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India and Civilizational FuturesBackwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics II$
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Vinay Lal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199499069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199499069.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 April 2020

Learning and Happiness

Learning and Happiness

Sketches for an Alternative Theorization of Indian Sociality*

(p.33) 2 Learning and Happiness
India and Civilizational Futures

Vivek Dhareshwar

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines a framework within which to understand the link between practical knowledge and sociality. The objective is to understand the audacity and profundity of the attempts by Indian traditions to organize the social and natural spaces, relations, and events/acts as learning experiences. Developing that framework through the notion of practitional matrix, this chapter shows how Western normative thinking carves up Indian sociality into domains that render our experience unintelligible to us. Through a discussion of the Gandhi–Tagore debate it is argued that the actional frame is the only way to resist the normative frame. A brief characterization of normativity is offered to explain the emergence of entities such as ‘sexuality’ and ‘the caste-system’. The sketch of the alternative conceptualization of Indian sociality shows why we need to choose between history and the past, philosophy and adhyatma, religion and tradition, the caste system and the practitional matrix.

Keywords:   practitional matrix, normativity, actional frame, Gandhi, Tagore, Foucault, tradition

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