1st Edition

JRD Tata and the Ethics of Philanthropy

By Sundar Sarukkai Copyright 2020
    130 Pages
    by Routledge India

    130 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book introduces readers to the ethics of philanthropy, particularly in the Indian context. Drawing on JRD Tata’s philosophy and approach to business, it shows how business and philanthropy were intrinsically related for him. JRD Tata was arguably one of the most influential businessmen in post-Independence India. He was instrumental in not only expanding the Tata businesses but was also known for his impact on the conduct of business as well as his support for various national projects including research and education. He introduced key labour laws in his factories, which later became the model for the Indian government. He was also part of government institutions such as Air India.

    By discussing ideas such as trusteeship, the notion of profit, the relation between public and private, and social welfare, the book offers an intellectual map of JRD’s thoughts and an original perspective on their significance for an ethics of philanthropy in general. It provides new insights into the nature of ethical problems in the Indian context as well as ways to negotiate with them based on JRD’s work and reflections. It further creates a more meaningful understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility in the present global economy.

    Lucid and comprehensive, this book will be useful to scholars, researchers and faculty in departments of management and business studies, social work, sociology, economics and philosophy, as well as across social sciences. It will be of great interest to philanthropy organisations, non-governmental organisations, business schools, industry bodies, corporates, and those in leadership and management.



    1. Introduction           


    2. Ethics of Philanthropy


    3. Trusteeship


    4. Business and Social Welfare


    5. Private and the Public


    6. Profit


    7. Being Human: Personal to Social Ethics


    8. Conclusion




    Sundar Sarukkai was Professor of Philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, India, until 2019. He was also the Founder-Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, and has worked primarily in the philosophy of natural and social sciences. He has been part of studies on Gandhian and other social organisations as well as philanthropic ones. He is the author of Translating the World: Science and Language (2002), Philosophy of Symmetry (2004), Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Science (2005), What is Science? (2012), and two books co-authored with Gopal Guru: The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory (2012/2017) and Experience, Caste and the Everyday Social (2019). He has also been active in outreach programmes to take philosophy to different communities and places, including philosophy workshops for children and bringing philosophy to the public through his writing in the media and through his initiative, Barefoot Philosophers.