The Emily Judson and John Marshall Gest Professor of Global Philosophy
Ashok Gangadean is Professor of Philosophy at Haverford over the past forty-five years. He completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Brandeis University and his early work focused on Logic (Science of Thought) and Ontology (Science of Being). Throughout his career he has been in quest of the primal integral logic at the heart of human reason, and in bringing to the fore the deep dynamics of communication and dialogue between diverse worldviews. In this quest over four decades to clarify and excavate the common ground across and between widely diverse worlds, cultures, ideologies and disciplines he has emerged as a pioneer of the new frontier of global reason, global ethics and global wisdom. His courses range over Philosophy of Logic and Language, Global Ontology, Global Ethics, Hindu, Buddhist and Zen Thought in Global Context and Global Wisdom.
Ashok has participated in widely diverse professional conferences around the globe and has published numerous essays and several books seeking to demonstrate that human reason is essentially, global, holistic, integral, dialogic and intercultural in scope and power. His book, Meditative Reason: Toward Universal Grammar attempts to open the way to global reason, and a companion volume, Between Worlds: The Emergence of Global Reason explores the dialogical common ground between worlds and disciplines. A third volume, Meditations of Global First Philosophy: Quest for the Missing Grammar of Logos builds on his earlier work seeking to clarify the fundamental Logos or Universal Grammar underlying all cultures, religions, philosophies and ideologies. His forthcoming book, The Awakening of the Global Mind further develops these themes for the general reader, and Sounds True recently released a six CD audio set in which he performs the central insights of this Awakening volume. Ashok has also published extensively on the deepening of liberal arts education and is now preparing a volume on The Renovation of Liberal Arts Education.
Ashok has sought to bring his findings on the fundamental Logos in human cultures, experience and life to the wider academy and public in diverse ways. He is Founder-Director of the Global Dialogue Institute which seeks to embody the powers of Deep Dialogue in all aspects of cultural life. He collaborated with certain colleagues to convene the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality which brings eminent world leaders together in sustained deep dialogue to cultivate global vision and wisdom for the new millennium. He is also Co-Chair of the World Wisdom Council which is focused on bringing the transformative power of wisdom to addressing the crises facing humanity today. Ashok has also been a television host in the Greater Philadelphia Region for five years where his show “Global Lens” has reached out to the public in cultivating global literacy. He has also played a leading role in the development of the Margaret Gest Center since its launching in 1972. And over the past three years he has functioned as Director of the Gest Program.
Introducing Global Philosophy
With my recent appointment as the Margaret Gest Professor of Global Philosophy a new phase in the evolution of our Philosophy Program was inaugurated.
My core Philosophy courses are now being presented in our 2014 College Catalog (see below) for the first time under the special heading of “Courses in Global Philosophy”.
I have been teaching these courses continuously for over four decades and they have always been core courses in our Philosophy Program and core courses for all our majors and minors. My courses naturally evolved over these decades as my lifework as a Global Philosopher unfolded and matured.
My research and teaching in a “global” context has been in quest of the fundamental Source Code of Logos which is the generative Source of diverse worldviews, first narratives, religious worlds, ideologies, disciplinary narratives, and forms of life. Philosophy in this “global context” is thus the enterprise of Philosophy situated in this fundamental field – this Logos Code - that sources and funds our diverse worlds, cultural traditions, disciplinary orientations in our Rational Enterprise.
Teaching and Learning in this Global (Source) Context is thus at the heart of our Liberal Arts educational life and dilates human rationality and literacy to its foundational source. The term “global” is thus a code word for getting to the Source Code of Logos arts and sciences. The “global context” is the Logos Source context.
These core courses were always central for our Philosophy major and several of them were central in fulfilling our “diversity” dimension integral to our major program. Several of my core courses assisted students in experiencing deep encounters with “non-western” philosophical worlds and cultural forms of life – Hindu, Buddhist, Zen – in a global context. And over the decades as these courses naturally deepened and evolved it became clear that the heart of “diversity intelligence and competence” centered in the rational and critical skills in negotiating across and between widely diverse worldviews, ideologies, disciplinary orientations and forms of life.
In this spirit creative encounters with Global Philosophy are vital for cultivating ever deepening liberal arts literacy, dilating our rational capacities and critical intelligence across diverse worldviews and disciplines, hence essential in the augmentation of diversity intelligence and competence for all persons.
At the same time Global Philosophy focuses on cultivating skills and competence in deep dialogue across widely diverse worlds which enhances integral intelligence and rational competence in making significant links across and between variant narrative forms of life – cultures, religions, philosophies, ideologies, traditions and disciplinary narratives.
So significant encounters with Global Philosophy augments “Diversity Intelligence” while at the same time cultivates rational skills in “Deep Dialogue” across and between widely variant worldviews and disciplines.
So these evolved courses in “Global Philosophy” continue to remain core courses in our renovated Philosophy Program and they especially serve all liberal arts students, across all majors and disciplinary orientations. In thus seeking to gain deeper access to the fundamental Source Code of Logos –the generative source of rational life and literacy – these evolved courses in Global Philosophy are designed for all majors and all students in our liberal arts enterprise.
Thus, in recent renovations in our Philosophy Program I felt it was best to remove these courses from being embedded within the more traditional “major” which tends to be more specialized and circumscribed within traditional disciplinary boundaries and not focused on philosophical explorations and literacy in a global context. In this way Global Philosophy cannot be circumscribed within a traditional “major” since it essentially seeks to enter the depth of Global Wisdom and Literacy in the Logos Source Field that grounds all majors and disciplinary narratives. In this respect Global Literacy is “trans-major” and “trans-disciplinary” education which deepens all majors and augments all disciplinary orientations.
Our renovated Philosophy Program, of course, continues as ever to serve twin educational objectives – cultivating philosophical literacy for all liberal arts students, on the one hand, and more specialized disciplinary studies designed for majors and minors. In this spirit my courses in Global Philosophy are designed for all majors, for cultivating deeper integral liberal arts intelligence across disciplinary orientations, for deepening diversity intelligence for all students, and, of course, for dilating rational critical skills in a global context.
In thus removing these courses from the more specialized philosophy “major” they are no longer for “major credit”, although they remain, as ever, core courses in our renovated Philosophy Program and designed for all majors in our liberal arts enterprise.
This new educational frontier of “Global Philosophy” is thus designed for all liberal arts students passionate about cultivating the rational art of being Human – of maturing as Whole Persons, with rational competence in Deep Dialogue now vital for all global citizens in our ever challenging Global Age.
Ph.D., Brandeis University
philosophy of logic and language; global ontology; global and comparative philosophy; global ethics; global wisdom; Hindu, Buddhist, and Zen tradition in global contexts