Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Marx and Macaulay, Hegel or Whitehead
With the beginning of new College session, thousands of students will come to the Philosophy classes without any idea on the subject. It has no definite career prospects but even then those who have slim chances elsewhere study Philosophy. How far the subject equips them to handle knottier questions of life is not known but to swim with the subject in the present society is a strenuous task. Why Philosophy? Everyone wants an explanation leading to a final disapproval. This continues even after leaving the College.
Sri Aurobindo once wrote that he is not a philosopher and many take great delight in quoting it as if Philosophy is a weed. That he admitted of writing Philosophy is conveniently overlooked. Many of his stray remarks including conversational responses are quoted as though they are frozen in time and Sri Aurobindo stopped thinking thereafter. There is also a notion among the semi-educated that Philosophy is Mental and what they perform is Spiritual. The Mother's advice for adequate mental-gymnastics is safely forgotten.
There is danger from another side also who call themselves Nationalists. They can't tolerate anything Western, not even Hegel or Whitehead. The West is a pollutant and they banish Philosophy emanating from it lock, stock, and barrel. All they know is two names: Marx and Macaulay and pour vitriol on them at every available opportunity. They love their Mythological fiction and consider Philosophy as avoidable distraction. That Philosophy is alive in spite of all this is nothing short of a miracle. [TNM55]