"Our History": The Everyday Social and the Sense of Historical Touch

This talk will be about making sense of people’s history and their understanding of what “our history” means. I will argue that history as shared by a group, community or society in a place arises as a lived experience of the everyday social. Thus, the ontology of their histories are related to the ontology of their everyday social. As Guru and I argue in our book ‘Experience, Caste and the Everyday Social’, the everyday social in societies, particularly in Asia and Africa, can only be understood through a deep engagement with sensory experiences. I will extend this to suggest that there is a sense of ‘historical touch’ that describes how history is experienced and understood by members of a community.

Dr. Sundar Sarukkai works primarily in the philosophy of natural and social sciences. He is currently a Visiting Faculty at the Centre for Society and Policy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He is the author of Translating the World: Science and Language (2002), Philosophy of Symmetry (2004), Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Science (2005), What is Science? (2012), and two books co-authored with Gopal Guru – The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory (2012) and most recently Experience, Caste and the Everyday Social (2019). His book titled JRD Tata and the Ethics of Philanthropy was published in 2020. He is the Co-Chief Editor of the Springer Handbook of Logical Thought in India, the Series Editor for the Science and Technology Studies Series, Routledge and editorial advisory member of Leonardo as well as Marg. Sarukkai was a professor of philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies until 2019 and was the Founder-Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities. He has been actively taking philosophy to different communities and places, conducting philosophy workshops for children and bringing philosophy to the public through his writing in the media through the Barefoot Philosophers Initiative, which he founded. His forthcoming book and project is on philosophy for children.

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