58th interdisciplinary seminar

Beyond Argument: Dialogue between scientific and philosophical traditions in Europe and Asia

Ranjit Nair

Tuesday, 6 of June - 16.00 - VUB - Room D.2.06

Abstract: At the threshold of the new millennium and in the context of the process of globalization, there is renewed urgency for encouraging dialogue between civilizations to achieve a fusion of horizons. The dialogue, with respect to knowledge traditions is a sine qua non for the emergence of a world in which understanding and mutual respect replace suspicion and mistrust and the human quest for knowledge and emancipation that cuts across boundaries, both geopolitical and mental, is advanced as a collective endeavour. Such a dialogue must necessarily vault over disciplinary barriers, such as that between science and philosophy, or more generally between science and other forms of knowledge. Some examples where the project will potentially be most fruitful will be discussed, specifically with respect to the traditions of Europe and Asia.

Ranjit Nair is Professor and founding Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Foundations of Science (CPFS) in New Delhi. After his initial education in India, he won scholarships to the University of Cambridge to read for the Mathematical Tripos Part III in theoretical physics. He was awarded a Research Scholarship by his college at Cambridge, Christ's, to undertake doctoral research at the Cavendish, where his interests turned towards research in the philosophy and foundations of quantum mechanics. He is the coordinating editor of a 12-volume series 'Foundations of Philosophy in India' published by Oxford University Press and has edited 'Mind, Matter and Mystery: Questions in Science and Philosophy' among others under the Scientia imprint and has a number of books onstream, including research monographs. CPFS has hosted more than a dozen distinguished visitors of the highest distinction and its initiatives include a biennial World Science Festival and Conferences, an annual Congress and 4 distinguished lectures. He serves on the advisory committees of various bodies such as the Einstein Institute and the Tagore-Einstein council of Vishvabharati University.