Professorial Fellow Institute for Social Justice. Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University. Professor Akeel Bilgrami joined the Institute. Democratic Culture: Historical and Philosophical Essays (Critical Interventions in Theory and Praxis). 26 April by Akeel Bilgrami. In a rigorous exploration of how secularism and identity emerged as conflicting concepts in the modern world, Akeel Bilgrami elaborates a notion of secular.

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A lot of my work has been struggling with that question.

To count these latter ideas as part of the Enlightenment and the modernity it defined, is simply to bloat our categories to the point that they are unrecognisable and unhelpful in coming to any clear understanding of the issues at stake. But apart from such contextually determined differences, which can occur within bllgrami across traditions of philosophy, I really do feel that most philosophical traditions, however different their conceptual vocabularies and methods are, by and large focus on the same conceptual issues.

The idea is that if this is properly done, there would be a serious chance of removing the inner tension between liberty and equality that was present when they were the central notions. Normativity and Semantic Discourse. And I believe that bilgrsmi both sought something much more fundamental, much more human, akesl even ageless, than these ideals of Enlightenment modernity.

I think of this as an appalling abdication on the part of contemporary scholarship in these disciplines. For him, language has a structure that is very close to the structure of thought or cognition and those structures are ultimately biologically grounded, though till we know more about the biological science involved, one has to track them at the cognitive and computational level.

So, the term is being used ambiguously. This was quite unique bilhrami rare. Gandhi was respected, of course, but he was a more distant figure. Their writings have been republished in various international publications.



I think these sources of the tension between liberty and equality were central to their rejection of both ideals, even if they did not put it in just the way I have. These ideas were the antecedents to Marx and they are the start of a trajectory that goes via Romantic thought, both in England and Germany, to Marx. Pinpointing the basic weaknesses and the Eurocentric nature of modernity as well as its domination by liberal politics, Bilgrami seeks to find a theoretical framework by which one can go past the constriction of possibilities that liberalism and the merely regulatory constraints of social democracy have forced on modern societies.


Put aside Marx and Gandhi, who are the inspirations for this form of critique of modernity, and let us look at this general issue of how to reconfigure our political ideals along these lines. Sign in Create an account. What actually constitutes Indian philosophy?

But they cannot be the notions any longer that are found in liberal modernity. It is tempting to say that Marx is a figure of the Enlightenment and so how can I present him as the source of a critique of modernity? And my thought has been that if we remove liberty and equality—riddled with inner tension as they are—from the theoretical centre stage that they have had in European modernity and put on centre stage instead the ideal of an unalienated life, then one can bring liberty and equality back from the back door, as it were but no longer as central now, but only as necessary conditions for this more fundamental ideal that is on centre stage.

Though my subject was English literature in Elphinstone College in Bombay, I was much influenced by a very articulate and quite brilliant philosophy professor called James Swamidasan. And, in any case, it would be absurd to think that Gandhi did not make some serious political mistakes or to deny that he had views that were sometimes quite wrong.

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Akeel Bilgrami

Intellectual Norms and Foundations of Mind. As a result, for him, the communicative function of language is quite ancillary.

He is contracted to publish two small books in the very near future, one called What is a Muslim? This has evacuated them kaeel of the historically oriented and the value-oriented approaches to their subjects. Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy.


The first is that we must admit that it is not and has not been, since Independence, anyway, as strong as subjects like history and economics. So, he is focussed on something relatively limited and he is very modest about these self-consciously imposed limitations.

This view is preposterous in inversely equal proportion to the view of Gandhi I just spoke of. Added bipgrami PP index Total downloads 2of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 1of 2, How can I increase my downloads? Bringing clarity to a subject clouded by polemic, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment is a rigorous exploration of how secularism and identity emerged as concepts in different parts of the modern world.

Brandom’s Theory of Meaning. Our recent titles are available via Edelweiss.

But what happens in radical shifts is that the meanings get revised. What is it meant to convey? His philosophy rejects the ideology of capitalism and envisions an alternative as the way forward for humanity. His writings in the other central area of his intellectual interests, political philosophy and moral psychology, have significantly influenced and continue to influence our public discourse on bilgrqmi, ideology, religion, modernity, culture and history.

Bilgrami is a secularist aleel an atheist who advocates an understanding of the community-oriented dimension of religion. Of course, the different historical and social contexts of these traditions sometimes make for different issues being salient in each, but that is equally true within the same tradition at different historical times. But in academic studies and other philosophic discourses, there is what is called Indian philosophy.

Of course, many who sought independence from colonial rule were not opposed to imperialism in any deep way, so they never accepted this simple point.