मंगलवार, 4 मार्च 2008

Philosophy as Methodology

-Dialectical Materialism (A.Spirkin)

The general concept of methodology:

A methodology is a system of principles and general ways of organising and structuring theoretical and practical activity, and also the theory of this system। Genetically methods go back far into the past, when our distant ancestors were acquiring, generalising and handing down to new generations their skills and means of influencing nature, the forms of organising labour and communication. As philosophy emerged, methodology became a special target of cognition and could be defined as a system of socially approved rules and standards of intellectual and practical activity. These rules and standards had to be aligned with the objective logic of events, with the properties and laws of phenomena. The problems of accumulating and transmitting experience called for a certain formalisation of the principles and precepts, the techniques and operations involved in activity itself. For example, in ancient Egypt geometry emerged in the form of methodologically significant precepts concerning the measuring procedure for the division of land. An important role in this process was played by training for labour operations, their sequence, and the choice of the most effective ways of doing things.
A characteristic feature of the development of philosophical thought in the 20th century is the rapid growth of methodological research and the increase of its specific share in the general system of scientific knowledge। This is due to the conversion of science into a direct productive force, to the rapid development of science as a special form of intellectual production and to the differential and integrative processes occurring in it, which has led to the specific changes in the classical disciplines and the appearance of many new ones। The development and perfecting of methods is a crucial element in all scientific progress. Contemporary society is confronted with global problems whose solution demands large-scale programmes that can be carried out only through the collaboration of many sciences, programmes designed to cope with the problems of ecology, demography, urbanisation, space exploration, and so on.
There are several classifications of methodological knowledge. One of the most popular is the division of methodology into substantive and formal methodology. The former includes such problems as the structure of scientific knowledge in general and scientific theory in particular, the laws of the generation, functioning and mutation of scientific theories, the conceptual framework of science and its separate disciplines, the definition of the explanatory patterns accepted in science, the structure and Operational composition of the methods of science, the conditions and criteria of scientificalness.

According to another classification, methods are divided into philosophical, general scientific, and special scientific methods. Yet another classification relies on different methods of qualitative and quantitative study of reality. The distinction between methods depending on the forms of causality—determinist and probability methods—is of considerable importance in modern science. For example, in biology dialectics is seen through the prism of general scientific methods (systems analysis, the principles of self-regulation, etc.), in specific research projects through apply ing special scientific methods and systems of methods (electronic microscopy, the method of tagged atoms, etc.). One or another method makes it possible to know only separate aspects of the object of research. In order to comprehend all the essential aspects of the object, there must be complementarity of methods. The whole system of methodological knowledge necessarily involves a world-view interpretation of the basis of the research and its results. It should be stressed that general methodology is always at work in the brain of every scientist but, as a rule, it is kept in obscurity, as the intellectual background of a searching mind. This obscurity is sometimes so complete that the scientist may even deny that he acts according to any philosophical methodology, and insist that he is in general free of any philosophy. But this is merely an illusion of the consciousness.

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March 3, 2008 1:01 AM

Career Opprtunities for Students of Philosophy

Traditionally, philosophy students have found their majors prepared them mainly for teaching positions or as a base for future study. However, it has been proven that no matter how technical or specialized your career field may be, the study of philosophy can give you the basic skills needed for thinking about, analyzing, understanding, and solving problems. Philosophy graduates today are discovering that a wide range of non-academic careers are now opening to them. Among these new careers are opportunities in:

Business: advertising executive; assistant manager; hotels; development manager; manpower services coordinator

Computers: systems analyst, consultant, programmer, technical writer ,Consulting

Education: non-teaching fields of admissions, librarian, residence hall director, provost, archivist

Finance: bank officer, investment broker

Government: officer in armed forces, CIA, congressional staff member, diplomat, immigration, policy and planning consultant, United Nations official, human services agency, county commissioner Insurance

Journalism and Publishing: freelance writer, magazine editor, technical writer

Law: lawyer, criminal justice programs, legal researcher, paralegal, security officer marketing and/or Sales Religion/Ministry

Research: business, education, government, scientific।

Cited From:http://baby.indstate.edu/art_sci/phil/careers.html
March 3, 2008 1:02 AM

रविवार, 2 मार्च 2008

Domestic Violence

The Delhi Commission for Women main aim is to protect women from all kind of harassment and it has worked extensively in this aspect over the years till date: -

The harassment of women ranging from physical beatings, emotional torture, mental abuse, sexual abuse, threat of violence, denial of basic necessity such as food and maintenance or where there are children, there is the additional blackmail that custody of the children will be denied to her if she does not fall in line, every kind of help and support, its provided to women who approach the Commission. It is no solace to be told that women can go to court for her rights. As going to Court itself is a long drawn process and torture, and very extensive often the women are simply abandoned and deserted with no means of sustenance.

Another very common form of violence is she taking of a second wife. It makes no difference that bigamy is crime, many men continue to believe that they have a right to home extra martial affairs. Statistics indicate that women in this society do not own property or she matrimonial home, which belongs either to she husband or to his family members. The man is therefore literally the lord and master of the home and hence considers the women to be just a worker in the house mostly and more prove to violence.

However, there are also situations in which people have laid together in what has come to be described as common law manages for several years and such women too face violence within the relationship.

Factors that determine the success of a domestic violence law.

It is therefore be clear to us that the success of any law on domestic violence depends on the following factors: -

A declaration of basic intent of the law, namely, the object of preventing domestic violence;

A clear and unambiguous statement of the right to be tree from domestic violence and the recognition of domestic violence as a violation of the human rights of the women;

The definition of domestic violence, which captures women’s expensive of abuse with some degree of precision;

The definition of the shared household so that rights can be protected within that household;

The relief that can be given to protect the women from violence;

The infrastructure available to victims of violence that can make the remedy accessible;

Clarity and simplicity of Court procedures;

Monitoring of the functions of the law, as it serving its intended purpose;

Providing a coordinated respond to domestic violence by recognizing the role of other agencies such as NGO’s the medical profession, shelter homes and the police in assisting the prevention of domestic violence.

The Government of India passed a Bill on 8th March, 2002 on Domestic Violence. The Government of India Bill defines “Domestic Violence” as follows: -

for the purpose of this Act, any conduct of the respondent stall constitute domestic violence if he,

habitually assault or makes the life of the aggrieved person miserable by cruelty of conduct even if such a conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment,

faces the aggrieved person to bad an immoral life or otherwise injuries or harms the aggrieved person.

Nothing contained in clause (c) of the sub-section (1) shall amount to domestic violence if the pursuit of course of conduct by the respondent was reasonable of his own protection or for the protection of his or another’s property.

The United Nation framework for model legislation on domestic violence states. “All acts of gender-based physical and Psychological abuse by a family member against women in the family, ranging from simple assault to aggravated physical battery, kidnapping, threats, intimidation, coercion, stalking, humiliating verbal use, forcible on unlawful entry, arson, destruction of property, sexual violence, marital rape, dowry or related violence, female genital mutilation, violence, related to exploitation through prostitution, violence against household workers and attempts to commit such acts shall be termed ”Domestic Violence.”

Though the Govt. of India Bill has been criticized by different organization in India. They say that Govt. of India bill fails to define domestic violence and washes itself off the responsibility of defining it and leaves it to judges to decide. This leaves too much to the mercy of the judge and too little to the rights of the person aggrieved. The definition does not use the language of rights and uses instead the outdated concept of conduct, making ”The life of an aggrieved person miserable.” It does not even define cruelty. There is in the Govt. of India Bill, a persistent denial to recognize that domestic violence exists and the need to articulate its various forms. This definition will defeat the very purpose of the law and will render its meaning less for women, if not make their position worse.

We, in the women’s movement have a long battle ahead of us getting the government to politically commit itself to pass a law on domestic violence is a victory no doubt but an incomplete one.

In a democratic country citizens have a right to participate in the forming of legislation.

We must insist that: -

“Domestic Violence” is defined in accordance with the UN framework for model legislation on domestic violence. The right to reside in the shared household is included.

The law should enable judges to pass orders of residence, restraining dispossession, restoring possession.

Law should enable grant to monetary relief, custody and compensation.

There should be no procession for mandating counselling for the women.

Protection officers are appointed through an open process of inviting applications from all qualified persons through advertisements in a transparent manner.

A suspended warrant of arrest is attached to the protection order or in the alternation. Violation of a protection order is an offence which 15 cognizable and non-bail able.

The government commits substantial funds for the appointment of protection officers and for the implementation of the Act.

Widest possible publicity of the law is given.

The government provide for training of the law enforcement machinery.

The coordination for the prevention of domestic violence is appointed.

Legal aid to victims of domestic violence should be readily available.

The Delhi Commission for Women also discussed the bill extensively and few suggestions have been given by the lawyers and members of the Commission and justified there suggestions which are being sent in regard of proposed Bill for Domestic Violence. It is also being stated that suggestions has been incorporated according to section of proposed by bill which are as follow: -

section 2 (d) of this proposed Bill deals with definition of monetary relief. In this regard, it is being suggested that monetary relief to aggrieved person should be linked with the status of accused.

Otherwise, this will give the scope to accused to hurt the aggrieved person again.

section 4 (1) of this proposed Bill deals with Meaning of Domestic Violence. This section of proposed Bill covers only that act which is done by male members.

In this regard, it is being suggested that this definition does not cover that act which is done by females. There should be mentioned a word which can cover the act which is done by both males and females.

For example, in some cases the violence is caused by sister-in-law/mother-in-law, etc. In this situation this word ‘He’ which is mentioned in definition of proposed Bill will remain in sufficient.

this proposed suggestion in regard of section 4, suggested to amend suitably because the existing provision of proposed Bill provides some scope of safeguard to accused Person therefore it is being suggested to amend this provision suitably.

section 5 of the proposed Bill, deals with the appointment of Protection Officer. In this regard, it is being proposed that the role and the process of appointment of Protection Officer should be transparent and well defined so that appropriate/ qualified person may be appointed.

section 12 of the proposed Bill, deals with the assistance of welfare expert. In this regard, it is being proposed, a coordinator for prevention of domestic violence should be appointed with in society with the help of voluntary organization, which works for family related issues.

This will help to aggrieved person to come out from society and encouraged to file on application from weaker section of society.

this proposed Bill does not cover violence against domestic servants. Thus, this proposed suggestion will entrance the coverance of the Bill and more aggrieved persons of society would be cover by this amendment.

this is in regard of section 11 of proposed Bill, which deals with counselling. In this regard, it is being proposed that mandatory word may be dated and nature of counselling for victim should be Psychological. Therefore, both parties can lead their life smoothly and peacefully.

section 12 of proposed Bill deals with assistance of welfare expert. In this regard, it is being suggested that the guidelines for the welfare expert should be well defined so that he/she can provide his/her service in right direction.

this suggestion also being made that the right of aggrieved person to live in her matrimonial home should be unconditional and clearly brought out.

this is also justified because a aggrieved person who faces violence does not want to go back because of the violence. If a woman restored to her matrimonial home, there is no guarantee for further victimization. Thus, there should be mandatory law directly a woman (victim) to be restored to matrimonial home.

in this proposed Bill, it is not specified that where should an application be made by an aggrieved person. Thus, the jurisdiction of the complainant should be made clear.

Cited from

February 29, 2008 11:39 PM


By Monica Thapar

Each one of us must identify the values we want to live by. We need to take the time to know ourselves and penetrate layers of conditioning to arrive at our true selves.

Value education is education in values and education towards the inculcation of values. Implicit in this definition is the conviction that value education is a universal phenomenon intrinsic to all learning and education, whether at home or in an institution. It is not. Neither teaches us to be critical thinkers or to regard ourselves as proactive beings in relation to ourselves, our community and humanity at large. Unwittingly and through habit we accept most things handed out to us by the media, the government and the polity. Unfortunately when there is so much talk about individual capabilities and potentialities, there is so little confidence on the part of the individual about his own power to make a difference. Our educational system is of little help. We are not trained to be proactive thinkers because we are told so little of the life values that are the basis for creative thinking.

What really is education? It is not literacy, nor information. Education is a systematic attempt towards human learning. All learning is subjective and self-related. Educational activity starts with the individual—Who am I? Where am I going? Where have I come from? It is only with an understanding of the Self that we can begin to understand our relationships with others and the environment.

Knowledge should not be made remote from individual reality and irrelevant to the individual. Knowledge can never be 'learned'. Knowledge is the fruit of experience and experience is the sensation of the individual. Individual experience is an internal happening and is the function of awareness. And one of the processes of knowing ourselves, of raising our awareness, is to be able to identify and clarify our values. Education in values is essential in helping each one of us directly encounter the values that we hold, understand them completely, so that we may order our relationships to the environment that lies outside us. Once we are clear about values we shall be better able to sift and control information of the natural world, make wise choices and be creative in our mental processes.

'Know thyself' is what each of us needs to do, yet modern life moves at such a pace that we seldom take the time to examine ourselves. We become strangers to our own selves. We follow the dictates of others blindly. Why should any debate be left to a few 'experts'? Why is not critical thinking an integral part of everyday life? It must be so if we are to create a sane society.

For this to happen we must be equipped to examine our values. These are our internal guideposts. Much of the great literature of the world—from Bhagavad Gita to Socrates to Hamlet—has dwelled on value choices and moral dilemmas that are bound to occur when your values are clearly defined. Values do conflict. Making value choices is not easy, but it is this very thing we must confront and make part of our lives if we are to be truly creative human beings. Moral dilemmas are only possible for those who have strongly held principles and it is through these moral dilemmas that new and revolutionary thought processes emerge and character develops.

Value conflicts are the strongest test of character. Yet, today, moral dilemmas are considered a waste of time, a domain for 'losers'. Ultimately we declare all value assertions unscientific and relative, hence dispensable. We do not realize that value conflict is healthy, necessary and by eliminating it we are also erasing all conviction. Confucius once said: "If a man carefully cultivates values in his conduct, he may still err a little but he won't be far from the standard of truth."

It is time to clarify these values that we speak of. It is up to each one of us to determine the society we will create by deciding upon the values we will emphasize today.

But first, let us be clear about the categories of values. These are three-universal, cultural or ethnic and individual or personal values.


Freedom consists not in refusing to recognize anything above us, but in respecting something which is above us; for by respecting it, we raise ourselves to it, and, by our very acknowledgement, prove that we bear within ourselves what is higher, and are worthy to be on a level with it.—Goethe

Universal values reveal the essence of the human condition। These arise out of the fundamental questions-Who am I? What is my essence? Who am I when I remove myself from my social and cultural environment? Is there anything in me that cannot be explained by heredity, environment and society?

It is universal values that indicate the essence of the human condition। It is through universal values that we link ourselves with humanity and the cosmos, it is through these that all barriers of time, place and ethnicity are eliminated.

These values are not manifest. They must be experienced, as one experiences a sunrise, the beauty of a flower, as one experiences joy, pleasure, bliss, awe, serenity. These values cannot be contained by words. That the Upanishads and the Bible have remained relevant today as they were centuries ago, tells us that at the core, there are some constants in human condition, that time has not changed. That we are still moved by the wonder of the Taj Mahal, the music of Mozart, the life of Hamlet, the perennial philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita speaks volumes about the mystery and timelessness of universal values.

Universal values can be experienced as life, joy, brotherhood, love, compassion, service, bliss, truth and eternity.


If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it.—S.I. Hayakawa

Cultural values are the social values of the day. They are specific to time and place and can be used just as much as misused. These values are concerned with right and wrong, good and bad, customs and behavior. They are meant to maintain social order.

Cultural values are speculative and there is nothing wrong with speculating. But it becomes wrong when speculation becomes 'truth', when opinion becomes 'fact' and when prejudice becomes the 'cause'. When cultural values are elevated to the status of universal values, there is the risk of intolerance, oppression, demagoguery, brutality and aggression. A cultural value may serve a function in a particular situation and circumstance, but in no way can it be seen as the only or the best way of doing things. A spoon can serve the function of lifting food but so can a fork, a knife, a spatula or bare fingers. A cultural value similarly has limited relevance and the fact that it serves a particular function in a given society does not imply that it is the only or best way of doing so.

When seen in this light, cultural values have the advantage of becoming a source of insight into a time and society. Creative development of ideas often emerges out of an interaction of different cultural values and an understanding and respect for differences. Much of what we find exciting and interesting has in fact come from a meeting of cultures. The Renaissance came about from a meeting of the ancient Greek and medieval European cultures. Jazz is African-European music and the American Transcendentalists studied the Indian Vedas and Upanishads. The East heavily influenced writers such as Aldous Huxley, Somerset Maugham and Carl Jung. Gandhi drew inspiration from Tolstoy, and Martin Luther King Jr. was in turn, deeply affected by Gandhi.

If all one knows is one's own culture, there is narcissism. The study of other cultures gives us a wider frame of reference. And the study of other cultures is through its sacred (poetic, mythic, religious) traditions and not only through studying history.

Cultural values are reflected in language, ethics, social hierarchy, aesthetics, education, law, economics, philosophy and social institutions of every kind.


That civilization perishes in which the individual thwarts the revelation of the universal.—Rabindranath Tagore

Individual values are our private principles, the result of individual personality and individual experiences. Parents, teachers and one's peer group shape individual values. Personal values determine the differing reactions of people to similar events. A crisis may dim one person's enthusiasm and land him in depression, while another may be propelled into greater action.

Individual values are reflected in individual goals, vows, relationships, commitments and personal preferences. These are often colored by memories of the past and therefore there are differences in the meaning attributed to a common experience. To one person children denote happiness and strength, to another they may denote bondage. Individual values are malleable, often contained in a time and memory warp. They can transform themselves into universal values when you practise awareness and living in the moment.

After clarifying our values, we must determine which of the three are most meaningful for us after considering the relative priority of each category, so that we may be able to confront these and understand our own psychological and social conditioning.

Beyond our ego (sense of self) and identity (sense of belonging to a group) that dictates what we know, think, feel and how we act lies the universal identity. Dissonance between ego and identity can create anxiety and alienation but acting upon universal values will not, for here it is authentic action emanating from an authentic Self. Universal values are at the top of the list. The others have their place but it is through universal values that we experience a sense of oneness with the human race.

Universal values must be our foundation if we are to enjoy a rich, profound and fulfilling life. Our personal and cultural biases limit and distort our perception of the universal wonder that is life. Even as the hands of a clock are powered from the center that remains ever still, so the universal values remain ever at the center of human life, no matter where the hands of time are pointing—past, present or future.

Life Positive, May 2001

Cited from:

February 28, 2008 1:06 AM