system. This component
constitutes the approach underlying the treatment of the domain
of the knowledge system.
A historical aside. The
separation of domain, treatment, and approach partially resembles
the three limbs of a discipline šāstra, namely, uddeša
(pointing out and attending to), lakṣaṇa
(characterizing), and parīkṣaṇa
(examining) in traditional India.
The separation of collational and explicational partially resembles
the differentiation between induction and abduction proposed by C.S.
Peirce. The disjunction of participation and efficacy
as explicational strategies broadly correspond to : (a) In classical
Greece, Plato’s methéxis (Phaedo) and Aristotle’s efficient
cause; (b) in traditional India, the satkārya-vādins
and their allies and the pariṇāma-vādins and
their allies; (c) in Modern Europe, the distinction between the primitive
mentality and the scientific mentality (looking for atom-like units,
predictabilities, and interactive vectors).
Mediaeval European scholars translated methéxis as participatio
in Latin, the term picked by Lucien Lévy-Bruhl and others in
describing the explicational strategy through manifestations of potency
that is associated with primitive mentality.
A knowledge system offers an understanding of some domain. What offers, then, an understanding of that
knowledge system? In other
words, how does one go about interpreting a knowledge system? Such as interpretation can be undertaken from various points of
It can be undertaken purely as a faithfully explicit record of the
three components of the knowledge system in question or alternatively
as an edited version designed to show of the knowledge system to the
best advantage. As Immanuel
Kant once put it not in a spirit of bravado but in a spirit of humility
(Critique of Pure Reason B 370), our job is to understand Plato
better than he understood himself.
This is interpretation amounting to a sympathetic elucidation
rather than a mere record.
The interpretation can be undertaken from an insider’s point of view
(the Verständnis as advocated by Dilthey, Weber, Schutz and others)
or from some stranger’s point of view (early European Orientalist
interpretations of Indian and other knowledge systems are a case in
point) or from the Archimedean point of view of a truly ‘neutral’
observer (this still remains a desideratum).
‘Neutral’ here means neutral as between human communities offering
their differing knowledge systems.
The interpretation may be undertaken so as to connect the knowledge
system to its historical motivation (Hellenic geometry can be understood
as a way of measuring land and traditional Indian astronomy as a way
of rightly timing a ritual) or its historical intention (early economics
was intended to show how ‘the invisible hand’ of demand and supply
worked better than any governmental intervention).
The interpretation may be undertaken so as to find out about the exact
status of the sub-systems recognized within some knowledge system.
Do these sub-systems merely offer treatments of the respective
subdomains within the over-all domain of that knowledge system?
(Frequency-wise segments within electromagnetic radiation within
the object-events of physics.) Alternatively, do those sub-systems offer respective
modes of treatment of the same sub-domain within the over all domain
of that knowledge system? (The
same sub-domain of zoology such as sleep, sex or locomotion is being
treated under the sub-systems of physiology, ethology, or ecology
operating within zoology.) Such an interpretation may serve to reveal
unresolved contradictions within a knowledge system. Such is liable to be the case, for example, when the knowledge system
attempts to syncretize two sources that are separated in space and
time or separated I space and time or separated in ideological motivation. Unresolved contradictions within a knowledge
system can be seen as knowledge diversity plaguing a knowledge system
as an incipient split into schools, or as unresolved tensions within
the historical motivation or the historical intent underlying the
Having attempted an understanding of what knowledge systems
are all about, let us now move on to distinguish diversity from complementarity
between connected knowledge systems. Two
knowledge systems may complement each other.
Thus, modern chemistry complements modern physics, physical
chemistry being the measure of that complementarity.
Traditional Indian medicine makes references to traditional
Indian astronomy or chemistry, Indian
medicine, Indian chemistry, and Indian poetics all use the term rasa
in similar ways by virtue of similar presuppositions concerning the
role of an active principle. (This last observation I owe to the late
D. K. Bedekar’s discussion of Indian poetics.)
This is complementarity and not diversity.
But then two knowledge systems may compete with each other. Thus, in Medieval Islamic civilization, the
classical Greek medicine and the traditional India medicine came to
be drawn upon at the same time. This
is diversity (between Greece and India) in action and not complementarity. The domain is approximately the same, but the
treatment or the approach or both diverge from each other. The notion of knowledge system diversity can
also be applied to major shifts within the same tradition. Physics before and after Newton and later,
before and after Einstein and Quantum Mechanics exemplify such diversity. The many schools of psychology, whether flourishing
simultaneously or not, also exhibit true diversity. It will be seen from these examples that knowledge
system diversity may exist across civilizations or within a single
civilization, across major historical periods or within a single period
: the problem presented in all such cases is essentially the same. Indeed there may sometimes be greater resemblance
between systems that are widely separated historically or geographically
than between systems not so separated. Medieval European medicine resembles Hellenic, Yunani and Ayurvedic
medicine far more than it resembles modern European medicine. All these pre-modern systems, for example,
recognize the rôle of an ‘active principle’ in a medication or recognize
the rôle of cosmic elements as ‘humours’ of some sort. Handling diversity between competing systems is quite different
from handling division between complementary systems : schools are
one thing but branches are quite another thing.
What now remains to be done is the setting out of possible
alternate strategies for the handling of diversity from which to make
an intelligent choice. The strategies available for handling diversity,
whether of belief or of knowledge, differ from each other in respect
of two crucial qúestions : (a) Should the system be bonded to the
specific sort of object-events to be understood?
Should knowledge system, for example, offer a treatment or
even an approach that is specific to the domain? If specific, how
relativized? If non-specific, how universal? (b) Should
the system be bonded to the understanding subject? Should a knowledge system, for example, offer a treatment or even
an approach that is specific to the knowing subject? If specific how relativized? If
non-specific how universal? Since
the knowing subject is also a living human being, the specificity
of the knowing subject is bonded to the personality, the society,
or the culture that define the lifestyle of that human being. Further, since the human being needs to have
some direct or indirect access to the knowledge domain, the problems,
mentioned earlier, of context-intrusion and observer-intrusion also
make themselves felt in all their complexity at this point.
The questions of domain-specificity and of human-subject-specificity
are of course correlated respectively to the cognitive function of
reality-fulfilment performed by a sentence, whether a statement or
a mand, and to the communicative function of acceptance-by-the-addressee
(or suasion, for short) performed by a sentence, whether used factively
or used persuasively.
Having first made a scrutiny of divergent knowledge systems
(or belief systems, as the case may be) one may then adopt, broadly
speaking, one of three alternate strategies, namely, (a) Anarchism,
(b) Absolutism and (c) Relativism. Anarchism takes the position that the domain-bondage
and the subject-bondage be maximal. Let the system be so selected that it is suited to the specific
body of object-events to be understood and suasive to the specific
body of object-events to be understood and suasive to the specific
body of understanding subjects. This
strategy often makes a virtue of being eclectic and ad hoc. The more the merrier, as it were. Absolutism takes the position that the domain-bondage
and the subject-bondage be minimal. Let the system be so selected that it is valid for the whole body
of object events and deserves to be suasive to the whole body of understanding
subjects. This strategy often
makes a virtue of being grandly comprehensive in coverage and dogmatically
orthodox, saying in effect that the selected knowledge-claim is alone
valid and deserving to be suasive and no other competing knowledge-claim. This strategy should and often does cheerfully accept the responsibility
of showing how the rejected knowledge-claims are in error and why
they are undeservedly suasive to the understanding subjects in spite
of making erroneous knowledge-claims.
Relativism takes the position that the domain-bondage be reduced
to the extent feasible or the subject-bondage be reduced to the extent
feasible or both. The strategy
often makes a virtue of being domain-wise flexible and subject-wise
liberal and thus equally shunning anarchism and absolutism. Relativism
certainly has a level-headed sanity about it that is missing in the
other two, but then Anarchism and Absolutism have a certain heady
daringness about them that is missing in the tepid middle position
It will be seen that anarchism is the most flexible and liberal
strategy and encourages exploration of alternative points of view,
that absolutism is the latest flexible and liberal strategy and encourages
resolution of all differences within some all-inclusive framework,
and that relativism occupies a middle position and encourages level-headed
Let us recall (the opening of section III) that belief systems
are on the whole hoping to offer persuasively used statements and
mands, but that knowledge systems are on the whole content to offer
factively used statements and mands.
Belief systems can afford to be more accommodative, more flexible
and liberal, but are often not so. (Religious or ideological dogmatism
is proverbial.) Knowledge
systems cannot countenance anarchism without abdicating their function
of making a reliable and successful understanding of the world available
to human beings engaged in the business of life; they cannot afford
to be accommodative, but are often so. (The way physicists lived comfortably
for a period with wave and particle theories of light and other electromagnetic
radiation is legendary. The qualification ‘for a period’ must not
of course be lost sight of.)
Having tackled the preliminary philosophical questions of the
character of knowledge systems, of their diversity and complementarity,
and of the available alternate strategies for handling diversity of
knowledge (and incidentally, also belief), we are now ready to address
ourselves to the main question : how to select the strategy appropriate
to the kind of knowledge systems in view? Some broad principles could be set out; for
each principle, other things shall of course remain equal.
Let us recall (from section III) that epistemic disciplines
give priority to statements over mands and technical disciplines to
mands over statements. Technical disciplines involve the living human
being not just as the knowing subject but also as the acting subject
aiming at the fulfillment of the mand: In consequence, technical
disciplines need to be more accommodative, more concerned with flexibility
in domain-bondage and liberality in subject-bondage than epistemic
disciplines need to be.
Let us recall from section (III) that physical sciences give
priority to factively used statements over persuasively used statements
to a higher degree than life sciences and human sciences and that
life sciences do so to a higher degree than human sciences. This is
by reason of progressively higher context-intrusion and subject-intrusion.
In consequence, there is progressively higher scope for
domain-wise of flexibility and subject-wise liberality as one moves
from physical sciences through life sciences to human sciences.
His principle of course applies to epistemic disciplines (such
as physics, biology, or anthropology) as well as technical disciplines
(such as engineering, medicine, or education).
Does this mean that Eurocentrism in human epistemic disciplines
such as psychology, sociology, or economics, for example, is excusable? If so, to what extent? Eurocentrism is certain excusable to the
extent that the accessibility of the human domain was mostly limited
to European persons, societies, or economies especially during the
formative phase in the history of these disciplines.
Have the knowledge-claims based on such limited exposure to
the domain ever been tested since then beyond European data? Even more damaging is the criticism, if historically borne out,
brought against Freud’s psychology that it was entirely based on Viennese
middle-class Jew patients? It
is more damaging because it is not just a question of imperfect access
to the human domain but also a question of the treatment of the domain
being permeated by observer-intrusion in terms of a circumscribed
lifestyle. Globalizing should be harnessed not only to overcoming
limited access to the human domain but also to overcoming parochialism
of treatment. Will an Indian
sociologist have free access to European society in the study of politically
‘sensitive’ sub-domains like discrimination based on ritual status?
A realistic answer in probably negative.
Will a European psychologist ever draw upon the ideas stored
in traditional Indian psychology?
A realistic answer is, again, probably negative.
Eurocentrism in global human science is too rampant for comfort. Should we then prefix the qualifier ‘so-called’ to the phrase global
human science’? If political
correctitude motivates European knowledge-seekers to be more intellectually
hospitable to non-European knowledge systems and to rid themselves
of any remnants of nativistic fervour, and if nativistic fervour motivates
non-European knowledge-seekers to resist firmly a wholly Eurocentric
globalization of knowledge systems, that is all to the good. But in
working out appropriate strategies for the handling of knowledge system
diversity, let philosophical considerations be our guide rather than
political correctitude, however well-intentioned, and nativistic fervour,
We have not brought into this complex picture formal knowledge
systems such as the epistemic disciplines of logic and mathematics
and the technical disciplines of rhetoric and statistics.
Formal epistemic disciplines are, paradoxically enough, anarchist
and absolutist at the same time.
Being free to choose definitions and axioms, they can afford
to be maximally flexible-liberal; being bound to follow rigorously
the consequences of their choice, they have to be minimally flexible-liberal.
Kindly permit me to share with you my suspicion that it is
this paradox that motivates and possibly underlies the controversy
as to the covenantal or real character of mathematical objects and
properties (say, the controversy between David Hilbert and Bertrand
Russell) or the controversy about the impossibility or possibility
of viable conceptual translation across knowledge systems (say, the
controversy between W.V.O. Quine and Donald Davidson).
Formal technical disciplines can be somewhat more accommodative
of both flexibility and liberality in a relativist fashion within
the limits set by their formal character.
We have also not brought into this complex picture philosophical
disciplines such as the epistemic disciplines of the philosophy of
reality and understanding or the philosophy of life and coping-with-life
and the technical disciplines of the philosophy of lifestyle-criticism
(such as the philosophy of moral action, political action, or artistic
creation) and the philosophy of belief systems (such as the philosophy
of religion, magic or secular ideologies). To begin with, the secularization of philosophy
in Classical Greece, Classical India, and Renaissance Europe has ensured
that there need be no confusion about philosophical disciplines being
knowledge systems rather than belief systems. F.H. Bradley’s bon
mot that philosophy is the finding of reasons for what one instinctively
believes was probably meant as a jibe but turns out really to be a
compliment. (In Britain, the term, ‘technical philosophy’ is sometimes
used for emphasizing that philosophy is being considered as a knowledge
system and not as a belief system. This British use should not of
course be confused with our proposal to separate epistemic and technical
disciplines in philosophy.) Unfortunately, the comparative study of philosophies
across the boundaries of civilizations is still in its infancy and
is plagued by the problem of translating abstract concepts and concrete
images, and by the European failure to verstehen non-European
philosophies. We have just seen the paradox about formal knowledge
systems and the underlying reason; philosophy probably shares the
paradox but the underlying reason is probably not the same for philosophy
being anarchist and absolutist at the same time.
In sum, human beings interact with their environment. Their worldview, made up of beliefs and knowledge, constitutes their
attempt to understand that environment. Their lifestyle, made up of
practices and procedures, constitutes their attempt to cope with that
environment, modifying it if need be Human lifestyle is mediated by
the personality, the society; and the culture associated with the
coping. A human worldview mediates between the objects
and events being understood (in terms of the properties and relations
thereof) and the understanding subject (given certain capacities and
dispositions of the subject).
Before one could suggest a proper mode for handling knowledge
system diversity, one needs to understand how knowledge systems operate
and how they function within human life. Two knowledge systems may
be no more than complementary branches within some larger domain or
they may offer treatments of broadly identical domains thus exhibiting
true diversity. Knowledge-seekers, like belief-holders, adopt alternative
strategies differing I object-wise flexibility and subject-wise liberality.
Philosophical considerations should help us in selecting a
strategy appropriate to the kind of system.
Other considerations, however well-intentioned, cannot really
help us; at best they can only motivate us.
Our immediate quest was to find out why we need to handle the
diversity of knowledge systems with particular care and how one could
go about doing so in the proper way and so avoid some of the improper
ways being proposed and canvassed lately. We have then come to the
end of the immediate quest.
But this is much more than a simple intellectual exercise. For what is at issue here is the responsibility
of the contemporary generation to work out the appropriate strategies
for handling the diversity of epistemic and technical knowledge systems
of the ecumene of today. In
what follows, therefore, we propose to do the following. We shall begin by taking up a concrete case
study, sketching and comparing two available knowledge systems of
comparable domains, comparable sophistication, and yet with quite
distinct presuppositions. By
watching such strategies for handling diversity in action, we could
reassure ourselves about the feasibility of such projects.
Finally, we shall move on to consider the prospects of a truly
humane globalization of human knowledge and to the ways we could go
THE PHILOSOPHERS’ RESPONSIBILITY
V. A Case Study
What we propose to do here is to sketch two divergent epistemic
knowledge systems with comparable domains and with treatments of comparable
sophistication which are widely separated in period and location.
Then we shall follow this up with a broad comparative assessment. The systems selected for this modest exercise
are traditional Indian psychology and contemporary European psychology.
The sketches, especially the first one, are in the nature of
an elucidative record in the spirit of Kant’s comment on understanding
Plato (cited in section IV), and are something of a consensual statement
that is largely confined to the furniture of objects and events.
In the account of traditional Indian psychology, the Sanskrit
terms are given at the first occurrence; their literal gloss in English
is also given parenthetically where this was deemed useful.
First, a sketch of the traditional Indian psychology (there
is no traditional name for the discipline any more than there was
one for the pre-modern European psychology).
Within the universe višva (all that there is ) or the human-world
jagat (that which keeps going) is placed the human-being manuṣya
a living-being jīva/prāṇin
among other species yonis.
The human being has a person deha/šarīra/kāyā that is a site adhikaraṇa/ālaya
of various operations kārya.
The two main sub-sites are the gross sthūla and
the subtle sūkṣma person. The person
is in contact saṁnikarṣa
with the rest of the world vastu (that which stays put). The operations basically form two flows : the
one initiated at the point of contact with the rest of the world is
the flow of cognition jnāna and the other terminating
at the point of contact with the rest of the world is the flow of
action karman (action is inclusive of doing something or making
The gross person has its own constituents aṅgas
(head, shoulders, etc.) ingredients dhātus. (bone, flesh,
etc.), and three operation systems, namely, the fluid system kapha
(phlegm), the heat system pitta (bilecholer), and the message
system vāta (wind).
The subtle person comprises its own faculties karaṇas
(instruments), outer and inner, with their respective operations.
The outer-faculties bāhya-karaṇas/indriyas
(Indra’s restive horses) comprise five cognition outer-faculties (of
sight and such) and five action outer-faculties (of handling and such). The cognition outer-faculties receive sensing
saṁvedana through the gross
person which in turn receives pre-sensing vedana from the rest-of
the world and the action outer-faculties transmit pre-effort ôeṣṭā
to the gross person which in turn transmits effort prayatna/vyavasāya
to the rest of the world.
effort pre- dispo
1 to 8 are incorporated in the body of the text.
Figure – 2
of Objects and Events in the domain of traditional Indian Psychology
The inner-faculties antaḥ-karaṇas
comprise the minding-faculty manas, the disposing-faculty citta,
the controlling-faculty buddhi, and the self-referral faculty
asmitā (am-ness)/ahaṁkāra (I-making). The inner-faculties have a cognition side and
an action side each.
The minding-faculty, on the cognition side, receives presentation
pratyakṣa (in-front-of eye)
from the cognition outer-faculty concerned and transmits awareness
bodha to the controlling-faculty.
On the action side, it receives decision nišcaya from
the controlling-faculty and transmits prefiguring saṁkalpa
to the action outer-faculty concerned.
Thus, the online processing initiated at the contact with the
rest-of-the-world comprises experience anubhava, that is, pre-sensing,
sensing, presentation and awareness and behaviour carṅaiācāra/vartana,
that is, decision, prefiguring, pre-effort, and effort, on the action
side, so terminating at the contact with the rest-of-the-world.
The disposing-faculty and the self-referral-faculty are engaged in
some of-line processing. The disposing-faculty receives and stores
from the life-span up to that point of time pūrva-āyuṣya/āyus
and transmits memory retrievals smṛtis
on the cognition side and dispositions cita-vṛtti
on the action side to the minding-faculty.
The self-referral-faculty monitors all processing and subjects
it to self-referral abhimāna for the benefit of the inner-self
The inner-self is that which all the subtle person faculties are faculties
of and which the gross person is the embodiment of. It is the seat
of consciousness saṁvitti/saṁjña.
A flow-chart will serve to render a quick overview of the main
objects and events of the domain of human psychology.
(See Figure 2.) The
notes that follow add some refinements and details.
Under refinements, for example, the main departures from the
consensual view by Yoga (as proposed by Patañjail), Lokāyata, Buddhist,
Jaina schools are set out. The
consensual view is mainly the achievement of Sāṁkya
school (as available in the kārikā. The numbers refer
to Figure 2.)
The rest of the world presents objects in contact artha, whether
objects-at-cognitive-contact viṣayas or objects-at-action-contact
The gross-person shares certain states with nonhuman species, namely,
hunger and thirst, lust and fear, swoon, and sleep.
The gross person presents five cognition organs šrotras, namely,
ears, eyes, skin, nose, and tongue transmitting their respective sensings,
namely, hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste; and five action organs
gātras, namely, hands, feet, speech apparatus, anus, and
procreative-urinary organ transmitting their respective efforts, namely,
handling, footing, speaking, defecation, and coition-urination. The
cognition and action organs correspond to the cognition outer faculties
with their respective sensings and to the action outer-faculties with
their respective pre-efforts.
Lokāyata does not accept belief in rebirth.
For the rest of the schools, which accept belief in rebirth,
the previous lifespan is inclusive of the previous embodiments.
Such inclusion serves to explain otherwise inexplicable retrievals
Most Upanishadic thought as also Yoga do not separate minding and
disposing faculties and name the minding and disposing faculty manas
and citta respectively.
Experience is typically figure-defined sa-vikalpa, but can
be figureless nir-vikalpa also, with pre-sensing, neonates,
non-human species, and certain kinds of trance.
Awareness can be awareness of thoughts vicāras
or emotions vikāras/bhāvas. Thoughts comprise present actions, minding-generated
figurings out vikalpas, and configurations kalpanas.
Emotions can feed into thoughts or prefigurings, emotions whether
stable or passing, are disposition-guided and directed to objects-in-contact. The cardinal emotions comprise pleasure-pain
sukha-duḥkha and attraction-repulsion
The over-all disposition šīla is shaped by impressions
The decision transmitted by the controlling faculty consists in the
sorting out viveka between right-wrong sāra-asāra
whether on the cognition side or on the action side) so that on the
cognitive side there is discovery pratyaya (reaching) and on
the action side there is intention uddešya (reaching-out).
In so far as some of the decisions of the controlling faclty
involve some sort of a leap, they are attributed to a special aspect
of the controlling faculty: high-cognition prajṇā
underlies such discoveries and high-prefiguring pratibhā
(in-front-shining) underlies such intentions (whether of doing something
or making something).
Most Upanishadic thought as alsoYoga, and Buddhist thought do not
separate controlling and self-referral faculties and name the controlling
and self referral vijñāna. The self-referral transmitted
consists in the sorting out viveka between pertaining to self
sva and pertaining to other para.
Lokāyata does not accept the separation of any inner self from
the person and speaks of person-as-self dehtāman.
Buddhist and Jaina thought does not recognize any gross-body-outlasting
inner self but speaks only of an individual place-time-holder pudgala/ālaya/saṁtāna
that is susceptible to rebirth. Sāṁkhya
and others accept the inner self that is susceptible to rebirth. The inner-self (or its counterpart in another
school kārana-šanra) is susceptible to certain distinct
aspects : knower jnātṛ and agent kartṛ
aspects in respect of interaction with the res’ of the world, being-awake
jāgarti, dreaming svapna; dreamless sleep suṣupti,
and possibly trance samādhi (bringing-together) states
avasthā in respect of consciousness; and detached taṭastha/alipta
andinvolved lipta aspects in respect of self-referral. (There may be differences in view over the
possibility of combinations. Thus,
Bhagavadgītā in expounding its belief-system accepts
detached action as a possibility but Sāṁkhya does not.) Buddhists accept consciousness, but do not accept faculties of inner
self as there is no inner-self to speak of but do not accept faculties
of inner self as there is no inner-self to speak of, but they accept
bundles of operations skandhas.
Some Upanishadic thought accepts inner self along with its
layered sheaths košas. The broad correspondences between the
Upanishadic, the Buddhist and the mainstream thought can be set out
The gross person
The subtle person
Note that under the faculties, Yoga conflates minding and disposing
faculties into citta and controlling and self-referral faculties
It is to be noted that in Notes 3, 4, 7 and especially 8 we
have indulged in an exercise in what is admittedly imperfect cognitive
translation across the Indian schools to do some justice to the fact
that traditional Indian Psychology is not a monolithic product but
a productive process of understanding embedded in more than one worldview
and evolving over a long period (circa 8th century BC to
8th century CE).
A word of elucidation will be useful at this point in respect
of the impact of the two logically distinct but historically closely
associated beliefs, namely, the belief in rebirth punar-janma
and the belief in fruit-of-action karma-phala. These appeared
on the Indian scene after the Vedic period and before the period of
intellectual ferment that produced Upanishadic, Sāṁkhya,
Jaina, Buddhist, and Lokāyata thought (around 8th-4th
c BC). It is plausible to
see the beliefs not as some strange and peculiar elements in a certain
ideology but as extrapolations from certain reasonable-sounding observations
on the following lines. (I
owe the basic insight to Linda Hess, writing on Kabīr.)
On the one hand, one’s thoughts and emotions (recall note 5
to figure 2) condition one’s actions and so one’s actions are a comment
on the validity of one’s thoughts and actions. But then, on the other
hand, one’s actions need not remain dormant but go on to condition
one’s subsequent thoughts and actions. This creates a causal feedback loop, as it
were. One gets to be what
one has done just as one gets to do what one has come to be. Such is the unbroken round-of-life saṁsāra,
as one may observe.
Given the round of life, some may come to believe in the round
of rebirth. Because one was born, one will die. By analogy, because one has died, one will
be born again unless something interrupts the round of life. (Compare the notion of rites of passage that
make one born-again and the notion of life after death which are available
in Indian and certain other belief systems.)
Again, given the round of life, some may come to believe in
fruit of action. One’s previous/life’s actions will have conditioned
one’s present life and one’s present life will condition one’s future
of life’s actions. so much
so, that there is hardly any circumstance in life that is not traceable
to some previous action and hardly any thought or emotion that is
liable to condition one’s life’s actions that is not traceable to
one’s past actions. (Compare the notion of action leading to reward/punishment
and these in turn affecting future action and the notion of one’s
mode of work and social interaction leading to one’s mode of thought
and emotion, which are available in certain non-Indian belief systems.)
the point of the foregoing intervention is to show how traditional
Indian psychology does not presuppose either the belief in rebirth
or the belief in fruit of action, but how it certainly does lead to
the notion of the round of life.
The intervention also serves to show how knowledge systems
and belief systems are closely related yet quite distinct facts of
Now, a sketch of contemporary European psychology (the name
‘psychology’ dates from mid-17th century CE and the discipline
from mid 19th century CE).
(Earlier, there was no traditionally recognized discipline
by that name.) Such an attempt to present a consensual view is worthwhile even
though this is not easy in view of the presence of schisms and heresies. To remind the reader once more, the sketch
is an elucidative record and the consensual statement is largely confined
to the furniture to the furniture of objects and events.
Human beings not only have a body like other animals but also
a mind that somehow goes beyond animal behaviour and yet somehow remains
tethered to the animal body. The
human mind has certain functional modes and its processes are subject
to certain overall distinctions.
The functional modes may be taken up first.
Cognition : This is a grouping of certain sub-functions : (a) sensation
and perception; (b) learning, that is, acquisition (through the undergoing
of experience) of novel content by way of modifying and extending
existing contents whether they are inherited or acquired; (c) storage
and retrieval of contents (that is, memory); (d) problem-solving through
intelligence rather than retrieval; (e) acquisition of contents in
a manner that by passes all the foregoing sub-functions (that is,
intuition). The contents of cognition comprise facts or
insights or skills or attitudes.
The contents may be represented in concrete image form or in
abstract concept form. Concrete
image forms are relatable to the forms of external objects and events
together with the landscapes and scenarios embedding them.
Abstract concept forms are relatable to the properties and
relations of objects and events together with the field of attention
in which the objects and events are embedded.
Imagination : This is the proliferation of concrete images by way
of recovery or innovation and the effecting of global or sequential
patterning of representations (whether concrete or abstract). This proceeds consciously (and not out of awareness)
but not always through free choice.
Dreamlife and fantasy-life are also processes in this functional
Emotion : This is a way of effecting a transition from awareness to
behaviour by maintaining tension consciously but not always through
Action : This is an undertaking of behaviour (a) by virtue of a felt
deprivation of want by way of a motivating drive that is subject to
reinforcement or attenuation such that (b) the behaviour so undertaken
comprises a pattern of activity towards a goal, and (c) the outcome
may be either failure and frustration or success and subsidence of
want of renewal of behaviour with or without modification of the pattern
Integration : This consists in : (a) the continuing development of
the human being, (b) into an integrated and individuated person, (c)
through self-referral and self-imaging.
Any given mental process is subject to certain overall distinctions. It may be conscious or unconscious, freely
chosen or compulsive, sequential or global, and may proceed from sources
that are acquired or inherited, normal or abnormal, individual or
Finally, a comparative assessment of these two knowledge systems. The comparison hopes to be broad without being
vague and sympathetic to both without being indulgent. In presenting the sketch of traditional Indian
psychology we have resisted the temptation to present it through conceptual
translation, even risking the use of clumsy coinages like figuring-out
or controlling-faculty. In
consequence, some of the English renderings of the Indian concepts
and images depart from Indological practices.
Even at this stage, we shall refrain from undertaking any ambitious
conceptual translation of Indian into European psychology or of European
into Indian psychology in view of the severe limitations of this whole
exercise. Even so, certain broad observations may usefully
An eventual conceptual translation will be worthwhile in that the
comparison will not be a hopelessly unequal one between a naïve and
a sophisticated knowledge system.
Both systems are fairly complex and sophisticated.
It is perhaps worth noting that traditional Indian psychology,
not being a distinct discipline, was simply incorporated in traditional
Indian cosmology and that European psychology continued to be tied
to the apron-strings of philosophy for a generation or so even after
it acquired the status of a discipline in mid-19th century
While both knowledge traditions have been subjected to schisms and
heresies, the Indian system appears to be better integrated in spite
of them than the contemporary European system.
It may be that the better integrated Indian discipline has
a poorer data base and a less rigorous discovery procedure, while
the more poorly integrated European discipline happens to have been
caught in the throes of multiple innovations and on the threshold
of a fresh integrative effort at the present historical juncture –
in short, in a phase of ferment.
The Indian system does attribute learning ayagamana to the
minding faculty, while it attributes creativity to the minding faculty
(as kalpanā) as also to the controlling faculty (as prajñā
or pratibhā) (see notes 5, 6 to Fig.2).
However, there is on the whole an underplaying of the processes
of learning and creativity. Such
is the case probably because of a highly tradition-bound lifestyle.
See also note 3 to Figure 2, which is also very relevant here.
Note incidentally that, while human creativity was accepted
in India in 5th-6th centuries CE (see note 6
to Figure 2), the European civilization dared not accept human creativity
till late 18th early 19th century CE probably
because this was felt to be blasphemous in the Christian ideology
or belief system.
While the European system makes a great play of the capacity to learn
as well as of the over-all distinctions conscious-unconscious, free-compulsive,
inherited-acquired, and the rest, the Indian system makes some play
of the over-all distinction attention-inattention and involvement
the distinction inherited-acquired gets obscured in the Indian system,
since inheriting or acquiring may be confined to the present life-span
up to the moment or may go back to one’s previous life-span (or life
spans). Any claim, therefore, to novelty in learning
or creativity is come what suspect.
Consider how the European teaching system emphasizes the distinction
between learning on one’s own and mere memory retrieval while the
Indian teaching system failed to do so with disastrous effect. Obviously, the Indians made no use of their
wise distinction between ready memory upasthiti, routine explication
vyutpatti, and innovative explication upapatti.
The European system has had to outgrow the classical Greek idea of
somehow putting a body and a psychē together to make up
a man (the idea received a new lease of life from Descartes), the
Christian idea of somehow joining together an animal body (the ‘flesh’
image) and an angelic soul (the ‘spirit/breath’ image), and the uneasy
Mediaeval European compromise of the body-mind-soul triad.
Modern psychology consigned the soul (sometimes even mind)
to the limbo of belief. The
Indian system, in contrast, had a headstart by an early recognition
of a composite entity and a deft use of the gross/subtle distinction
between the readily accessible (gross) and the poorly accessible (subtle)
aspects of the person. (Traditional Indian medicine not only integrated hygiene and pathology
but also spoke of hygiene, pathology, aetiology, and therapy in body-and-mind
The European system has had to struggle with Plato’s reason-passion
dichotomy and the Roman thought-action dichotomy and to make do with
a triad of cognition, emotion, and conation. The triad was later abandoned to make room for the Enlightenment’s
reason-imagination dichotomy and the late 19th-early 20th
century idea that the integration of the human person is not an inheritance
to be taken for granted but an achievement that is often painful and
sometimes in danger of getting damaged if not lost. The Indian system, in contrast, consistently
operated with a simple dyad, cognition and action, based on the simple
biological fact of the two interfaces of covert responses and overt
responses between the living being and the rest of the world. The flow-chart representation (of Fig.2) reminiscent of information-processing
terminology comes naturally in attempting to bring out the system’s
simple unidimensional-but-bidirectional model. The notion of the feedback loop comes naturally
to this way of thinking as one may see in the Indian’s recognizing
that one may become the recipient of one’s own outgoing message. The feedback loop may thus be either causal
or informational. Emotion
and Imagination are neatly tucked away along with Memory as functions
of the minding faculty and the disposing faculty, as also Integration
as a function of the self-referral faculty.
Note further that the disposing and self-referral faculties
operate in off-line processing. Some Indian thinkers, for example
Buddhists with their bundles-of-operation, for which the individual-place-time-holder
is no more than a site (in place of the mainstream idea of faculties
serving an inner self), have shown a persistent skepticism about the reality of
integration in the human person; Lokāyata accepts person-as-self
but no distinct inner-self as such.
The Europeans have shown a certain preoccupation with the distinction
between inborn and acquired elements and, among acquired elements,
between individually achieved and socially absorbed elements. The Indians appear to be causal about such
distinctions, probably because the idea of rebirth helps in accounting
for elements for which the Europeans invoke genetic inheritance and
occasionally even the dubious Lamarckian idea of ‘racial memory’ and
because the Indian lifestyle appears to put a premium on socially-passed-on
In sum, it was found worthwhile to sketch and then compare
the traditional Indian and the contemporary European psychologies
by way of a case study, which illustrated ways of matching domains
and the concrete image forms and abstract concept forms featured in
the respective domains. The
exercise was seen to be feasible though by no means easy. The discussion of the notion of the round-of-life
and its extrapolations will have shown how delicate and complicated
the link between knowledge and belief systems could be. As we have already seen, knowledge systems
are not hermetically sealed, they are permeable. One hopes that the
sketches were equally sympathetic and the comparison neutral to both. European psychology appears to have much to
learn from Indian psychology : a ready acceptance of certain radical
insights and a consequent reorganization may help European psychology
to put its house in order and improve its explicative treatment without
losing the rigour of its discovery and scrutinizing procedures. The
hope for a truly global conflation of human knowledge systems that
compete in a given domain will thus be seen to be not all that unrealistic.
The call for a truly global knowledge system is thus a call
for a system that is not merely a European knowledge system masquerading
as a global knowledge system.
VI. Towards a True Globalization
It is one thing to urge the proper handling of knowledge system
diversity at the present juncture and to consider the historical,
political-economic, or ideological motivations and the philosophical
justifications that should help one to select the proper mode of handling
knowledge system diversity. (That was our immediate quest in the first
part of the present study.) It
is quite another thing to assess the actual prospects for a project
for arriving at a truly global knowledge system in the context of
the present tide of ecumene-wide globalization.
There is probably a certain appropriateness in the fact that
the present study was first presented at an Indo-German symposium
on global and local knowledge systems.
India is the one non-European civilization in the contemporary
ecumene that is known for its tradition of continued intellectual
hospitality and openness that goes well beyond grudging intellectual
‘tolerance’ of knowledge and belief systems outside one’s own worldview.
And out of the European civilization that appears to be all
set to press its ‘global’ claims consigning the rest to the limbo
of ‘local’ claims, the German-speaking community is known for its
early initiative in shedding hegemonic arrogance and showing a graceful
readiness to take pagan Indian seriously : one has only to recall
Goethe and Schopenhauer and Böhtlingk and Jung among others; the lineage
is apparently still not extinct.
What is going to be the shape of the project for a step-by-step
accomplishment of a true globalization of knowledge in the face of
sharp actual diversity? True globalization will promote the creation
of a human pool not only of facts and skills but also of available
alternatives by way of insights and attitudes.
The pioneering work, for example, of Joseph Needham’s Science
and Civilization in China (1944ff) at one end to John Hoffman’s
Encyclopaedia Mundarica (1930ff) at the other end of the spectrum
needs to be emulated and reciprocated by non-Europeans casting a critical
eye on European civilization. (India certainly needs a center for European
studies.) Then, in the sweat
of their brow, knowledge-seekers (inclusive of seekers of knowledge
of belief-holders) will have to work out bi-directional translations
and comparative assessments between knowledge systems available in
the ecumene. Eventually, some inspired genius will, rising above parochialism,
work on truly anthropocentric (if not cosmocentric) lines in each
knowledge and belief domain. The
hardest work will have to be invested in the human epistemic and technical
disciplines. Assuming, against all indications to the contrary,
that all goes well, the project should keep mankind busy for the good
part of a century. It is a
job that demands patience without exasperation, sympathy without indulgence,
clear-sightedness without mechanical rigour, and confidence without
a loss of nerve. But then
there is probably every possibility that, in the process, the knowledge
industry will cease to be the over-centralized, capital-intensive
heavy industry that it has become in this late phase of the European
civilization and will once again come to wear the more humane and
less intimidating face of a light industry with generous room for
amateurs and generalists. The Internet and its future successors will
certainly come in handy in the whole enterprise. One only hopes that one result of such a change would be that knowledge
industry will generally show greater initiative and inner motivation
rather than wait for a cue from the powerful offering capital investment
in direction of their choice. (I
learned to take the idea of knowledge industry to be a useful idea
and not a sarcastic joke from the economic writings of Kenneth Boulding.)
The diversity of human knowledge systems needs to be seen in
the context of the diversity of human belief systems and the diversity
of human lifestyles as seen in terms of personalities, societies,
and cultures. Mankind is slowly, with painful sloth indeed, coming
to friendly terms with diversity of belief, personality, culture,
and even technical knowledge (witness the parliament of religions,
multiculturalist programmes, the acceptance of non-mainstream healing
systems). So far as the globalization
of diverse lifestyles is concerned, the Indian tradition of friendly
coexistence of lifestyles without any forced unification or assimilation
already offers a good model for ecumene-wide cultural globalization
that is more humane that either the Roman model or the Islamic model.
(One wonders about the Chinese model and the treatment, through
the ages, of non-mainstream lifestyles in China and its empire.)
Diversity is no mere spice of life, it is nothing less than
a value in life. Living organisms variously work out their survival
in interaction with the specific environment they happen to cope with
over a time span. Different
species within a given habitat work out different equations that mediate
this process. Different varieties
within the species make different contributions to the overall gene
pool. This is what biodiversity is all about.
Within the human species, different human cohabiting groups
variously work out their different way-of-life equations in coping
with the natural environment and of course, with the human environment.
(‘Cohabiting’ is of course to be taken in both the senses of that
term!) Each way of life, that
is each paired lifestyle and worldview, makes its own precious contribution
available to the rest of mankind.
This is what ethnodiversity is all about. (The concept of ethnos or a human cohabiting group is not to be
confused with the concept of race or genetic variety of the human
Having a worldview to subserve the lifestyle is of course a
peculiarity of the human species associated with the ‘new brain’.
(Having made that crack about philosophy. F.H. Bradley went
on to say with some reason that to find those reasons for what we
believe upon instinct is no less an instinct.)
Having that worldview split into a belief system and a knowledge
system was probably made possible by the hemispheric specialization
in the new brain. But of course the mere possibility did not become
the actual split till the great axiological revolution (6th
c BC-6th c CE) in human history took place and led to the
emergence of a prosaic-didactic-ethical-technical-anthropocentric
worldview by the side of a poetic-mythic-ritual-magical-ethnocentric
worldview. (The Indian intellectual ferment mentioned earlier in connection
with the round-of-life and its two extrapolations was probably a part
of this revolution. The first thinker to spot this event in human
history was probably Hegel. As
for systematic philosophy, Alfred Kroeber, in this Roster of civilizations
and culture, credits Classical India and Greece with being the
fountainheads of systematic philosophy and systematic linguistic in
human history – another achievement of the same revolution.)
The precipitation of the age-long process of globalization
was brought on by European hegemony conjoined with the industrial
and communicative revolution (19th –20th c).
As we have seen earlier, globalization has both a centralizing-assimilative
tendency and a decentralizing-variationist tendency.
Our immediate concern is of course the achievement of the humane
globalization of human knowledge systems in the coming times.
We said a little earlier that the project should keep us busy
for the good part of a century if all goes well. Will it go well? One anticipates difficulties, both intrinsic
and extrinsic to the project. Let
us consider the intrinsic difficulties first.
The separation of knowledge from belief leads to the paradox
(section IV), namely, that belief-holders can afford to be more accommodative,
but are often so. The precipitation of globalization has made
the consequences of the paradox more acute.
Knowledge systems cannot let flexibility and liberality be
cared to anarchistic lengths without abdicating their function of
making a reliable and successful understanding of the world available
to human beings engaged, with their worldviews, in the business of
life. (The days when a seriously
ill orthodox Hindu would rather die than imbibe European medicine
are over.) And yet the overall climate of opinion favours flexibility
and liberality in the name of giving our not especially humane times
a humane face. Any humane
globalization of knowledge has to consider the intrinsic limits of
flexibility and liberality without losing out on the accommodative
open-mindedness in handling knowledge diversity.
Again, different kinds of knowledge systems differ in their
amenability to object-flexibility and subject-liberality (section
IV), depending on whether they are epistemic or technical, physical,
life-related, or human, actuality-validable or formally-validable.
The human disciplines (like psychology or linguistics or like
medicine or management) are badly in need of early humane globalization.
The first obvious extrinsic obstacle to humane globalization
is the fact that knowledge comes handy for the acquisition and maintenance
of power. Knowledge helps the power-seeker and the power-wielder
not only to enhance the brute force (through weaponry) and the pecuniary
force (through accumulation and saving of goods, services, labour,
and land) but also the reconciliatory force (through controlling motivation,
alliance, and dissension in such a way as to dissuade others from
exercising force). Now, the
powerful will not part with the advantages of knowledge monopoly without
resistance. Humane globalization of knowledge will not
suit them in that it promotes dissemination and wide availability
of knowledge and combines unification of knowledge carried out in
an accommodative and inclusive spirit.
The European civilization, along with the subjection-subdued
and the subjection-seekers among the non-Europeans, are going to welcome
an inhumane globalization of human knowledge with steamrolled uniformity
and monopoly of knowledge initiative if not of knowledge availability
and resist humane globalization. We have had an occasion to salute the humane
knowledge-seekers like Böhtlingk and Schopenhauer among the Europeans
and the emancipated knowledge-seekers like Rajwade and K.C. Bhattacharya
among the non-Europeans. Will
these swallows add up to a sizable flock?
The second group of obstacles have to do with human resistance
to enlightenment. There is
unenlightened self-interest, which will continue to harp on monopoly
and exclusivity, dead uniformity and assimilation even in areas in
which these are counterproductive. There is unenlightened political correctitude,
which will continue to harp on diversity for diversity’s sake.
Should we not dissuade conservative Brahman women and tribals
from, say, ruining their health by following their ancestral ways?
Earlier we have had an occasion to welcome the changing European
climate of opinion that favours multiculturalism and such.
At the same time, we cannot ignore signs of a certain ill-tempered
backlash to be detected in the European climate of political and academic
opinion (especially in its outer American limb).
And of course there are brutalized versions of each of these
obstacles, which are powered by human cunning, rapacious greed, power-hunger,
and sheer cussedness. A few
swallows do not a summer make, but a few vultures can certainly devastate
the intellectual landscape and foul up the scenario of an overall
humane globalization, including the humane globalization of knowledge. The brutalized versions of course need to be overcome by applying
the appropriate brute, pecuniary, and reconciliatory force.
Brutalized obstacles apart, the philosophers have a major rôle
to play in the humane globalization of knowledge.
The step-by-step accomplishment of the project will call for
not only hard work but a certain broad vision and intellectual penetration
that philosophers are eminently qualified to offer to the knowledge-seekers
(and belief-holders too). They
can render wonderful assistance by way of providing conceptual analysis
and logical infrastructure to the discipline specialists and to the
historians of lifestyles and worldwives. Also, philosophers can spread enlightenment
as an antidote to unenlightened self-interest, unenlightened political
correctitude, and unenlightened conservatism.
After all, aren’t philosophers (like the enlightened and emancipated
and enterprising swallows) the first citizens by right of the humane
commonwealth of knowledge. They
don’t have merely a rôle to play but a responsibility to fulfil.
To sum up, globalization? Yes! European recolonization? No!
N O T E S
An earlier version of this
paper was presented under the title ‘Handling knowledge system diversity’
at the symposium of Global and Local Knowledge systems held at Indira
Gandhi National museum of Mankind, Bhopal on 19-23 February 2001 as
a part of the German Festival in India 2000-2001.
The author has benefited from the various discussions there
as also from comments on the earlier
version by Professor Ashok Aklujkar (Asian Studies, University of
British Columbia, Vancouver), Mr. G.R. Patwardhan (Pune), and Dr.
Shyamala Vanarase (Pune).
intellectual debts are too many to be usefully recorded in a bibliography. I must however mention my senior friend the
late Professor K.J. Shah, who was so passionate about the need for
India’s intellectual decolonization.
I take the liberty of suggesting that the paper will bear a quick
first reading followed by another slow ruminating for yielding its
revising the paper before publication, I changed the title and organized
the material in two parts, namely, I. Handling knowledge system diversity
and II. The Philosopher’s responsibility.
The second part takes up a case study sketching and comparing
two diverse psychologies, Indian and European, and then goes on to
assess the worthwhileness and feasibility of any true globalization
of human knowledge.
The reader may have noted that
there are a number of digressions in the present study occasioned
by my reluctance to make do with the received wisdom concerning certain
topics that were germane to my argument such as the nature and origin
of globalization or the alternate strategies of anarchism, absolutism
and relativism for dealing with knowledge and belief diversity.
On some of these I have offered fuller discussions elsewhere. The references follow. The bibliographies appended to some of these
should also serve to indicate many of my intellectual debts for the
present study as well.
Ashok R. Kelkar. : Prolegomena to an Understanding
of Semiosis and Culture, Central Institute of Indian Languages,
Mysore, 1980. (On some of
he theoretical underpinnings in the shape of sūtras 1-98
Semiotics of technical names and terms’, in Recherches sèmioticinquiry
(Toronto) 4:3:303-26, 1984. (On
the technical and non-technical uses of language: the domain of a
knowledge system in terms of language.)
Studies : The how and the why’, in Indian Journal of social science(New
Delhi) 1:1:65-75, 1988. Rptd. In Journal of education and social
Change (Pune) 8:2:29-44, 1989. (On kinds of sciences.)
Technology’, in Indian Horizons (New Delhi) 37:1-2_23-40, 1989.
(On the nature and mission of technical disciplines.)
Relativism and Literary Judgement’, in Jadavpur Journal of Comparative
Literature (Kolkata) 26-27 : 69-96, 1989. (On the strategies of
Anarchism, Absolutism, and Relativism.)
of Language and of Language Use’, in Journal of Indian Council
of Philosophical Research (New Delhi) 9:3:1-28, 1992. (On abstract
and concrete forms of cognition on the cognitive and communicative
functions of language, on styles and missions of philosophizing.)
as empowerment’, in Indian Philosophical Quarterly (Pune) 22:1:25-40,
1995. (On some of the political
considerations governing communication of knowledge.)
Cosmic Elements in India : An Agenda of question’, in Kapila Vatsyayan,
ed., Prakriti : The Integral vision 5v., Indira Gandhi National
Centre of Arts & DK Printworld, New Delhi, 1995, Vol.3: 159-65. (A portion of the Indian belief and knowledge
systems of cosmology in link with other domains such as medicine and
with other civilizations such as Classical Greece.)
in a Semiotic Perspective L The Architecture of a Marathi sentence,
Shubhada-Saraswat, Pune, 1997. especially
the more general chapters 8, 9. (On scrutiny and systematization, on statements/mands and validation/suasion,
on cognition and language.)
Globalization of language and the language of globalization’ (in Marathi),
in Anubhava (Mumbai) no.9 (Globalization number): p.99-103,
1999. Rptd. In: Bhāṣā āṇijñana (Pune) summer 2000. English
version ready but unpublished.
has Bhartṛhari got to say on Language?’ in The Yearbook of
South Asian Languages and Linguistics 1999.
Sage, New Delhi, p 37-52, 1999.
(On the over-all intellectual landscape and scenario of traditional