Gandhi’s Satyagraha as a Corrective to Religions and Scientific Fundamentalism

Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (2):99-113 (2008)
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This paper argues that Ellis’ analysis of Fundamentalism as narcissistically disturbed can apply to the very scientific disciplines he relies upon to make his argument. Citing Elizabeth Lloyd’s critique of methodological objectivity, I draw a parallel between the overstated belief that humans can defy finitude through certainty gained via scientific objectivity and Ellis’ charge that the religious faithful deny human limits in their delusional certainty in an afterlife. I link scientism and religious fundamentalism in their apodictic assertions and their instrumentalism. I argue that Ellis’ insight into the narcissistic nature of fundanlentalism is, by being successful, a challenge to his project in so far as it rests on a scientific fundamentalism. Finally, I offer resolution by appealing to Gandhi’s notion of satyagraha or conflict resolution through mutual recognition of the core veridical insights embedded in opposing viewpoints.



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