1st Edition

Concerning Human Understanding Essays on the Common-sense Background of Philosophy

By Nikunja Vihari Banerjee Copyright 1958

    First published in 1958 Concerning Human Understanding treats the chief problems of philosophy. Professor Banerjee’s intention is ‘to separate philosophic thought from effects of sophistication and intellectual pride to which philosophical enquiry is usually prone’. The book pursues a line of thought which calls for the replacement of certain old beliefs that are still dominant in philosophical circles, suggests the need for a fresh enquiry into some of the problems of philosophy and brings into prominence others which have generally escaped the serious attention of philosophers in modern times. It offers a restatement of the problems of knowledge, attempts a solution of the conflict between science and philosophy and handles the baffling problem: ‘is metaphysics possible?’

    In particular this book deals with the problem of religion in its bearing upon the future of civilization and finds the solution in an outlook on life opposed to the surrender of man to Institution and Power and founded upon the feeling of obligation regarded as ‘the most human of the forces that deserve to govern the world of human affairs and to shape the destiny of man’. This is a must read for students of philosophy.

    Preface Part I: Prolegomena to a Theory of Knowledge 1. Towards a Theory of Sense-perception 2. The Problem and Postulates of a Theory of Knowledge 3. Whither Consciousness? 4. The Doctrine of Inner Sense 5. Sense-data, Perception and Self-knowledge Part II: Our Knowledge of the External World 1. Introduction 2. The Common-sense View of Our Knowledge of the External World 3. The Idealistic View of Our Knowledge of the External World 4. Perceiving as Interpreting 5. The Theory of a priori Construction from the Data of Sense 6. The Theory of Logical Construction from Sense-data 7. Interpreting the World 8. Can philosophy Interpret the World? Part III: What, Then, Is Philosophy? 1. Introduction 2. Philosophy as Epistemology 3. The Metaphysical Attitude 4. Transcendental Discovery of Self as Subject 5. The Problem of Self and Metaphysics 6. Philosophy as Axiology – Theoretical and Applied 7. Value and the Problem of Self 8. The Nature of Self 9. The Philosophy of Self and the Practical Problem of Human Life 10. The Problem of the Fundamental Practical Principle 11. Ideal Life and the Idea of Practical Reason Part IV: Religion within the Bounds of Practical Reason 1. The Religion that Fails 2. The Problem of Religion 3. Religion- The Great Event in Human Life 4. Religion in Travail 5. Towards the Religion of Man Index


    Nikunja Vihari Banerjee