Can History save Philosophy?

Can History save Philosophy?


Professor Sanil V,

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,

Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi


Scholar In Residence, KCHR

 Date: 26 September 2022

Time: 3. 30 PM

Venue: Sonata Hall, KTDC Mascot Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram 

 (High Tea @3.00 PM)

The programme will be conducted in a hybrid manner via Zoom Meetings


Recorded Video 



Abstract : Philosophy, it is claimed, deals with universal and eternal concepts. Does it have any use for history? For some history of philosophy has only pedagogical value. Others may hold that history of philosophy offers a template for all other histories. In recent times “historicize everything’ has been used as a slogan to unmask the essentialist pretensions of philosophy. However, philosophy as ‘thinking the present’ demands a critical and creative response to history. This need is strongly felt in contemporary Indian philosophy which is alienated from both western philosophy and also classical Indian thought. The recent cosmological turn in history and also the philosophical appeal of geo-philia may offer an opening to think about a history of philosophy outside the west.  The talk will briefly consider Ramachandra Gandhi’s suggestion that the history of philosophy in India may be seen as a constellation of sages.

About the Speaker : Sanil.V is Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. He obtained his Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked as a scientist in Defense Research and Development Organisation.  In 1995, he obtained his PhD in Philosophy from IIT Kanpur. His recent publications include: Kolayude Choreography (Prasakthi books and Uru Art Harbour), Public Sphere from Outside the West (ed. Bloomsbury, London), and essays including 'Nature and Evil: Gandhi and Ambedkar On Caste and Untouchability', 'Vastu Purusha Mandala: Myth, Meaning and Measurement in Ancient Indian Architecture', 'Time Passing: Kant Goes to Movies', 'On Hating One’s Own Children', 'Thought and Context: Philosophy on the Eve of Colonialism' and 'Spivak on the Value of Marx'.

He has held fellowships in national and international centres including the Watumall Distinguished Professorshipat the Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Hawaii, USA; Charles Wallace Fellowship at the Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool, U.K; and Directeur d'études Associés, at  Maison des sciences de l'homme Paris; and Research Excellence Fellowship, at CEU Budapest.  He writes and publishes in both English and Malayalam.