INTRODUCTION

As I have been telling my students for years, we are privileged to study Philosophy. One of the reasons, most pertinent, here, is that it is the only subject which invariably invokes a response with raised eyebrows. “Oh, Philosophy?” Over the years, each one tends to develop the notion of Philosophy individually or collectively- sometimes, accepting a different Philosophy and, at times, giving up the very concept of Philosophy hitherto cherished. The charm (or harm?) of Philosophy lies in its multiple senses. No other subject enjoys this special status accorded to Philosophy. Neither the students nor the teachers nor Philosophers in the world, in Ancient or Modern times, agree with each other as to ‘What is Philosophy’. All subjects, except Philosophy, are understood unanimously. However, Philosophy, is spoken of differently by different people.

Not only Philosophy but Research and Research in Philosophy is interesting for people at various stages in life across the world. As per Indian Tradition of Vanaprasthashrama, there are many who are inspired Philosophically in their post-retirement stage if not in the evenings of life. Not all can join Philosophy courses and attend lectures regularly. So, here,is an attempt to provide an answer to their question- “What do you do in Philosophy?” Hence, references, here, is not the main consideration. Moreover, the information which can be accessed easily by a click in the digital era is also skipped. E.g. The definitions of Yoga or Religion are omitted leaving it to the reader as and when necessary depending upon individual choices and needs. The main thrust, here, is to show the conceptual links in various discourses. Technically speaking, Philosophy is nothing but conceptual geography elucidating inter-connections among seemingly unrelated concepts or highlighting the known connections in radically different way! So, it is wonderful, amazing, amusing, charming, interesting, ……………

I am at presenting write-ups which will be useful for general understanding of Philosophy. Purusharthas, Dharma, Sthitaprajna, Yoga, Education, Religion, Ethics, with its applied component, are not just the monopolies of Philosophers. These concepts are permeated consciously or unconsciously in our Being. However, the philosophical treatment is not so common. I hope the collection is useful in this direction. Technical aspects with specific details are stated but the main aim is to give an idea who wants to know what Philosophy is. So, Happy Reading.

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Sharmila Virkar

Sharmila Virkar

Dept of Philosophy @ University of Mumbai