Daya Krishna 

The Open Library

Born in Meerut (near Delhi) in 1924, Daya Krishna is a leading figure of the academic Indian philosophy of the 20th century. A creative writer, he shaped the debates on the relation between Indian and Western philosophy during that period, and the relation between contemporaneity and tradition for Sanskrit philosophies. He published around 20 books and 200 articles, mostly in English but also in Hindi, touching upon all domains of philosophy, as well as the social sciences, economy and politics.

These eclectic interests do not imply haphazardness: Daya Krishna rigorously developed his approach from his doctoral thesis (published as The Nature of Philosophy, 1955) until posthumous works in a careful exposition of presupposition of thinking, in particular with consideration of the social and cultural roots of thinking. Whether at a transcendental level in underlining the illusions of consciousness, in cultural and political matters in terms of constitution of central and peripheral forces in thinking, or in exposing the ‘myths’ and the ‘unasked’ of  Indian philosophies, Daya Krishna travelled freely between texts and thinkers of the past, and critically exposed all philosophical systems. A fervent proponent of interdisciplinarity and interculturality, he also conceived philosophy in a dialogical manner, a necessary requirement to unveiling human presuppositions. He thus continuously engaged with traditional paṇḍits (later also with Muslim Ulama) in bilingual dialogues (which he referred to as saṃvāda) for reinterpreting and thinking together philosophy creatively. Never confused nor conformist, his work is variegated and always fresh, engaging whoever reads him to respond and to raise questions and objections. In order to allow for more responses and questions, we created this online platform to make Daya Krishna’s work easily accessible.