IN SEARCH OF METHODS: ANEKANTAVADA

 

 

 

 

Categorized research-works of Debaprasad-28

IN SEARCH OF METHODS: ANEKANTAVADA

 #Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay *

^ দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

LITTLE BOXES IN THE HILLSIDE

“And the people in the houses/All went to the university/Where they were put in boxes/And they came out all the same…Little boxes all the same,……”– Malvina Reynolds (sung by Pete Seeger, 1962).

What type of methodology (S)talker did follow in all these categorized research works? Let us see stalker’s position in this regard.

 In the paper, তর্জমার তর্জনী বা একলব্যের বুড়ো আঙ্গুল [The Ekalavya Relation: Modernist Locals’ Anti-Modernist Response(s)] (Bangla version) and in The Ekalavya Relation, (English version)the author showed that the totalizing effects of enlightened philosophy of science through the process of colonization was combated by the reintroduction of ankantavada (roughly, the theory of many perspectives) in the realm of epistemology by the colonized. Thus this  re-interpretation of anekantavada was a response to the monolithic philosophy of science introduced by the colonizer. (cf.

“Scraps on Modernism, Post-Modernism and Indian Responses’)

 

 

 

  1. A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

A system of logic was developed in the anekantavada where both the formal and non-formal system of reasoning can be incorporated. P.C. Mahalanabis reinterpreted it, when he found the probability statistics in Jaina Philosophy of syadvada. Syadvada includes poly-lectics of sevenfold prediction:

 

  1. syadasti = Somehow, it is. (e.g., word exists in the linguist tribe’s mental lexicon)
  2. syatnasti = Somehow, it is not.
  3. syadasti syatnasti ca = Somehow, it is and it is not.
  4. syadavaktyavyah = Somehow, it is indeterminate.
  5. syadasti avaktyavyasca = Somehow, it is and it is indeterminate.
  6. syatnasti ca avaktyavyasca = Somehow, it is not and it is indeterminate.
  7. syadasti nasti ca avaktyavyasca = Somehow, it is and it is not and it is indeterminate.

 

(please note that the term syat, though translated as “may be” by Mahalanabis and that was followed by the Encyclopedia Britanica, it is “somehow” or “probably”)

 

What is noticeable here that Mahalanabis (1954) translated avaktyavyah as “indeterminate” to make a provision for contingency or/and uncertainty principle as literary avakktyavyah means “indescribable”. Later on D.S. Kothari (1985) justified Mahalanabis’s position as he noticed the similarity of Niels Borh’s complementary principle in the anekantavada. J.B.S. Haldane (1957), following Mahalanabis, also mentioned syadvada in reference to physiology and the position of the so-called ‘conclusion’, intermediate to certainty and uncertainty. Haldane mentioned one crucial thing in connection with syadvada : halting problem of Turing Machine. Haldane also mentioned (Russell’s) paradoxes of Principia Mathematica (1913), when they are given in a machine, the answer from the part of machine would be indeterminate or avakktyavyah, an unspoken and or unspeakable zone.

 

 

  1. ELABORATION

The present author is re-reinterpreting anekantavada. In the paper, “Little Boxes: (Il)Logic(s) of Truth-Room(s) (Bangla version: “ছোট বাক্স, ছোট বাক্স: (অ-) সত্য ঘরের (অ-)যুক্তি ‘Little Boxes: (Il)Logic(S) of Truth-Room(S)’ ” View PPT. @ “Little Boxes: (Il)logic(s) of Truth-Room(s)”), the author was reiterating Nietzsche – truth-seeking is a disease – will to know leads to will to power. Even then, we have truth rooms (TR) and we are celebrating our truth claims. We are following, either in our life-spaces/statist-space or in academic spaces, different “original/fundamental” TRs. When I am branding one TR as fundamentalist, I do not consider my TR as fundamentalist, though it is “fundamental original” piece of work. Following Malvina Reynolds, I want to call all these TRs as little boxes. Within this little box or TR of one vegetarian, all the animal proteins, onion are prohibited and another vegetarian thinks s/he can consume onion and egg and still preserves vegetarian status. In case of determining the semantic status of the term ‘vegetarian’ how do we incorporate two TRs of two vegetarians? On the other hand, the ‘meaning’ of the term might be decided positively by terminating one of them. Where are the entry-points and closures of such TRs? Or, they “all look just the same”? My Little Box gives me security and provides me with discomfort. This very much claustrophobic dependence on a single TR makes me remember of a giant, Damastes or otherwise Prokrustes, who laid all human beings on his bed and then “lop them or rack them out to make fit it.” Are these TRs Procrustean Bed? Let us scrutinize some TRs in reference to different academic disciplines. M. Rouget argued that scientific statements are often “as if” “true”. As sometimes in Classical Physics, we presume such vacuum to continue our agenda for model-theoretic approach. In case of Linguistic TR, Chomsky’s “ideal” speaking subject stands in a vacuum. Chomsky’s TR is like this: “Context free ideal creative speaking subject with zero history”, on the other hand in another TR, one may postulate, “Context-sensitive creative speaking corporeal with history (childhood configuration etc.)”. In Science, we generally idealize a formula by considering “other” variables as non-existent entities. In Cricket , we can say, without any hesitation that Shane Warne is continuing his 6.5 over. What is the status of .5 in six-balls’ over? If Wittgenstein is to be believed, mathematics is a practice, performance of a community. For Wittgenstein, communalism of mathematics is determined by the communities’ convenience and necessity. In case of Economics, I can write “3 goats= 1 cow or “one apartment= $ 200000” by adding some sufficient causes. How do I put the sign= in between two unequal things? Questioning the equalizing effect of a sign as a dangerous supplement, a properly signed signifier called money, is prohibited within economics’ TR. I am representing the presentations of a priori, though it is neither analytical a priori, nor the synthetic one, but something called historical a priori—an a priori proposition  approximated by the historical incidences and they get epistemic status within a ghetto of a TR. I had then switched over to some problems of ordinary language, the problem of fuzzy numerals in Bangla, which, from Logical Positivist perspective, is illogical. According to (s)talker, if I do not like one TR, let me take it as a legitimate possibility without any commitment and on the other hand, if I feel comfort in one of these TRs, let me commit myself to that particular TR. Alternatively, we may swing from one TR to another TR. What (S)talker was paraphrasing here is nothing but the re-reading of Jaina anekantavada by Krishna Chandra and Kalidas Bhattacharya. The author also took his inheritance of anekantavada from Abu Sayed Ayub, Buddhadeb Basu and Sudhindranath Dutta in Bangla literary criticism and translation theory(cf. The Ekalavya Relation and Impossibility Of Translation: A Case Study) ; P.C. Mahalanabis and J.B.S. Haldane in Statistics and ‘natural’ sciences (cf. “Computational Linguistics: A dissenter’s Voice.”). All of them deployed anekanta-theory in their respective fields.

In the review-article, A Commentary on Indian Culture and Anekanta Vedanta (ভারতীয় সংস্কৃতি অনেকান্ত বেদান্ত: ভাষ্য),  the author made a commentary (bhasya) on an ignored book on contemporary Indian Philosophy, Bharatiya Samskrti o Anekanta Vedanta (Indian Culture and Theory of Many Perspectives in Fusion with Vedanta, 1982), where Kalidas Bhattacharya, of the book discussed (a) the problems of fundamentalism as well as foundationalism; (b) the problems of formal Model-Theoretic Approach and negation of such armchair games; (c) the basic fundamental theories of global as well as glocal philosophy and their possible fallacies;(d) dissolved the problems of non-/association of intelligence with nature: are human beings extra-natural?(e) and introduced the fusion of two opposite schools of Indian Philosophy: Vedanta and Jaina Anekantavada with reinterpretations of the basic methodological conjectures, especially with the validation of secular metaphysical concepts by introducing the theory of alternity (inherited from Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya), where disjunctive propositions are put without special privilage. Lastly, the politics of tolerance is introduced in accordance with the concept of theory of many perspectives.  The present reviewer, after summarizing the whole book in details, introduced his own position on this theory of many perspectives by distinguishing between pluralistic methodology (Feyerabend) and the theory of many perspectives and the whole project has been led towards anti-method(s) and anti-model theoretic approaches.

 

 

 

 

For detailed discussion, kindly follow hyperlinks (blue-colored titles):

 

 

 

DigiArt: Akhar Bandyopadhyay

 

 

 

About Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Debaprasad Bandyopdhyay (b. 1965), through his 25 years journey in the realm of institutionalized academics did 27 different types of works, which are someway different from the earlier paradigms or, one might say that those works are not only mere reproductions of his inherited institutionalized cultural capital or a mimicry of a colonially imposed model that leads to intellectual anorexia or rather a type falsification of earlier paradigms. However, that might be not only a lofty claim but it also hid the fact that all our information and knowledge are socially accumulated knowledge that was, it is matter of regret, posed as private property through the sign © and the wisdom is rarely available. Bandyopadhyay’s works and projects are the products of his social milieu. Bandyopadhyay is a local sub-altern public sphere academician, who avoids the technical intelligentsia (followers of Sahib’s models and they are not committed to the persons who are accommodating surplus work-time to them by performing surplus labour) or inorganic intellectuals and thus fails to be a part of academic tribe and its subsequent socialization process. Of course, that socialization process does not lead to legendary Socratic dialogue. He is also a political activist though he has not affiliated to any political parties as he was always talking about the corporatization of political parties within the money-sign-based democratic system. He is a regular participant in TV and radio talk-shows and documentary films, street-corners’ talks and International seminars on socio-political, psychological, linguistic, environmental and economic issues. He also writes editorial columns in newspapers. He is also a part of parallel academics as it is found in West Bengal’s Little Magazine Movement, though that was not counted as the part his academic pursuit by his parent institute. His parent institute justifiably does not believe in the domain of parallel academics as this unorganized sector does not directly contribute in the transactions of formal/organized print capitalist eco-enemy paper-publication. Though the dissemination of knowledge is also observed in this space of these parallel academics as all these writings in public sphere simultaneously influence the classroom-discourse and some of them are translated into English, French and Italian. Not only that, Bandyopadhyay also sought engagement with the people, who, by supplying their surplus labour, are sustaining his livelihood. Bandyopadhyay, a linguist by training and a Ph.D.-holder (1996), a junior lecturer (1999-2011) in an autonomous central government institute in India, tries his best for those from he has received and is receiving the manifestation of surplus labour by executing some self-funded projects on economic issues in West Bengal, India. Recently he has got a consolation promotion to the post of Assistant Professor. He has done following 27 research works: 1. Crippled Creativity: An inquiry into language, psyche, society: 2. VALENCY OF BANGLA VERB AND PROBLEM OF COMPOUND VERBS: 3. Archaeology of Bangla Grammar : 4. CAN COMPUTER SPEAK? 5. FUZZY LOGICAL EXPRESSION IN BANGLA : 6. FOLKLORE AND FOLK-LANGUAGE: MYTH OR REALITY? 7. HISTORICISM IN THE DISCOURSE OF BANGLA LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 8. ABHABA, ECP, DELETION AND TRACE 9. SVATVA OR MY-NESS AND ECONOMIC ENTITLEMEMT 10. TRANSLATION STUDIES 11. MASCULINITY STUDIES 12. YAYATI & BABAR COMPLEX 13. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEYS IN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL 14. CONCEPT OF BODY IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ARCHITECTURE 15. THE CONCEPT OF ERROR (KHYATI) IN MAD-(WO)MEN’S LANGUAGE 16. THE CONCEPT OF PERCEPTUAL TIME AND GRAMMATICAL TIME IN BANGLA 17. BANGLA CALLIGRAPHY, LANGUAGE ART AND LINGUISTIC PEDAGOGY 18. WO(L)D SPACES: NON-EXISTENCE OF WORDS 19. ANEKANTA METHODS 20. SILENCEME: SILENT OTHER IN LINGUISTICS 21. IMAGINED BOUDARIES AND PRE-COLONIAL INDIAN IMAGI-NATION 22. MAKING OF THE INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 23. SEGMENTING THE SUPRASEGMENTALS : MUSICKING IN SPEAKING 24. INTERPRETING GENETIC STRUCTURE BY DEPLOYING LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE 25. GLOTTOPOLITICS OF LINGUISTIC SUBALTERNITY OR AN AGENDA FOR PLANNING FROM BELOW 26. SEMIOTICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 27. SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ACADEMICS
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