Negotiating Capability and Diaspora

Negotiating Capability and Diaspora : A Philosophical Politics

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Negotiating Capability and Diaspora examines Amartya Sen's theory of capability in dialogue with the American philosopher John Rawls. Sen's theory arose to show an oriental dimension of the critique of utilitarianism that valorizes will power and honor diversity. Indian philosopher Aurobindo also enters the discourse to complement the theory of capability with supra-rational theory of emotional purification. In addition, feminist philosopher Martha Nussbaum plays a major role in the book as do the literary writers of diaspora.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 182 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073917102X
  • 9780739171028

Table of contents

Part 1: Philosophy
Chapter 1: Conglomerate Theory
Chapter 2: Beyond John Rawls: from Primary Goods to Capability
Chapter 3: Capability via Aurobindo and Appiah
Chapter 4: Capability Theorem through Nussbaum: East versus West
Part 2: Literature
Chapter 5: Sea of Poppies: A Diasporic Construct
Chapter 6: Political Sublime Revisited Through The Namesake
Chapter 7: The Power of Capability in Morrison's Beloved
Chapter 8: Conclusion: A Philosophical Politics
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Review quote

Dr. Ashmita Khasnabish, the author of Negotiating Capability: A Philosophical Politics, seeks to develop an original answer to the daunting question: What must the individuals in the diaspora do to solve their cultural dislocations and the violations of their human dignity? In the process of addressing this question, she engages three classical approaches in Global moral and political philosophy. They are: Entitlement Theories, Capability Challenges, and Eastern Pragmatist Ontologies and Philosophical Politics. . . .Khasnabish . . . adds her own voice, which she describes as that of a Diasporic Asian feminist. It is from this distinct perspective that she articulates a rich synthesis of the resource of the West and East, as she engages in the moral and political project of enabling the diaspora to be capable of satisfying its existential rights and to negotiate capability and existence, reason and emotion. In the end Khasnabish addresses the daunting question with which this review began. * CLR James Journal * "Leading on from her previous monographs, Ashmita Khasnabish's new volume, Negotiating Capability and Diaspora: A Philosophical Politics, is another unusual enquiry into contemporary postcolonial thought and literature. By combining the philosophies of Eastern and Western thinkers, Khasnabish creates a syncretic paradigm that casts the work of such diverse writers as Toni Morrison, Amitav Ghosh, and Jhumpa Lahriri in a new light. This book is an original and imaginative engagement with contemporary postcolonial and feminist debates." -- Melanie Otto, Trinity College "Ashmita Khasnabish's latest work Negotiating Capability and Diaspora: A Philosophical Politics is a bold attempt to examine the intellectual philosophies of Amartya Sen, John Rawls, Sri Aurobindo, and a host of other thinkers. The book starts with Sen's Conglomerate Theory from his masterpiece The Idea of Justice, but it is primarily focused on his theory of capability in relation to Rawls's theory of primary goods. However, the book broadens its coverage by generously including the ideas of other important philosophers and also some selected works of literature. One can hardly forget Khasnabish's strong focus on the East-West dialogue in her argument. Although the work toys liberally with 'philosophical politics,' it remains firmly centered on Amartya Sen, the economist-philosopher. Undoubtedly, its deeper and broader philosophical base is much more intriguing and challenging. Indeed, it is a very valuable and commendable work in the history of ideas." -- K.D. Verma, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
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About Ashmita Khasnabish

Ashmita Khasnabish is visiting scholar in the Women and Gender Studies Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is author of Jouissance as Ananda: Indian Philosophy, Feminist Theory and Literature and Humanitarian Identity and the Political Sublime: Intervention of a Postcolonial Feminist and taught at various colleges and universities in Massachusetts.
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