ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Publicly Talking about Caste

An unsual sociological experiment was conducted during the first half of 2013 in the Kannada daily Prajavāni to explore how we can collectively think about caste and through this ask whether it was possible for the public to challenge stablished beliefs about concepts such as caste, democracy and privacy.

Phenomenology of Untouchability

This paper explores the philosophical foundations of untouchability through an analysis of the phenomenology of "touch". The sense of touch is unique in many ways; one such is the essential relation between touch and "untouch". Drawing on both Indian and western traditions, the paper begins by analysing the meaning of touch and then goes on to explore some meanings of "untouchable". It then concludes by pointing out the importance of untouchability within the brahmin tradition and attempts to understand the process of supplementation which makes untouchability a positive virtue for the brahmins and a negative fact for the dalits.

Dalit Experience and Theory

Do those with no lived in experience have the right to theorise? Analysing the elements that constitute lived in experience, this essay brings out the views of Gopal Guru and Habermas - two opposite approaches to the relation between theory and experience.

Perspectives on Mathematics

This collection of seven papers is an indication of the kinds of issues involved in understanding mathematics in a broader perspective. What we hope to achieve is to generate insights into understanding one of the most creative languages humans have created and instil a more balanced response to mathematics as a language, culture and a living presence amidst all of us.

Applying Mathematics

What does it mean to apply mathematics? Why is mathematics considered as essential to natural sciences? Why do scientists consider the applicability of mathematics as something mysterious? The applicability of mathematics is mysterious and unexplainable only if we subscribe to a particular view of mathematics, namely, mathematics as a logical, axiomatic and formal system, which deals only with a platonic world and not our real one. In contrast, there are enough reasons to believe that mathematics is a fertile lived-language, sharing many characteristics with other verbal languages. Thus, to understand the applicability of mathematics, we need to first understand the applicability of languages, for example, the 'applicability' of English. The paper discusses some common characteristics in applying English and mathematics and offers a particular model to explain why mathematics seems to be so effectively applicable in science.

Remembering M N Srinivas

His ethical stance toward thinking and knowing and a basic fascination with exploring the boundaries of human thought made M N Srinivas, forever, a child of ideas. His most biting comments were reserved for ideologues and ideologies, those that refused to participate in the play and pleasure of new ideas and expressions.

Science, Knowledge and Society

Science, Knowledge and Society Sundar Sarukkai THERE are many issues, some convergent and others divergent, in the stand taken in the introduction and two articles by Sokol and Meera Nanda (EPW, April 18, 1998). As the introduction makes explicit, this collection is aimed at

The Other in Anthropology and Philosophy

The notion of the 'other' has become very prevalent in social sciences. Here the 'other' is examined as it occurs in anthropology and philosophy, primarily through Levinas and Derrida. Based on this, a radical revision of anthropological knowledge, 'ethically' oriented and incorporating subjectivity as an essential element, is suggested. Finally, it is argued that within such a framework fiction has to be considered as a valid ethnographic data.

Mathematisation of Human Sciences-Epistemological Sanskritisation

Sanskritisation is evident in the epistemological realm of the human sciences also. The excessive preoccupation with mathematics in particular, essentially suggests the attempt by the human sciences to climb the epistemological ladder. Use of charts, graphs, prediction methods help in validating the subject's claim to truth. But the increasing tendency of the human sciences to seek legitimacy through such ritualisation process also reflects its paucity to accept other modes of thinking.
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