British philosophers in India

Stephen Clark srlclark at
Wed Sep 22 11:38:43 UTC 1993

A group of British philosophers, from Liverpool, Essex, East Anglia and
Edinburgh travelled out to India for the third `Convivium' of Indian and
British philosophers (earlier convivia have been held in Bombay and
Sussex). We met at a newly founded craft and conference centre a few miles
south of Delhi, staying for a week before travelling on to Jaipur. Amongst
the Indian philosophers present were Daya Krishna, Ramchandra Gandhi and
Arindram Chakravartin. Britons included Timothy Sprigge, Brian Carr,
Timothy O'Hagan and myself.
Amongst the issues discussed were: the importance of right reason, and
the kind of metaphysics necessary if there were to be such a thing; the
significance and putative explanation of suffering; the connection between
professional philosophy and the philosophical life as understood in 
Western and Indian tradition; non-verbal thought; emotion as a route to
knowledge; the role of religion in society and thought; what to do about
beggars (professional or otherwise). No mention was made of Radhakrishnan's
philosophy (though I gather that the annual Radhakrishnan lecture occurred
in Delhi that week - on economics).
The monsoon was late this year, and the combination of heat and driving
rain perhaps accounted for the viral infections that the British
participants endured. We would have liked to see more younger Indian
philosophers: maybe we will manage to do so at subsequent meetings (the next
is scheduled for 1995 in UK).

Stephen Clark

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