Festschrifts celebrate works of Indian Philosopher

Staff Reporter

A number of Wellingtonians felicitated Professor Jaysankar Lal Shaw, former Head of Philosophy of Victora University in Wellington at the launch of his latest book in Wellington on March 31, 2017.

Among them were Members of Parliament Trevor Mallard (Labour) and Brett Hudson (National), Professors David Lumsden (Waikato University), Stephen Levine, Mohammed Khaled (Victoria University), Michael Hemmingsen (Massey University), Mamatha Bhat (Indian High Commission, Wellington), Diplomats, Society for Philosophy and Culture President Thomas Prout, Secretary Joe Carlson and Members Shivani Bhotra and Reece Baker.

Understanding Western Philosophy

The book, “The Collected Writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw: Indian Analytic and Anglophone Philosophy,’ analyses the ways of using Classical thought to approach and understanding of Western Philosophy.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Shaw said that among the subjects discussed in his new publication included the way to reconcile conflicting views in the contemporary Western Philosophy.

The ‘Nyaya’ tradition

“This can be done by using the techniques of the ‘Nyaya’ tradition, as well as suggesting improved solutions to problems of contemporary philosophy. The Book also discusses solutions to some age-old or unsolved problems of Western philosophy and how to add new dimensions to Western philosophy,” he said.

One of the first philosophers to relate Indian philosophical thought to Western analytic philosophy, Professor Shaw has more than 40 years of experience in reflecting on analytic themes from Indian philosophy.

It is understood that the new Book is a collection of his most important writings on core topics in Indian and Western traditions, including proper names, definite descriptions, meaning of a sentence, knowledge, doubt, inference and testimony.

Experts extol

“It captures how Professor Shaw uses the techniques and concepts of Indian philosophers, especially the followers of the ‘Navya-Nyaya,’ to address global problems like false belief, higher order knowledge and extraordinary perception,” a guest at the launch said.

Cambridge University Professor Julius Lipner described his peer Professor Shaw as “outstanding logician, philosopher of religion, and philosophical analyst of language,” Rutgers University (USA) Professor Ernie Lepore said “There has never been anyone who has done more to focus Western philosophers on the significance of Indian analytical philosophy, in particular, philosophical logic and the philosophy of language, than Professor Jay Shaw.”

Philosopher of Philosophers

New York City University Professor Partha Das said, “I will call him the Philosopher of Philosophers. His articulate presentation of his thinking, as well as his profound scholarship makes him second to none.”

The Society for Philosophy and Culture was established about 15 years ago. It organises seminars and conferences. It has published two edited volumes entitled ‘Human Beings and Freedom: An Interdisciplinary Perspective,’ and ‘Meaning and Identity: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.’

The Society uses the profits generating by the sale of books written by Professor Shaw to provide scholarships worth $500 to Victoria University students.


Photo Caption:

Professor Shaw with Victoria University Political Science Professor Stephen Levine at the Book Launch

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