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21. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Pardeep Kumar Religious Universalism: Swami Vivekananda’s Vision
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Swami Vivekananda formulated religious universalism for solving various issues of society. Religion, for him was realization. He gave a wide definition of religion in the form of humanism. Religion does not just teach man to refrain from evils but it is doing well for others. If religion is understood in correct sense, much of our social evils in the society would be solved. It did not consist of doctrines or dogmas. For him being religious did not mean being Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist etc. and following a set of rituals of that particulars religion. On the other hand, being religious meant that a man is on his quest towards realizing God. If such a notion of religion is accepted then there is undoubtedly no difference between any two religions. Vivekanand stressed that each religion lays down the path to be followed in order to attain the ultimate. For him various religions are but different paths leading to the same goal. Swamiji’s teachings underlined unity, accepting all possible diversity. Talking of the multiplicity of religions he says, that society is richer which has greater number of occupations in it, so the world of thought also gets enriched as the number of religions increases.He proclaimed that in Vedanta lies the basis of all religions. The Vedanta applied to the various ethnic customs and creeds of India is Hinduism. He gave equal significance to physical as well as spiritual planes. Vivekananda’s Advaitic philosophy was aimed at making people religious in real sense of the term. In his manner he spread the Vedantic gospel all his life. This timely speaks of the two greatest influences on Vivekananda, that of Upanishads and his Guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa, who not only taught but ‘lived’ religion.As Vedanta could harmonise the divergent trends of various religions, Vivekananda found it to be the most suitable philosophy on which he could found the concept of universal religion. By universal religion, he did not mean any one set of myths, rituals and philosophical tenets. It only means acceptance of variety and harmony of all variations. Different religions should be looked upon as the different stages of growth.
22. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Tommi Lehtonen Implicaturism: A pragmatic view on existential claims in religion
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In this paper, I will introduce and argue for a new view on religious faith and language, a view that focuses on the use and context of use of religious expressions. I call this view implicaturism. As one may guess, ‘implicaturism’ comes from ‘implicature’, a term coined by Paul Grice. For Grice, implicature is a technical term for certain kinds of inferences that are drawn from statements without those inferences being logical implications or entailments. In the view of religious faith and language, implicaturism denotes the claims about the existence of God or other supernatural beings as pragmatic conclusions of the expressions used in religious practice, not the ground or presupposition of religious practice. In other words, in religious context, the claims of the form “X exists” (e.g. “God exists”) or “there are Xs” (e.g. “There are angeles”) are inferences that are based on prayers and worship expressions and their relatedbackground assumptions. This pattern of reasoning is not deductive, but abductive, thus inference from consequences to a possible cause. This kind of inference is logically invalid, in that the conclusion “God exists” is not a logical consequence of the premises: the religious expressions. The existential claims in religion (”God exists” or “There are angels” as examples) are thus some sort of a posteriori reasons or explanations for religious behaviour and related expressions, not their prior presuppositions.
23. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Joungbin Lim Dualism, Physicalism, and the Passion of the Christ
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My project in this paper is to provide a plausible idea of Christ’s suffering and death in terms of two theories of the human person. One is dualism. Dualism is the view that a human person is composed of two substances, that is, a soul and a body, and he (strictly speaking) is identical with the soul. On the other hand, physicalism is the view that a human person is numerically identical with his body. I will argue that dualism is not successful in explaining Christ’s passion for some reasons. Rather, physicalism, as I shall argue, provides a better explanation of how Christ’s physical suffering and death are real just like everyone else’s, so it is philosophically and theologically more plausible than dualism.
24. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Qingping Liu The Global Ethic and Its Religious Grounds
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The Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Religions tries to establish a global ethic by jointly affirming some irrevocable and unconditional ethical directives on the grounds of their special ultimate realities. Through some case analysis of Christianity and Confucianism, this essay argues that, because these religions often assign a supreme position to these ultimate realities alone and make them trump anything else in a particularistic way, they have to subordinate those ethical directives to these realities. As a result, those ethical directives themselves are no longer irrevocable and unconditional, for they are conditioned bythese ultimate realities and thus are revocable in the cases of conflict with the latter. In other words, the particularistic claims of these religions may permit their adherents to perform such immoral deeds as murder, theft, or lying for the sake of their ultimate realities in real life. Therefore, if the world’s religions genuinely hope to establish a global ethic on the basis of their own religious grounds, they must trust in their ultimate realities in a universalistic way instead of in a particularistic way—that is, they may not place these ultimate realities above a minimum humanist principle ‘every human being must be treated humanely’ absolutely, but should assign a supreme position to the latter and intrinsically integrate it with their trust in their special ultimate realities through a critical and creative self-transformation.
25. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
T. J. Mawson The Rational Inescapability of Value Objectivism
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I argue for the rational inescapability of value objectivism, the thesis that at least some normative appraisal is not simply a matter of how, subjectively, we feel about the world; it is a matter of how, objectively, the world ought to be. I do this via a two-stage argument, the first stage of which is based around a thought experiment, the second stage of which is based on how those who reject the argument of the first stage must present their doing so to themselves if they are to consider themselves rationally justified. I sketch a way in which this argument might lead one rationally to favour moral objectivism.
26. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Paweł Mazanka Three Philosophical Sources of Contemporary Secularism in European Culture
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The contemporary secularism is found to be a philosophy of life “as if there were no God” or a kind of ideology, which demands an absolute autonomy of human being to shape his destination. In the philosophy of Descartes at least three sources of secularism could be found: his theory of cognition which resulted in developing other than the classical concept of truth and rationality; his metaphysics; his arguments for the existence of God and in his concept of the nature of God. Karl Marx’s criticism of religion was a next powerful factor on the advance of secularism. Marx makes the charge against the religion that it acts to reinforce the break down the conscience of man living in the modern society, into a public and a private realm. The widest criticism of religion was made by Marx in: Acontribution to the Hegel’s criticism on the philosophy of law”. Especially its first seven paragraph, are particularly important in view of the advance of secularism. F. Nietzsche undermines metaphysics by showing that knowledge of a non-empirical world is cognitively superfluous. He makes clear that he has moved beyond the assumption that there might be a metaphysical world to a positing of the empirical world as the only one. Nietzsche considers that the notion of God is inimical to human nature and human life. Is this really so in reality? Is Nietzsche’s consideration about God and religion in any way applicable to our own age?
27. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
W. Moore The Atheist Solution to the Problem of Evil
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In Rethinking the Philosophy of Religion Today, this paper would like to advance the atheist solution to the problem of evil that has occasionally in the past been suggested by philosophers, but has largely been neglected in the Philosophy of Religion. In discussing this solution, the paper focuses on the reasons upon which philosophers regard the giving up of one or more of the attributes of God in theism to be an adequate solution to the problem of evil. Concerning the more negative of these reasons, it shows that the latter revolves around the argument of the logical inconsistency of the theistic theory. Concerning the more positiveof these reasons, the focus is on the efforts of philosophers that have been following the suggestions of David Hume and that have started to experiment with solutions wherein at least one of the attributes of God is given up. The paper closes by showing that there exist an even more fundamental reason upon which it can be claimed that the problem of evil can be solved along this way without serious implications for a belief in God.
28. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Eva Neu, Michael Ch. Michailov, Guntram Schulz On Theological Anthropology and Philosophical Theology
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INTRODUCTION: Philosophy is the unique science which considers all other sciences in systematically unity (Kant). The classical anthropology (Platon, Aristoteles, Descartes, Hume, Kant, etc.) considers the human and his "spheres" (biological, psychological, logical, philosophical, theological) and his interdependence with nature and society. A philosophical theology investigates spiritual phenomena, described by religions and parapsychology in context of ethics, epistemology (incl. metaphysics), aesthetics. A theological anthropology should consider these phenomena multidimensional in context of a holisticscience, i.e. physico- (Kant), bio- (Lüke), psycho-, logico-, philosophical theology, etc. [Lit.: Neu, Michailov: Integralanthropology. In: Proc. 21st World Congr. Philos. Istanbul. Press FISP 280‐281, 2003; Theol. Anthrop. In: Book: New Pathways for Eur. Bioethics. Ed.: Eur. Ass. Med. Ethics, Leuven, p. 53/60, 2006; Med. Ethics, 21st Ann. Conf. EACME (Ed.) Zürich, p. 53, 2007]. CONCEPTION: Regrettably philosophical theology is reduced to nearly philosophical and theological ethics: Both ethics in the future should realize a common scientific integrated ethics based on philosophy, theology, and psychology incl. of great cultures - Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianism-Mosaism, Confucianism, and Mohammedanism. The present moral philosophy is very pluralistic: Many views concerningnormative and metaethics (deontology, axiology), also relativism, absolutism (incl. utilitarism), noncognitivism are present. A similar situation exists in moral theology: Not only in context of philosophy (consequentialism, justice, protectionism), but more - of theology are existent contradictionary differences concerning ethics in the great religions (related to God, Spirit/Soul, reincarnation, etc.). A future philosophical theology needs a renewal of its scientific theoretical andexperimental fundamentals (controlled observations: criterion for intersubjectivity) concerning theological anthropology incl. not only occidental epistemology (metaphysics, scientific theory, etc.), but also oriental - esp. Brahmanistic and Buddhist (self realization by Yoga, Tibetan, Zen Buddhism) and scientific evaluation of spiritual phenomena by biophysics, physiology, psychology and formal (Aristoteles, Gautama), real, transcendental (Kant), metaphysical (Hegel) normal logic. Areconsideration of application of philosophy of arts, esp. aesthetics in philosophical theology is also necessary (incl. inspirations in music/Bach, Beethoven, Händel, painting/Leonardo da Vinci, sculpture/Michelangelo). CONCLUSION: Scientific and political support for a renovation of theological anthropology and philosophical theology could help essentially for a realization of UNO-Agenda 21 for better total (incl. spiritual) health and peaceful world.
29. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Mehmet Önal The Place of Wisdom In the Philosophy of Religion
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In this paper, I will try to make clear that aspect of wisdom which relates to the practical application of revealed commands through prophetic practices and traditions of the other founders of religions. Here, I also refer to the wisdom in the Qur’an and the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as examples of the use of this concept in religion. Although both philosophy and religion require using the form of wisdom within a holistic approach, in the course of time the concept of wisdom was neglected both in philosophy and religion. Because of this, after that one cannot judge the evaluation of complex situations in these two areas.Shortly, in this paper, I am going to discuss the place of wisdom in the Philosophy of Religion as a dynamic factor of thought and then propose a new understanding in the Philosophy of Religion because today this discipline is not fully appreciated by all the world religions.
30. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Stephen Palmquist Theocratic Friendship as the Key to Kantian Church Government
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In Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, Kant outlines a system of church government that strikes many as an unworkable ideal. The “invisible church” is to be structured according to four basic principles that correspond directly to the categories from the first Critique. Whereas ordinary political systems must involvecoercion, a church is to be a free association of persons governed by non-coercive, internally legislated moral laws. Is this a realistic blueprint for church government? Kant’s metaphor of a “household” as the best way to regard the relationship between the “People of God” provides a much-neglected key to understanding how Kant’s ideal can be implemented. A new and technically more accurate definition of “theocracy”, as a system not of humanly-headed religious despotism but of divinely protected autonomous friendship, clarifies how Kant’s plan is not only realistic but currently implemented in some religious communities today.
31. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Chansoo Park Plantinga and Leibniz’s the Best World
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An atheist argument usually goes like this. If God exists and is omnipotent as believed, He could have created any possible world as he pleased. The existence of moral evil, though, makes problematic the existence of God or His omnipotence at least. Plantinga's answer to an atheist is: it is not that God, as omnipotent, could have created any possible world as he pleased, but rather it is that God, even though omnipotent could not have created the world as he pleased. I formulate an atheist's view of moral evil which resulted from the free will of human beings, and examine Plantinga's view that distinguishes between an act of creation, and an act of actualization of state of affairs. He asserts that creation of earth, heaven, or Socrates can be attributed to God, but the actualization ofnecessary states of affairs, and among contingent states of affairs, false possible states of affairs cannot be attributed to God. And I explain Plantinga's view that God cannot be held responsible for actualizing state of affairs implemented by free choice, and that human action with free will can only be attributed to human being, not to God. At last, I will criticize Plantinga's view not to be a genuine compatibilism between the existence of God and moral evil, and sketch the compatibilism between providential determinism and moral evil.
32. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Wonbin Park Subject from Ethic? or Subject from Philosophy?
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Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995), a French Philosopher and a Jew, became known first for his role in the introduction of Husserl’s phenomenology to France, and later for his criticisms of Husserl and Heidegger. As the Holocaust gave a significant impact on many theologians and philosophers to establish their theoretical systems, Levinas realized how ethic of responsibility was important through his personal tragic experience. What most peculiar character of his experience is that it leads him to cast a doubt a subject-oriented modern reason. I will explore the modern subjectivity through the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. As Nietzsche mentioned earlier in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is subject dead? Is it no longer meaningful to discuss the modernity in the postmodern ear?Should the trend of anti-subjectivity in the postmodernity be the only alternative? Those questions are underlain this study. For him, the preeminence of the inviolability of the human being must be regarded as the initial point of departure and final destiny. According to Levinas, philosophy is open to its role of significance only insofar as it describes the ethical situation of the responsible self that precedes the metaphysical subject. A bold assertion against the modern perquisite of theory becomes a signature aphorism of Livinas’ work: “ethics is first philosophy.” For Levinas, ethics is not a question of adjusting one’s adherence to transcendent or historical laws or inner principles. Whereas philosophy traditionally gives priority to inner subjectivity and treats ethics as derivative, Levinas’ philosophy stresses that knowing occurs within and is a result of the intersubjective relation. The subject as hostage to the Other, he writes, “has been neither the experience nor the proof of the infinite, but the witnessing of the infinite.” This subjective condition of the ‘I’ is what Levinas calls the responsible self. This article explores whether Emmanuel Levinas's ethic of the Other can be regarded as a theological discourse. After publishing Totality and Infinity, there have been manyserious questions of the relationship between transcendence and immanence; infinity and the finite among many philosophers and theologians. Interestingly enough, Levinas tries to mediate these concepts by his ethic of the Other. I examine how Levinas deals with the tension and difficulty of these two areas in his ethic of the Other. As a French phenomenologist, Jean-Luc Marion already mentioned, this kind of attempt has confronted a double-bind dilemma. One is that it would be a question of phenomena that are objectively definable but lose their religious specialty; and the other is that it would be a question of phenomena that are especially religious but cannot be described objectively. In this sense, Levinas’s ethic of the Other gives us an insight that what philosophy of religion would be. A great deal of information about such great philosophers does not always guarantee sound philosophical reflection. As Levinas’ philosophy was developed in his struggle with Heidegger’s philosophy in the matrix of Husserl’s phenomenology, my philosophical reflection on Levinas’ ethics has to be examined by those who are experts in various philosophical areas. Many members of WCP from all around the world will provide me more mature philosophical thinking, and their advice and expertise will be invaluable. In addition, chances to meet great visiting scholars who will come from all over the world will be also one of the prestigious privileges to articulate my thinking. I look forward to interacting with the great scholars who will visit Seoul National University, and in these interactions, to clarify and better articulate my ideas.
33. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Victor Petrenko Cross-Confessional Investigation of Religious Visions of the World
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The majority of world religions have developed in the course of overcoming tribal and clan identity. The idea of "One God" carries the implication, overtly or not, of uniting mankind on basis of religious belief. The rise of world religions was associated with rise of huge empires and states where various ethnic groups coexisted, not only on the basis of force alone, but also on basis of common religious belief and value systems imposed by religious ideology. Governing polyethnic territories, developments in economy and trade and consistent humanization of human spirit resulted in the development of common human values.Mankind started perceiving itself as a single species sharing a common world history. The concept of 'mankind' came to unite people irrespective of their race, religion and nationality. Objective of our study was cross-confessional investigation of value systems in religions spread in Russia and establishing to what extent they are spiritually acceptable to Russians. We used the semantic space technique for the analysis of religious mentalities.
34. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Sami Pihlström Pragmatic Aspects of Kantian Theism
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This paper proposes a re-evaluation of the theism vs. atheism controversy from a Kantian transcendental perspective, connected with Jamesian pragmatism. Insofar as there is a morally vital human need to postulate the reality of God, and insofar as this theistic postulation can be regarded as rational or legitimate from the perspective of “practical reason”, metaphysical and ethical aspects of the theism issue turn out to be deeply entangled with each other. A Kantian-cum-pragmatist philosophy of religion will inevitably approach the question of God’s existence from a standpoint that thoroughly synthesizes ethics and metaphysics – just as Kant’s defense of theism as a postulate of practical reason did.
35. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Asokananda Prosad The Concept of God
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“Rethinking Philosophy Today” is very much applicable in every respect when we delve deep in philosophy to co-ordinate science and religion. Since science has a great part to set people brood over religion, we must think today over and over again about something very specific in the world of religion from the point of view of science to enlighten philosophy. In every religion, as a matter of fact, Concept of God is deeply thought of. Earlier we could think about the existence of God from different ideas and ideals of philosophy and religion. Science was not given due importance and we miserably failed to become seriously a rationalbeing. From the point of view of theoretical progress and practical application of Ma-Mahajnan’s co-ordination of worldly-cum-spiritual striving, we were aware of her ‘Conscious Trance’, wherein once it was clearly stated that ‘Mahajnan’, the Unfathomable Knowledge, is helpless before the intoxication of our desires and wishes. During catechism Mother made them all crystal clear. However, here is ‘Ma-Mahajnan’, a matchless genius, who has spoken independently at length on so many specific subjects. Would the world class philosopher assess the matter and allow me to proceed along the path of ‘Philosophy of Religion’?
36. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Remi Rajani Religion for Practical Affairs: A Gandhian Approach
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Unlike majority of classical and contemporary Indian philosophers, Gandhi was a practical philosopher, an experimentalist and a laboratiorian who developed practical instruments and carried out experiments for the existing life problems without bothering to build a consistent structure of philosophy. For this very reason there seems an ambiguity to call Gandhi as a philosopher. However, it seems to me that Gandhi was a practical philosopher who laid a pragmatic approach and method to his new insights for social and political action of national movement and the reconstruction of modern India without disturbing the social equilibrium.Gandhi exercised such tremendous skill in cooperative participation of our national movement and is rudely regarded as the “Father of pridely Nation”. As he is too skillfully organized his ideals in building a nation he rightfully ascertained as philosopher in the light of Homer’s (the Greek poet) definition to a philosopher. The same practical method is extended to the aspect of religion by Gandhi.
37. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Raj Sampath Ecstatic Historical Time and the Eclipse of Christianity in Heidegger’s “Hegel and the Greeks”
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In the 1958 lecture, “Hegel and the Greeks,” how does Heidegger intimate a complex sense of historical temporalization when he suggests that the ‘whole of philosophy in its history’ is contained in the title: “Hegel and the Greeks?” Our hypothesis may appear contrarian to contemporary assumptions: a complex notion of origin as paradoxically ‘futural’— particularly in its metaphysical breadth in say the Phenomenology of Spirit and the Science of Logic—is also at work in Heidegger’s thought. This is particularly acute when Heidegger examines the origin of philosophy in ancient Greek thought as a space that opens a future horizon of Being to dawn—that is, some calling that comes from the unforeseeable future to transcend what Heidegger sees as the end, finality, and ‘collapse’ ofphilosophy after Hegel.
38. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Jitendra Sarker Yata Mat Tata Path: An Ecological Approach to Religions
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‘Yata mat tata path’ means ‘every faith is a path to God’. It is such a generous religious doctrine that has admitted the truth of all religions. This doctrine emerges on the soil of India in the second half of the Nineteenth Century as a reaction against the notion that my religion is the only true religion and other religions are false. According to Sri Ramkrishna, the exponent of the dictum, such dogmatic assertions promote contemptuous attitude towards the followers of other religions,which gives birth to violent strife and bloodshed on earth. All these can generally be considered as the side effects of religions. The aim of this paper is to interpret the importance of the doctrine, yata mat tata path as the antidote of the side effects of religions. The interpretation at the end explicitly exposes itself as an ecological approach to religions. By admitting the truth and spiritual achievements of all religions in spite of their ritualistic diversity, the doctrine yata mat tata path advocates for religious harmony and thus approximates ecology, which discovers interdependent co-existence of and unity in diversified biotic communities.
39. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Robert Sinclair Dewey and the Problem of Religion
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This essay explores the tension between those who find value in the example of the religious life and others who take the intellectual bankruptcy of religious doctrines as recommending the complete abandonment of religion. It briefly describes John Dewey’s attempt to overcome this tension through a rethinking of the religious life and the sources of its continuing value and purpose. Dewey responds to this conflict over religion by attempting to emancipate its fundamental valuefrom the constraints of any supernatural affiliation. He thereby suggests a more inclusive conception of the religious experience that permeates all aspects of social life. It is argued that Dewey’s attempt to find alternative outlets for religious values within our larger social community provides a better platform for dialogue across social divisions, since it does not begin from a secular standpoint that simply rejects the import of any sort of religious value.
40. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Nirbhai Singh Rethinking Indian Philosophy: Identity and Globalization (Multiple Identities and Global Human Community)
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Today India is being crushed between two millstones of internal disintegration of man’s personality and society vis-à-vis globalization. India’s spiritual culture and multiple human cultures are being crushed. Indian culture is a lived experience of the inner self. We are to develop an integrative world-view of Indian Philosophy. We are concerned with Indian Philosophy in 2008. Philosopher analyzes ideology for restoring justice in society. He creates values, judgement and tries to translate them in praxis. His thinking is distinct from history of philosophy and exegetical explanations. Philosophy of history is recapitulating archeology ofknowledge. He critiques various types of disintegrations and reintegration. Rethinking, thus, is a hermeneutical epistemic necessity. If old techniques of epistemology are insufficient, it enjoins upon the philosopher to develop new tools of interpretation for solving current philosophical problems. Philosophical hermeneutic technique is to be used to interpret the ciphers of the scriptures for discerning real meanings in the modern context. For globalization, comparative and interdisciplinary methods are most significant. Minor multiple cultures are to be protected. My concern is with spiritual voluntarist Indian culture that steels human will for confronting existential human problems. The ideal man develops cosmic vision and asserts that the external world is the epiphany of the Numinous. He is font of nishkama karma. The Divine executes the cosmic law through the realized self (sthithyaprajana of The Gītā or sant-spahi of Guru GobindSingh) who is representative of the eternal Being (Akalapurakh) in history for restoring justice in society. The charismatic personality of the avatara (incarnate) done away with. All moral and societal responsibilities of restoring justice in society fall on man’s shoulders.