What is a Plant?

-Shivprajval Divakar I begin with Chapter 7 from the 6th standard NCERT textbook for Science titled, ‘Getting to Know Plants’. It is in the 6th standard that science is first introduced as a separate subject, although the subject of Environmental Science is taught from 3rd to 5th standard. Chapter 7 Read more…

Concept Note for Series

-Shivprajval Divakar There is a popular view that science concerns itself with establishing ‘facts’ of the ‘physical world’. It is said that to do this, scientists put aside all of their ‘personal opinions’ and rely solely on ‘objective evidence’ to arrive at their conclusions. A popular view regarding philosophy is Read more…

On Loneliness

Loneliness could quite easily be considered one of the most harrowing aspects of modern life. It presents us with the agonising experience of confronting our own thoughts, particularly those which are critical of our worth and value. Perhaps an even more troubling aspect of it is the feeling that ‘nobody Read more…

Indian Logic and Science- Part 3

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s Book, ‘What is Science?’ ” Indian theories of doubt range from the sceptical mode in some Buddhist schools to a pragmatic approach by philosophies such as Nyaya. Descartes’ methodology of doubt has been extremely influential in philosophy of science. The Read more…

Indian Logic and Science- Part 2

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s Book, ‘What is Science?’ Dr. Sarukkai characterizes the role Indian Logic can play in understanding the nature of Science- ” In recent times, there have been many claims about the relationship of modern science with ancient Indian traditions. In this Read more…

What do Scientists do?- Part 4

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s Book, ‘What is Science?’ Dr. Sarukkai addresses what the work of an experimental scientist entails- “What do experimenters do in their everyday work? The paradigm of experiments must be the test tube experiments in schools, where students mix chemicals and Read more…

What do Scientists do?- Part 2

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s Book, ‘What is Science?’ Dr. Sarukkai comments on another aspect of what scientists do- “Arguably the most important marker of science is this capacity to build institutions at all levels of the society. Science is primarily an activity of establishing Read more…

What do Scientists do?- Part 3

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s Book, ‘What is Science?’ Dr. Sarukkai elaborates on the role of scientific models in theoretical work- ” Scientists spend an inordinate amount of time playing around with models and not with the phenomena of the world.” (Page 38) ” Newton Read more…

What do Scientists do? -Part 1

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s book, ‘What is Science?’ Dr. Sarukkai elucidates on the many things scientists do since it is often said that science is what scientists do. “Scientists go to office just like countless others. They have various tasks in their offices. They Read more…

What do we Mean by Science? -Part 2

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s Book, ‘What is Science?’ We now continue from the last post, and summarize further points from the book. Dr Sarukkai elaborates on the idea of science that Karl Popper, a famous philosopher used in his attempts to demarcate scientific hypotheses Read more…

What do we Mean by Science? – Part 1

Part of a Series of Excerpts from Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s book,’What is Science?’ Dr Sarukkai offers some perspectives prevalent in the 19th century, relevant to science – “…the ‘scientist’ of those times moved between science, theology, political economy and even literature.” “Before the use of the word ‘science’ to refer Read more…

Philosophy for Children – the book

The English version of Prof Sundar Sarukkai’s new book, ‘Philosophy for Children’ is now available for preorder. The hard copy version costs INR 175 and can be preordered here-https://ektaraindia.in/ektarashop/index.php?route=product/product&path=58_98&product_id=470 The e-book version costs INR 110 and can be preordered here-https://ektaraindia.in/ektarashop/index.php?route=product/product&path=102_109&product_id=471 Sundar Sarukkai’s latest book Philosophy for Children will be available Read more…

Reflections on footwear

From the Editorial Team (Dr. Meera Baindur). While ruminating on the phenomenon of walking barefoot, my thoughts turned to footwear. I was wondering while we did throw away the excess baggage of the metaphorical footwear, we do have close connections between footwear and philosophy. Let me recount for you two Read more…

A Utilitarian View of Homosexuality

by Dr Ananya Barua & Aradhana Gupta. Sexuality is a complex phenomenon, particularly when looked at from a social perspective. This is primarily because the various dimensions of sexuality are not alike in all individuals. This is to say that everyone exhibits a variety of different desires and behaviors that Read more…

The Philosophy of Philistines

by Ezat Mossallanejad. In his masterpiece “The Bridge over the Drina”, the Yugoslav novelist Ivo Andric, speaks of a Turkish foreman who orders death sentence by means of horrible techniques of torture against a Bosnian worker due to his alleged attempts at rebellion: “Everything must be made ready so that Read more…

Non-human Ethics

by Nitesh Anchan. Introduction How should humans treat non-human beings? In other words, what is the correct or right mode of action towards members of non-human species? The ‘how’ question, i.e. how to treat non-human beings, relies on the ‘what’ question, i.e. what ‘are’ non-human beings. The ‘what’ question is Read more…

‘Philosophy and the Public’

By Sundar Sarukkai. “Philosophy, from its earliest origins whether in India or Greece, was always a form of public discourse. The aims of philosophy were about addressing individual and social concerns, which included questions of the nature of the real, knowledge, truth, freedom, soul, god and so on. If there Read more…

Doing Philosophy with Kids

by Mansi Rathour. In the summer of 2019, the team at Barefoot Philosophers led by Professor Sundar Sarukkai, organized Philosophy Summer Camps for children across various cities in India. The intention of organizing these camps was to introduce children to the practice of critical and philosophical thinking. The first of Read more…

Digitization and Literary Studies

by Kamlakar Bhat. I. Emerging Phenomena of Digital Literature I am ‘writing’ this note on “Digitization and Literary Studies” on my laptop, consulting online resources on my mobile phone. And the reader of this piece may access it through one or the other digital platform. This entire circle of production Read more…

Dissonances: The Myth of Sisyphus

by Kushal Choudhary. An exploration of the ideas pertaining to the 1942 seminal essay ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ by Albert Camus. The exploration expounds the ideas of what we mean by creating something and what purpose creation of any kind serves. It also alludes to the idea ‘the absurd’ and Read more…

Barefoot

by Sundar Sarukkai Bare is in. All the enlightened souls I meet – mostly those in Delhi academic circles – keep talking about somebody called Agamben and his idea of ‘bare life’. I must confess that I don’t understand what the fuss about this ‘bare life’ is about. Much before Read more…

Why So Serious?

by Sahana Rajan. Why should you care about why you do what you do? Kabir and Meera are having a meal at McDonalds. While Kabir works at Nirvana PrivateLimited, Meera is currently a Professor of Philosophy at Avyaktum University. Kabir hasordered a Chicken Kebab Burger with a Soft Serve Hot Read more…

Of Gilead

by Anushka Maheshwary. Margaret Atwood in her book The Handmaid’s Tale spins a tale so gripping that it leaves one gasping for air after being submerged in turbulent waters of the totalitarian state of Gilead. It tells the story of the narrator, a woman whose name is later revealed to Read more…

Ethics of Debate

by Chaitanya Joshi & Sushruth Ravish. In present times of partisan divide, each one of us would have experienced at some point or the other, an impasse in a conversation. This is what the Greeks called aporia – a point beyond which no further dialogue seems to be possible. Each Read more…

Scroll Up