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88 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Modem Indian Thought. By V. S. Naravane. (New York: Asia Publishing House, 1964. Pp. xiii + 310. Foreword by ttumayun Kabir.) This is an excellent introduction to the most influential modern thought and thinking of India, and meets a need felt by many European and American students who desire to have accurate information on how modern Indians have adapted their ancient traditions to their modern education without falling either into traditionalism or rebellion. Humayun Kabir says truly in his Foreword : "There has been a tremendous upsurge of interest in Indian life and thought in recent years. Gone are the days when Indian philosophy was confined to esoteric studies by disapproving theologians. Today the art and culture, the economics and politics, the social structure and traditional customs of India find eager and sympathetic students throughtout the world." Naravane's volume is a fine response to this awakened interest. In addition to an intelligible account of the ideas of the men whose thought he portrays, the author gives many biographical details and references to the great body of literature, little of which is familiar to Western readers. Naravane is evidently himself a genuinely modern Indian thinker, so that his exposition is intelligible to a modern mind that may find the ancient classics unintelligible. Only minds of the first magnitude for modern India have been selected, and with two exceptions , these are the men whom one expects to find in a book devoted to modern Indian thought, for they have aroused the world-wide interest mentioned by ttumayun Kabir: Ram Mohun Roy and the Brahmo Samaj, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Tagore, Gandhi, Aurobindo, and Radhakrishnan. The two who are usually omitted and whom we are delighted to find in this great company are Ananda Coomaraswamy and Muhammad Iqbal. These two are less closely identified with Indian life than the others. Coomaraswamy, coming from Ceylon and living most of his life in England and the United States, is nevertheless one of the major modern interpreters of Indian culture and writes of the classic traditions not as something foreign to him or relevant only to an age gone by, but with the kind of critical appreciation which only a modern mind with a classical Indian culture can command. Iqbal is now often dismissed as important only for Pakistan, whereas he deserves to be read along with Tagore and Aurobindo as a modernized son of India. Thus, the volume achieves a fine balance as well as a richness of detail. It is good for both reading and studying. The notes, by the way, are important for both reader and student. HEEBERT W. SCHNEIDER Claremont, CaliJornia Gabriel Marcel-Fragments Philosophiques 1909-1914. Introduction par Lionel A. Blain. (Louvain-Beatrice-Nauwelaerts, Paris (Vie): Editions Nauwelaerts. Pp. 116. Philosophes Contemporaina-Textes et Etudes.) This volume contains a number of essays written by Gabriel Marcel between 1909-1914 preparatory to his doctoral thesis. The Rev. Lionel A. Blain of Our Lady of Providence Seminary, Warwick, Rhode Island, assembled these texts out of the original copybooks after having written his own doctoral dissertation (1959) on "The notion of proof of God's existence in the early writings of Gabriel Marcel." Marcel has provided the booklet with a Preface and also added an epilogue. In it he declares that "the irrefutable character of faith--when it is perfectly authentic--obtruded itself on him at a time when he could not in all honesty consider himself as a believer. He then adds that "It is in this fact that the paradox lies which confers on these texts a certain interest and which allows him to envisage them as existential avant la lettre, although this expression is still absent from the pages." This means to him that "existential" thought is already apparent here. The essays concern principally "absolute knowledge," the participation of thought in Being, the theory of such participation, the foundation of values, the question of personal immortality, and the unverifiable. They show how Marcel, dissatisfied with idealistic philosophy past and present (Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Bradley), abandoned its "intellectualism" to espouse a theory ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
p. 88
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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