Year of Establishment : 1913
History of the department :
The post-graduate Department of philosophy of the University of Calcutta was set up in the year 1913 with the appointment of Acharya Brajendranath Seal as King George V professor of Mental and Moral Science (later renamed Acharya Brajendranath Seal, professor of Mental and Moral science in 1950). Acharya Seal, the great Savant of oriental learning, also known as a moving university for his encyclopedic knowledge, was a scholar of outstanding eminence in our country and was one of the pillars of Indian Renaissance. Since its grand inception the quest of academic excellence on the part of its teachers has been the hallmark of the Department. The heritage of academic excellence was created and nurtured by philosophers, scholars and teachers like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Hiralal Halder, a Hegelian scholar of international repute, Krishna Chandra Bhtatacharyya, whose philosophy of Neo-vedantism is taught in several P.G. Departments of our country till date, Surendranath Dasgupta, Sushil Kumar Moitra, Satish Chandra Chatterjee, Nalini Kanta Brahma, Rashvihary Das, Adhar Chandra Das, Gopinath Bhattacharyya, Kalidas Bhattacharyya, Humayun Kabir, Jitendranath Mohanty, Pritibhushan Chatterjee, Sivajiban Bhattacharyya, Ramaprasad Das, Shankari Prasad Banerjee, Ashok Kumar Ganguly, Kumudranjan Goswami, Prabal Kumar Sen, Prahlad Kumar Sarkar, Arindam Chakraborty, and agood number of eminent Sanskrit scholars (who taught original texts in Indian philosophy) like Prabhu Datta Sastri, Mahamahopadhyay Jogendranath Bagchi, Pandit Anantalal Tarkatirtha, Pandit Panchanan Sastri, Pandit Narayan Chandra Goswami, Pandit Shyamapada Misra to mention only a few-among many others.
It is worth mentioning here that many philosophers of international repute have visited the Deaprtment from time to time and delivered endowmwnt lectures / special lectures on invitation, on diferrent areas of Philosophy. To mention only a few : Alfred Jules Ayer, vonWright, P.F. Strawson, W.V.O. Quine, Donald Davidson, Arthur Danto, Richard Sorabjee, Debiprasad Chattopadhyay, Bimal Krishna Matilal, Pranab Kumar Sen, Anjan Shukla, Sacchidananda Murthy. The latest in the list includes J. N. Mohanty, Arindam Chakraborty, J.L. Shaw.
The major research areas of the faculty are History of Philosophy, Analytic Philosophy, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Kant, Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Logic, Comparative Religion, Socio-Political Philosophy, Nyya-Vaisesika, Vednta, Buddhism and contemporary Indian Philosophy.
It is a matter of great pride for us that profound scholarship and administrative honour have blended beautifully in our Department. It is noteworthy to mention that our Department has produced eight (8) vice-chancellors of different universities, till date.
The Department celebrated the centenary years of its meaningful existence during 2013-14, by organizing national seminars on the thoughts of Past Masters of the Department to pay homage to them in a befitting manner. The 150th birth anniversary of Acharya Brajendra Nath Seal, the founder of the department was also celebrated (which coincided with the centenary celebration) with great enthusiasm.
To sustain our rich heritage and legacy, our Department is making sincere efforts to maintain high standard of teaching and research. Teachers of the department, apart from lecturing to the classes and guiding the work of research students, have independently contributed much to the extension of philosophical knowledge by bringing out books and publishing papers.
In recognition of high standard of teaching and research, the Department was granted UGC SAP DRS Phase-I in 2007 for a period of five (5) years and again the upgradation from phase-I to II was approved by the UGC for a further period of five (5) years , i.e., 2013 to 2018, in consideration of our satisfactory academic performance. Sanctioned recurring grant is utilized by holding national seminars, publishing a good number of books including anthologies (on Epistemology, Ethics and Religion) along with a successful completion of translation project (Vedanta-Paribhs of Dharmaraja dhvarindra, translated in to English language by Professor Prabal Kumar Sen). The fact is that some of our faculty members have received national and International accolade for their works deserves special mention.
We the teachers, one and all are proud of our Department and hope to keep the lamp of learning ablaze through our endeavour to maintain our high standard of teaching and research.
Major activities :
- The Department encourages different organizations like West Bengal Voluntary Blood Donors Forum to organize programme for social awareness. Regarding Aids and related issues among the youth.
- Faculty members are taking special classes under UGC Scheme for the SC/ST/OBC/ Minority candidates appearing for S.S.C. Examination.
- Special classes are being taken under UGC Scheme by the faculty members for the SC/ST/OBC/Minority candidates appearing for Net and Set Examinations.
- The Department celebrated the International Philosophy Day by arranging lectures on Terrorism in order to highlight the relevance of Philosophy in present-day society.
- A debate on The Relevance of Philosophy in which the students participated.
- Attempts have been undertaken to procure photocopies of some rare books for the benefit of students.
- Students with the help of the teachers prepare wall magazine every year.
- Students regularly participate in debate, present papers in the home university and other universities, i.e., Jadavpur and Rabindra Bharati University till date.
The hallmark of our syllabus is that it is entirely text based. Original texts in different areas of Philosophy are taught with equal emphasis on both Indian and Western Philosophy, with a view to drilling the minds of the students, so to say through the thoughts of original thinkers.
The syllabus is updated more or less on regular basis. A new course in socio-political philosophy was introduced. In recent times Practical Ethics, which deals with burning socio-ethical problems, was introduced. We have also introduced Environmental Ethics, Philosophy of Language and Comparative Religion.
We are again in the process of revising our syllabus both in PG-I & II and M Phil course which we hope to implement in near future. The richness of our syllabus is in conformity with UGC guidelines and model syllabi. The fact is reflected in the success of our students in post-college University pursuits like qualifying in NET / SET examination, School Service Commission, College Service Commission and Competitive Examination, Banking WBCS, IAS, etc.
Campus : Alipore
Address for communication : 1, Reformatory Street.Kolkata 700027.