The challenge of postcolonial philosophy in India. Too alien for contemporary philosophers, too modern for Sanskritists?

The main goal of the conference consists in questioning the difficult reception of Indian post-independence philosophy inside and outside of India, in particular related to the difficulties of the plurality of languages involved, and of its intermediate status. To begin with, one needs to define one’s object. But what does it take for philosophy to be ‘contemporary’ Indian philosophy? Can this be more than a particular geographical and temporal characterization? If so, what would this definition philosophically entail? Contemporary Indian philosophy is marked by its ‘postcolonial’ transformations: a widespread instruction in English focusing on ‘Western’ philosophy, but possibly reinterpreted in an Indian context, opposed to traditional Sanskrit learning. This situation, inherited from the colonial time, is thus combined with an awareness of this gap and a reflection on the consequences of colonization in Indian philosophy, characterizing the ‘post-colonial’ era. This ambiguity and hybridity of the postcolonial state of contemporary Indian philosophy makes its definition blurred and complex, which may be an important reason for the difficulties of its reception. We therefore attempt to address issues contributing to defining the state and problems of contemporary Indian philosophy (its internal difficulties) as well as some reasons for the insufficiency of its reception (its external obstacles), considering that the connection between these two levels, internal developments and external reception, contributes to locating the challenge of postcolonial philosophy in India.


Thursday, 28.9.2017, 9:00-9:30
Salutations: Georg Stenger, Karin Preisendanz, Marion Rastelli

Key figures in contemporary Indian philosophy (History of Philosophy)

Chair: James Madaio

Raghuramaraju: Introduction to contemporary Indian Philosophy

Marzenna Jakubczak: A comparative perspective of Hariharānanda Āraṇya (1869-1947), a Bengali philosopher-monk

Chair: Elise Coquereau

Pawel Odyniec: Rethinking Advaita within the colonial predicament: The confrontative philosophy of K.C. Bhattacharyya (1875–1949)

Daniel Raveh: That in the martyā which is amṛta: A Dialogue with Ramchandra Gandhi

Chair: Alessandro Graheli

Gur Livneh: The Challenge of Comparative Political Philosophy: "The Political" in the philosophies of Sri Aurobindo, Daya Krishna and J.N. Mohanty

A.-P. Sjödin: Conceptualizing Philosophical Tradition: A Reading of Wilhelm Halbfass, Daya Krishna, and Jitendranath Mohanty

Chair: Martin Gaenszle

Dor Miller: Reading Derrida with Daya Krishna

Adluru Raghuramaraju: Reexamining the comparative philosophy between east and west: Deleuze, Guattari and Gandhi


Friday, 29.9.2017

Where is Indian philosophy going? (Politics of philosophy)

Chair: Anke Graneß

Jay Garfield and Nalini Bhushan: Indian nationalist thought, and in particular about Lala Lajpat Rai’s taxonomy and its contemporary relevance

Sharad Deshpande: In the Midst of Contemporary Indian Philosophy

Chair: Sonia Weiner

Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach: Postcolonial Representations of Indian Philosophy

Muzaffar Ali: Indian Philosophy refunded on ethics

Chair: Cristina Pecchia

Bhagat Oinam: Trends of philosophising in post-independent India

Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad: Philosophy and Philology, past and future: On the history and life of ideas

Chair: Elisa Freschi

Elise Coquereau: Politics of Addressing, Problems of Reception: To whom are Anglophone Indian Philosophers Speaking?

Round table: How can we trigger more scholars to take advantage of contemporary Indian philosophy?