Overview for Civilizations: Nostalgia and Utopia
Civilizations is a tome of rich philosophical discourse borne out of years of reflection and investigation by Daya Krishna, one of the foremost philosophers of twentieth-century India. The book is an engaging and thought-provoking philosophical account that demonstrates that critical inquiry is an ongoing process with strains of continuity and evolution.
Krishna’s discourses in this volume span a range of inquiries parallels between Indian and Western civilizations; interconnection between action and knowledge; anatomies of the profound and the profane, the ideal and the actual; and other such intriguing lines of philosophical questioning.
The author asks the readers to rise up to the challenges of the now, as the present consists not merely of past achievements but also of the yet-to-be-achieved goals of the future.
The chapters in the book are compiled from a series of lectures delivered by Krishna at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, India, first in 1967, and then in 2005. The book is a dialogue between two Daya Krishnas, one of 1967 and the other of 2005. The latter addresses the former and uses the second series of lectures to broaden the scope of the first.