Identity as Reasoned Choice: A South Asian Perspective on The Reach and Resources of Public and Practical Reason in Shaping Individual Identities

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9781441196576: Identity as Reasoned Choice: A South Asian Perspective on The Reach and Resources of Public and Practical Reason in Shaping Individual Identities

In an increasingly multi-religious and multi-ethnic world, identity has become something actively chosen rather than merely acquired at birth. This book essentially analyzes the resources available to make such a choice.

Looking into the world of intellectual India, this unique comparative survey focuses on the identity resources offered by India's traditions of reasoning and public debate. Arguing that identity is a formation of reason, it draws on Indian theory to claim that identities are constructed from exercises of reason as derivation from exemplary cases. The book demonstrates that contemporary debates on global governance and cosmopolitan identities can benefit from these Indian resources, which were developed within an intercultural pluralism context with an emphasis on consensual resolution of conflict.

This groundbreaking work builds on themes developed by Amartya Sen to provide a creative pursuit of Indian reasoning that will appeal to anyone studying politics, philosophy, and Asian political thought.

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About the Author:

Jonardon Ganeri is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex, UK. His research draws upon analytical, Indian and European traditions of philosophical thought. He has published four books, including The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India 1450-1700 (Clarendon Press, 2010). He was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, and a research fellow at King's College London and at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Review:

"Drawing on premodern answers to rethink postmodern questions, and doing so with a philosopher's rigor, a non-philosopher's readability, and enormously creative thinking, Jonardon Ganeri does two important things at once. He suggests how to move forward into the future on the thorniest problems of self-identification, while revealing the depths of India's intellectual past and the resources it can offer for that task." -Sheldon Pollock, Columbia University "Recent philosophical writing on the subject of identity. though often focused on distant parts of the globe, has failed to tap the philosophical traditions outside the West in the analyses it provides. This ambitious book admirably overcomes that limitation and locates in the tradition of Indian philosophy a basis for the idea that our identities are not given to us but are rationally chosen. Its range of historical reference --from Manu to Matilal-- is impressive and presented with confidence and verve. It will add rigour and detail and historical depth to a concept ('identity') that still remains relatively indisciplined in its deployment in the study of politics and culture." - Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University, New York.

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