"Philosophies can come from slums or textbooks. We hope to bring them from the slums," said renowned political critic and social philosopher Ashis Nandy

Every person possesses a world-view, and not a scientist’s or a philosopher’s understanding, but it can still be considered a valid perception of the world.

The branch of philosophy called metaphysics attempts to tap this wealth of world-views held by those from varied backgrounds. This simplified definition was offered by renowned psychologist, political critic, and social philosopher Ashis Nandy.

He was speaking to The Hindu on Saturday on the sidelines of the ‘Varkala Conference on Metaphysics and Politics,’ a three-day seminar and a follow-up of the gatherings of academicians, philosophers, writers, and scientists held at Kochi in 2011 and Colombo in 2010 on the same subject.

“Ours is not a discussion of formal academic psychologists or academic philosophy of metaphysics. There are many who have worked in different arenas such as history, anthropology, science, and cultural artists. For each of them, the world-view is different. From such interactions, “a more daring and creative philosophy emerges,” said Dr. Nandy.

“People are freer and less respectful to each other when they disagree,” Dr. Nandy said. “Otherwise, expressing disagreement is done in a very round-about manner, which doesn’t have the same meaning,” he added.

“World images are powerful forces,” said Dr. Nandy, asserting that it related to the common man too. He stressed the necessity of making public life more open and taking a deeper consideration of civilisation and ethics. “Hence there is a need for such interventions,” he said.

“Philosophies can come from slums or textbooks. We hope to bring them from the slums,” he said. “One that does not seek to brainwash, but promotes students to make a philosophical choice on their own after being presented with diverse, conflicting, and contending philosophies,” he said.