Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ambedkar and Maritain

From Augustine Arulraj I learn that Ambedkar draws - at least a bit - on Jacques Maritain. Augustine has managed to supply one quotation from Ambedkar's works; the extent of the influence remains to be seen.

Also, it may be interesting to see which side Maritain, a Thomist philosopher opts for: the hierarchical, organic society or the atomistic, equalitarian society. As a Thomist, he should probably opt for the former. But as a major thinker about democracy, I wonder.

Going back to Ambedkar, Augustine tells me, of course, that, even if Ambedkar began with Dewey and Maritain, he ends with the Buddhist concept of human being. Of course, the pragmatism of Dewey probably vibes well with the pragmatism of the Buddha.

Note of 5 Jan 2010: It looks like this is a false alarm. Ambedkar does quote Maritain, but just once, in Vol. 3 of his collected writings, p. 90. The quote is from Maritain's essay, "The Concept of Human Person."

Note of 25 Jan 2010: Ambedkar took his quotation from Maritain from Freedom: Its Meaning by Ruth Nanda Kishen. There is probably no such person as Ruth Nanda Kishen, but there is an American Philosopher called Ruth Nanda Anshen, and here are some details from the latter: J. Maritain, "The Conquest of Freedom," in Freedom: Its Meaning, ed. Ruth Nanda Anshen (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co, 1940; London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1942)631-49, as cited in B. Ambedkar, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, ed. Vasant Moon (Bombay: Education Department, Govt. of Maharashtra, 1987) 3:95. Maritain's article is also available in The Social and Political Philosophy of Jacques Maritain: Selected Readings, ed. Joseph W. Evans and Leo R. Ward (??: ??, 1955) ??; this is a translation from the revised and corrected text published in J. Maritain, Principes d'une politique humaniste (New York: ??, 1944) 13-42.

There does not seem to be any essay called "The Concept of Human Person" in the Anshen collection. See Books in the Jacques Maritain Center at Notre Dame. Books with Chapters / Sections by the Maritains, at as of 25 Jan 2010.

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