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Modernity in Indian Social Theory$
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A Raghuramaraju

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198070122

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198070122.001.0001

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Internal Criticism

Internal Criticism

(p.91) 4 Internal Criticism
Modernity in Indian Social Theory

A. Raghuramaraju

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how reading contemporary Indian philosophers' writings as modern texts or considering them as modern authors fails to capture some important ideas contained in them. There are two different sets of interpretations on contemporary Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda. The first consists of those like Tapan Raychaudhuri, who sees no traces of Hindu revivalism in Vivekananda. Raychaudhuri, together with Nemai Sadhan Bose, tries to project universalism, ultimate truth, rather than Hindu religion, as central to Vivekananda. The second set comprises those like Javeed Alam, who sees certain thoughts and categorizations of communalism in Vivekananda. This chapter argues that democracy in India can be sustained not only through a liberal epistemology based on empirical claims about reality, but also through Buddhist epistemology. To develop this argument, the chapter considers a crucial structural feature of democracy: criticism. It elaborates the three modes of criticism: criticism as rejection, self-criticism, and internal criticism.

Keywords:   India, contemporary Indian philosophers, Swami Vivekananda, Tapan Raychaudhuri, universalism, Javeed Alam, communalism, epistemology, self-criticism, internal criticism

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