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(1987) Religion and human purpose, Dordrecht, Springer.

The concepts of man and human purpose in contemporary Indian thought

D. P. Chattopadhyaya

pp. 271-307

Whatever man does bears the imprint of his being. In the case of man what he is and what he is able to do cannot be neatly demarcated. Thought and action do not only interpenetrate but also interact in human situation: one influences and is influenced by the other. Philosophy is essentially a reflective activity partly expressing and partly concealing its author. The demand of the 'scientistic" philosopher that knowledge worth the name must be completely impersonal betrays his lack of understanding of the reflective character and anthropological root of knowledge. Complete impersonalization of knowledge (and action) is humanly impossible. For man can never get rid of himself either in knowing or in doing. The impossibility of knowledge without knower and doing without doer does not imply merely a linguistic relativity but a deeper conceptual interdependence of such pains of concepts as knowledge-knower, doing-doer, and action-agent. This is a very old but important view. The anthropological orientation of the Indian thinkers in general and the contemporary ones in particular are very clear indeed. The dualism between nature and man or that between pure reason and practical reason has never been a dominant feature of Indian philosophy, and in this respect its difference from European philosophy is noteworthy. Knowledge, whether it be of nature or of man, is regarded by most of the Indian philosophers as a necessary condition of human perfection.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-009-3483-2_11

Full citation:

Chattopadhyaya, D.P. (1987)., The concepts of man and human purpose in contemporary Indian thought, in W. Horosz & T. S. Clements (eds.), Religion and human purpose, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 271-307.

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