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Gandhi and the Moral Life

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Item Code: BAB712
Author: Bindu Puri
Publisher: Mittal Publications, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 9788170999706
Pages: 208
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 370 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About The Book

At the turn of the century Gandhi is an important figure for moderns to understand not because he was a Mahatma but as a man who lived an authentic and effective moral life. The question is how can the Gandhian legacy be authentically articulated and recovered. It seems clear that Gandhi's life and thought really rested on a dynamic unity of conception with politics, morality and religion being intimately interlinked. This unity was explained by and rested upon a basic moral vision. The volume attempts to disconceal that moral vision and its connection with the Indian tradition of thinking. It also attempts to make the contents of Gandhi's moral conception philosophically available by raising and to some extent challenging the distinction between moral philosophy and moral practise, between 'knowing' and 'having' morality. As a part of this exercise two dimensions emerge in the work. The first uses the sources of literature by examining the portrayal of Gandhi in three Indian English novels, in order to aid ethical understanding. The second dimen-sion relates to making a comparison between Aristotle's ethical theory as developed in the Nichomachean Ethics and Gandhi's conception of morality. The purpose being to demonstrate the centrality of Gandhi for moral Philosophy and also the complete lack of justi-fication for his neglect by professional philosophers.

About the Author

BINDU PURI has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Delhi University on Gandhi's Conception of Morality: A Philosophical Study. She is interested in problems in moral philosophy and in culture studies and has been seriously engaged in attempts at articulating and recovering the Gandhian legacy. She has written papers in professional journals and edited anthologies, around the same and related subjects. She has edited and contributed to a volume brought out by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla, entitled Mahatma Gandhi and His Contemporaries. She has an abiding interest in socio-political problems and has also attempted to relate Gandhiana to the current socio-political complexities in the country through her articles in the national dailies. Bindu Puri teaches Philosophy at Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi.


Yet another book on Gandhi and his views abou morality!" This might, quite unsurprisingly, be the immediate response of many at the first sight of Bindu Puri's book. But such a response will be erroneous. this is not just "yet another book"; it has many surprises, the chief among them being the fact that it brings Gandhian thought into the thick of philosophical discourse and debate. It is thus as much a book on Gandhi as on modern moral philosophy. This is indeed a commendable creative achievement. Although the titles of some of the chapters may seen commonplace, one has only to read a paragraph or two to realize that, one is required to find one's way through serious and intricate philosophical argumentation. Bindu Puri's book shows, as very few others do, how a resolutely philosophical attention to Gandhi can be an enormously rewarding intellectual experience.

In Gandhi, the concept of ahimsa, which has played a significant role in the very long tradition of Indian religious thought, finds an articulation that throws much light on understanding the moral life as one of unity and integrity. Given the nature of our contemporary civilization, this might just present us with a perspective that could have great critical possibilities. The loss of meaning that the language of morals has suffered in modern times can soon reduce the use of such language to a merely mechanical ritual without any practical significance. If we are looking for a recovery of meaning, then Gandhian thought, understood as recommended by Bindu Puri, has the potential of breathing a new vitality into the language of morals.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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