The Worst Sentence William James Ever Wrote

I have just concluded, in one of my classes this semester, my teaching of William James‘ classic Pragmatism, a bona fide philosophical classic, one richly repaying close reading and elaboration of its central theses. My admiration for James’ writing and thought continues to grow, even as this semester, I encountered a passage that is remarkably incongruous withContinue reading “The Worst Sentence William James Ever Wrote”

Philosophical Silencing: A Follow-Up

In response to my post on an act of philosophical silencing, Wesley Buckwalter wrote the following comment (over at the NewAPPS blog, where I cross-posted): As you know, I was the gentleman that made that remark in a private facebook thread with a close friend. If I recall correctly, people in that thread were askingContinue reading “Philosophical Silencing: A Follow-Up”

An Act Of Philosophical Silencing

A few months ago, I noticed an interesting and telling interaction between a group of academic philosophers. A Facebook friend posted a little note about how one of her students had written to her about having encountered a so-called “Gettier case” i.e., she had acquired a true belief for invalid reasons. In the email, theContinue reading “An Act Of Philosophical Silencing”

In Praise of Alan Watts And ‘Popularizers’

I have a confession to make: I enjoy reading Alan Watts‘ books. This simple statement of one of my reading pleasures, this revelation of one of my tastes in books and intellectual pursuits, shouldn’t need to be a confession, a term that conjures up visions of sin and repentance and shame. But it is, aContinue reading “In Praise of Alan Watts And ‘Popularizers’”

Hot, Bothered, and Devout: The Religious Policing of Sex

Yesterday, I posted a review essay on a pair of books by SN Balagangadhara and Rajiv Malhotra that critique the field of “Indian studies.” In my essay I attempted to place into some context the recent controversy over the recall from circulation of Wendy Doniger‘s book, The Hindus: An Alternative History. Amongst the many chargesContinue reading “Hot, Bothered, and Devout: The Religious Policing of Sex”

SN Balagangadhara and Rajiv Malhotra on Reversing the Gaze

On 12 February, Penguin India announced it was withdrawing and destroying—in India—all published copies of historian Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History (2009). Penguin’s decision came after reaching an out-of-court settlement with Shiksha Bachao Andolan, which, in 2011, had filed a legal complaint objecting to sections of Doniger’s book. Amidst the vocal expressions ofContinue reading “SN Balagangadhara and Rajiv Malhotra on Reversing the Gaze”

A Puzzle about Karmic Doctrine – Contd.

Reader theendlessknot3d writes in with an interesting comment to yesterday’s post on the doctrine of karma as explicated by Daya Krishna: You say that karma is working, in the case of B, to bring retribution for a past action, Y, which B had previously inflicted on another, and that A is therefore potentially free of guilt/responsibilityContinue reading “A Puzzle about Karmic Doctrine – Contd.”

Daya Krishna on the Doctrine of Karma: A Puzzle

During the course of a series of lectures delivered at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in 2005–in an attempt to explicate what he saw as one of the primary distinctions between the ‘Western’ and the ‘Indian’ conceptions of the relationship of the individual to society–Daya Krishna noted: The idea that one may be responsibleContinue reading “Daya Krishna on the Doctrine of Karma: A Puzzle”