Pax Gandhiana: The Political Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi

Hardcover | August 15, 2016

byAnthony J. Parel

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Notwithstanding his contributions to religion, nonviolence, civil rights, and civil disobedience, among other areas, Gandhi's most significant contribution is that as a political philosopher. While he is not often treated as such, Gandhi was, as Anthony J. Parel argues, a political philosophersui generis, both in his philosophical method of constant self-criticism and his framework of philosophical analysis. Gandhi wrote daily on politics, but he did so as an activist; political philosophy was to him not just a way of understanding truths of political phenomena but was directly relatedto understanding those truths in action. If realized in action these truths would give rise to new political institutions, which in turn would create a corresponding peaceful political and social order. Parel dubs this order Pax Gandhiana.The main contention of Pax Gandhiana is that peace cannot be achieved by politics alone. Peace requires the confluence of the canonical ends of life: politics and economics (artha), ethics (dharma), forms of pleasure (kama), and the pursuit of spiritual transcendence (moksha). Modern politicalphilosophy isolates politics from the other three ends, but Gandhi's originality, according to Parel, lies in the way that he brings all four together. In fact Gandhi's political philosophy is relevant not only to India but also to the rest of the world: it is a new type of sovereignty thatharmonizes the interest of individual states with the community of states.Arguing against scholars who dispute a theoretical unity in Gandhi's writings, Parel suggests that Gandhi is the preeminent non-western political philosopher, and in this book he seeks to identify the conceptual framework of Gandhi's political philosophy, the Pax Gandhiana.

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Notwithstanding his contributions to religion, nonviolence, civil rights, and civil disobedience, among other areas, Gandhi's most significant contribution is that as a political philosopher. While he is not often treated as such, Gandhi was, as Anthony J. Parel argues, a political philosophersui generis, both in his philosophical meth...

Anthony J. Parel is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.29 × 6.42 × 0.79 inPublished:August 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190491450

ISBN - 13:9780190491451

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"This exploration of Gandhi's political philosophy from within his own framework is an invaluable contribution. Anthony Parel brings the framework of purushartha to bear upon the fundamental principles of Gandhi's thought and life. This allows him to interweave ideas of ethics, equity,aesthetic pleasure, forms of being in the world and quest for ultimate freedom." --Tridip Suhrud, Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, Ahmedabad