On the occasion of the 150 Years Of Celebrating The Mahatma, the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, is hosting Professor Koshy Tharakan, Department of Philosophy, Goa University (India) for a seminar entitled 'Two Readings of Ghandi's approach to the environment: towards a reconciliation'.
The seminar, the next in the series of The Department of Philosophy Research Seminars.
Date: Tuesday 25 June 2019
Venue: Faculty of Arts Library, University of Malta Msida Campus
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is often portrayed as a source of inspiration for Deep Ecologists. This is acknowledged by none other than Arne Naess, the pioneer of Deep Ecology. However, a prominent environmental historian like Ramachandra Guha argues that Gandhi was less concerned with an eco-centric ethics than an anthropocentric one. The aim of this presentation is not to ascertain whether Gandhi was actually a Deep Ecologist or not, but what would be the implications of Gandhi’s philosophical anthropology.
To understand the basic presupposition of the philosophy of Deep Ecology, we may explore Merleau-Ponty's notion of Ontology. According to Merleau-Ponty the self and non-self, human and non-human intertwine in a mutual unfolding. Thus, the comprehension of other, including non-human nature itself becomes a relation of 'embrace' with the other. The paper, taking the cue from Merleau-Ponty dwells on the enigmatic nature of this embrace between 'self' and 'the other' in Gandhi's philosophy of environment.
Koshy Tharakan is Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Goa University and also the Director, International Cooperation and Exchange, Goa University, India. He was earlier Dean of Student Affairs at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat during 2009-11. His research interests are in the area of Philosophy of Social Sciences, Phenomenology and Comparative Philosophy. Koshy Tharakan has delivered lectures at ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon (2009), Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon (2009), Banco de Portugal, Horta, Aҫores (2014) and Institute of Philosophy, University of Porto (2019) besides many Universities in India. His published articles have appeared in various reputed journals and anthologies and he has co-edited the Special Issue of Samyukta (July, 2011) on ‘Enigmas of Health’. Koshy Tharakan is currently a member of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of Human Values (Sage Publishing).