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

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How Do We Rescue Human Rights from Rhetoric?

The human rights discourse today needs to introspect on how it can visualise competing degrees of resolution of human rights ideas advocated by different agents, without harming the principles that are worth retaining.

Ambedkar as a Political Philosopher

Existing studies on B R Ambedkar largely focus on his substantive religious, sociological, political and constitutional concerns, and not on the concepts he deployed for the purpose or modes of his argumentation. His body of work demonstrates that he formulated a number of concepts to take stock of the social reality that he confronted, and/or reformulated existing concepts by critically engaging with the body of scholarship available to him. With regard to the conception of the political, he advanced a comprehensive and consistent design of what it means to live as a public and how best to do so in a setting very different from the West.

Public University in a Democracy

The modern public university in a democracy faces the challenging task of producing and disseminating knowledge. Though the public character and universality of knowledge seem to be threatened today by both the state as well as the market forces, the university cannot afford to remain an apolitical institution in a democracy. There are lessons to be learnt in the debates surrounding the development of German universities and the idea of a university as the idealist philosophers have conceptualised.

Crash of Civilisations

The recently signed Almaty Act called for a dialogue among civilisations - a pioneering endeavour. But as cracks appear in venerated systems and institutions, the need for a search for beliefs assumes enduring importance. This essay suggests that such a search for a priori propositions can only begin if a billion vocies rise and are also willing to listen to one another.

How Gender Figures in Economic Theorising and Philosophy

Women's engagement with economics, in its theory and its practice, takes several forms: to draw attention to problems not addressed before; to point out how the way problems have been addressed are unhelpful or fallacious and lead to wrong conclusions and wrong prescriptions; to critique theories and tools in order to expose their inadequacy or invalidity; to refine existing tools using available frameworks so as to 'let in' gender; and to seek new tools of analysis. The engagement can also be at a more philosophical level, namely, the foundational assumptions of the discipline. This paper seeks to explore these themes.

Feminist Classic Philosophers and the Other Women

Philosophy is concerned with the meaning of human life, whether there is any such meaning and whether the human can be made an object of systematic study. Feminist philosophers have shown that the study of the meaning of human life cannot be done without a feminist worldview. Although high brow philosophical theory is a small, indeed elitist, field it is enormously influential in the long run, with lasting effects on the shape of everyday life. It is important that women infiltrate the field of 'high brow' theory and research. Feminism should not only concern itself with fair play/equality but also with changing the rules of the game. Not only politics, economics and science, but philosophy is very important in making and changing the rules. This paper examines feminist philosophy as a process that has influenced the worldview on women and is significant for a continued emancipation process in development cooperation.

Friends, Foes and Understanding

The language of political economy, international relations and almost the entire range of social sciences remain trapped in metaphors of fear and anxiety that in turn have led to a security-centric universe. Dialogue, a critically existential encounter and an ethical attitude are ruled out. The need then is to go beyond the authoritarian texts and their 'anthropological truths' to find out how in a world rife with contentious politics, themes of dialogue, trust and accommodation can work themselves out.
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