restricted access Tagore's Conception of Cosmopolitanism: A Reconstruction

This paper focuses on the nature of cosmopolitanism within the scope of Rabindranath Tagore's social and political thought, primarily by showing that the attacks on Martha Nussbaum's critique of patriotism and her attendant defence of cosmopolitanism miss the mark when directed against Tagore. It argues that Tagore's understanding of universality is not of an abstract Kantian sort, but assumes that particular cultural traditions can provide the bases for understanding and morally relating to others. Tagore's conception of rationality does not merely yield postmodern toleration of alterity, but aspires to dissolve instances of otherness altogether by enriching one's own tradition through hermeneutic absorption and assimilation.