Arindam Chakrabarti: We the People General Will Re-Considered

Rajni Kothari Lectures are instituted in honour of the CSDS Founder Director Professor Rajni Kothari. Earlier speakers in the series include Professors Charles Douglas Lummis, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Sudipta Kaviraj, Gananath Obeyesekere, Rounaq Jahan, Abdellah Hammoudi, Charles Taylor, Arif Dirlik, Shahid Amin and Alfred Stepan.

When we compare the concepts of people, the public, citizens, and voters with the concepts of jantaa, jana-gan, lok, humlog, aam admi, prajaa, bahujan etc., a complex pattern of family resemblances and distinctions emerges. On the basis of this politically suggestive ordinary language analysis, this lecture will explore the ontological status of "we, the people (of India or any other country)" which should be crucial to democratic theory. Can the collective subject ('we') have a will distinguishable from individual wills and the negotiated will of the majority?

Arindam Chakrabarti is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Center for South Asian Studies, at University of Hawai'i at M?noa. His major areas of specialization are Philosophy of language and logic, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and Indian philosophy.

His numerous books include Denying ExistenceKnowing from Words (with B.K.Matilal), Universals, Concepts and Qualities (with P.F. Strawson), Apoha: Buddhist Nominalism (with Mark Siderits and Tom Tillemans), and Mahabharata Now (with Sibaji Bandyopadhyay).

Deepak Nayyar is the Chairman of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Friday, 18 December 2015
5 pm, CSDS Seminar Room