In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviewed by:
  • The Making of Contemporary Indian Philosophy: Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya ed. by Daniel Raveh and Elise Coquereau-Saouma
  • Muzaffar Ali (bio)
The Making of Contemporary Indian Philosophy: Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya. Edited by Daniel Raveh and Elise Coquereau-Saouma. London: Routledge, 2023. Pp. xiii+ 263. Hardcover £120, isbn 978-0-367-70981-5.

Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya (KCB) is more than the seminal essay, "Svaraj in Ideas," through which academicians, politicians, postcolonial/decolonial thinkers and too often philosophers usually identify and fossilize him. That, in my opinion, is the characteristic message of this volume. The message attains significance when calls for decolonization result in the sacrifice of actual philosophical legacy and resources to 'mere polity talk'. KCB, and with him other philosophers, need to be rescued from this 'mere polity talk', and the current volume rightly navigates in that direction. Setting the tone, The Making of Contemporary Indian Philosophy: Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya states that KCB is a significant yet unsung piece in the "jigsaw puzzle" of contemporary Indian philosophy (CIP). It rightly acknowledges KCB as the father of CIP, a distinct-yet-neglected genre of Indian philosophy "that draws on both classical Indian philosophical sources and Western materials, old and new" (p. 3). With a focus on KCB, the volume attempts to get back to and deliberate on the spectrum of his philosophy with two aims: a) To rediscover the philosophical significance and novelty of his philosophy where the classics of Indian philosophy and the modern avatars of European philosophy are made to speak to each other, and, b) To re-turn the attention of a global philosophical landscape that remains dominated by classical Indian philosophy and modern Western philosophy towards the present, "the now," of Indian philosophy in CIP, which was set in motion by KCB at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The volume is divided into five sections. The first section, "Entrée" includes Daniel Raveh's "Introduction" and Daya Krishna's essay on KCB. Raveh's introduction classifies KCB's philosophy under three rubrics of decolonization (Svaraj), philosophical reflections (KCB's series of studies), and independent essays (conceptualizations). It also offers a synoptic reading of available literature on KCB, so that the reader can situate his philosophy within the multifaceted discourses that need to be recognized, reconfigured and revisited. Daya Krishna's essay is based on his two separate books so that a joint overview of KCB's notion of subject-object and the three Absolutes can be offered to the reader. The second section, "Lexicography" has three essays where the contributors [End Page 1] investigate, analyse or study a particular concept from KCB's philosophy. Elise Coquereau-Souma's essay focuses on the absence of a specific definition of "demand" in KCB's entire project. To unravel the implications of the concept of demand in KCB, she argues that it, "instigates the movement of KCB's method" (p. 49) to study, understand, and realise the domain of the experiential. Nir Feinberg's contribution underlines given-ness as felt-fact (p. 72) in KCB's contemporary commentary on Śaṅkara's theory of māyā. Feinberg argues that KCB innovatively explores the possibility of understanding the reality of the world (otherwise illusory) through the category of feeling, and that knowledge and facts have a limited application to eliminate this feeling of reality. Dor Miller's essay focuses on the concept of rasa in KCB's philosophy. Miller argues that KCB considers rasa as a "feeling par excellence" that needs to be understood, examined and studied in consonance with other human feelings. KCB thus classifies feelings into "'direct,' 'sympathetic,' and 'contemplative'" (p. 80). The aesthetic experience of reality, Miller tells us, becomes possible through the contemplative feeling whose subject is "impersonal, or universal" (p. 89). Miller claims that KCB's interpretation of rasa via the realm of contemplative feelings transcends the traditional commentarial paradigms of rasa and may offer a remedy to some contemporary anxieties of rasa theorists, especially those raised by Mukund Lath.

The third section, "Philosophical Junctions," includes four contributions and starts with Stephen Kaplan's chapter on KCB's three Absolutes and four aspects of negation. Kaplan is interested in understanding whether a mapping between KCB's fourfold theory...