2 thoughts on “Philosophers and Public Engagement

  1. “A genuine philosopher, therefore,’ argues Badiou, ‘is someone who decides on his account what the problems are, someone who proposes new problems for everyone.’ Thus the philosopher intervenes, ‘when in the situation — whether historical, political, artistic, amorous, scientific — there are things that appear to him as signs.’ And these signs spur him towards visualising new problems within situations that demand a philosophical intervention. The real issue is to ask what these philosophical situations are.” (from:http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/profile-question-everything/article2641980.ece )

    Although the public engagement in philosophy has started in some western countries, it is still not considered praiseworthy in India. Maybe that is one of the reasons that philosophy scholars in India usually don´t engage with public “through a language of the public.” By the language of the public I mean coming out of the jargons we use in classrooms and seminar halls, and talk directly to the public through newspapers, blogs, magazines, pamphlets so that we can take the philosophical understanding across and widen its applicability. Some two years back, the famous political theorist Gopal Guru and philosopher Sundar Sarukkai had started a weekly conversation on the issue of caste in one of the local language newspapers. It resulted in an article titled “Publicly talking About Caste” (http://www.epw.in/journal/2014/4/commentary/publicly-talking-about-caste.html?0=ip_login_no_cache%3D30acacf0eab92e5ffa723b48c4097772)

    I don´t think such processes of public engagement are still going on. We need them more to make the debates and discussions interesting.

  2. More than a great idea, this proposal strikes me as a duty! I hope that the APA takes up Prof. Kapitan’s proposal.

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