World Philosophy Day: Extremism linked to ignorance of philosophy

Speakers say current century had yet to have a philosopher worthy of mention.


Karamat Bhatty November 18, 2011

LAHORE:


The rise of extremism in the society was likened by speakers at a seminar on Friday to a decline of interest in philosophy.


The seminar was organised by the Institute of Islamic Culture in connection with the World Philosophy Day.

The speakers said though Education Boards listed philosophy as one of the subjects but most institutes showed little interest in teaching it. They said philosophy was a compulsory subject in schools in Norway, Sweden, Germany and Russia. Majlis-i-Taraqi-i-Adab director Shahzad Ahmad said many people associated philosophy with the Greek civilisation only. He said nothing could be far from accurate as Hinduism, Confucianism, Buddhism as well as Islam had had their own philosophical traditions. Ahmed said Ibne Khaldoon was among the leading philosophers of his times. Dr Rabia Hassan said philosophical methods allowed in-depth study of a particular subject.

Kazi Javed said that people’s interest in philosophy had declined to the extent that philosophy was no longer considered an academic subject. He said while the last century had philosophers like Bertrand Russell and Jean Paul Sartre, there was no prominent personality in philosophy in the present era.

He revealed that Government College University had a few years ago been considering a proposal to close down its Philosophy Department. He said the proposal was later shelved due to the department’s link to Allama Iqbal.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2011. 

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