Nature & Culture
History of Science, Philosophy & Culture in Indian Civilisation Vol. XIV, Part 1
Edited By Roddam Narasimha
Distributed by Coronet Books
517 pages, Illustrated
The volumes of the PROJECT OF HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CIVILIZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India’s heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, these volumes recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The Project is marked by what may be called ‘methodologically pluralism’. The core of this volume is woven around seven sub themes. The first is a broad contemporary perspective, chiefly sociological. The next considers the views of ancient Indian texts in Sanskrit, from the Vedas which adore nature but are puzzled by creation, to the myths of the more popular puranas and the forceful reasoning of the Yoga-Vasistha. There follows the view of classical Indic sciences: rationalist ayurveda, inferential linguistics, computational astronomy and so forth. A short interlude (Section 6) attempts comparisons between western and Indic views (realizing of course that neither is monolithic). Modern science (section 7) is increasingly tending to the view that culture is not a unique possession of human civilizations, but also of animals and even insects—a view incidentally long held in India. Finally there is a brief survey of development in the twentieth century: the role of new technology in sculptural art.
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