IN PAKISTAN: 1947-1961


De Nobili College, Poona, India


1. Introduction

2. The Two Poles of Philosophical Reflection in Pakistan

3. The Nature of Philosophy

4. The Relationships between Reason and Faith: the Existence of God.

5. Islam and Philosophy

6. Philosophy and Values

7. The Notion of Existence

8. Epistemology, Universals, and Causality

9. The Knowledge of Other Minds.

10. Teleology and the Philosophy of History

11. The Morality of International Relations

12. The Social Sciences and Psychology

13. History of Philosophy

14. The Philosophy of Professor M. M. Sharif

15. Conclusion

16. Index of the Pakistani Philosophers Mentioned







With the carving out of Pakistan in 1947, the philosophers of the northwest and northeast areas of the sub-Himalayan peninsula found themselves severed from their colleagues in the new state of India, with whom they had, until then, been on good terms both in the universities and at the meetings of the Indian Philosophical Congress founded by Dr. S. RADHAKRISHNAN in 1925. It was only in 1954 that they were able to reconvene in a parallel association, namely, the Pakistan Philosophical Congress, formed by a committee of eminent figures presided over by the indefatigable Professor M. M. SHARIF. Its membership strength today is about 80. By its annual sessions, its publications, its suggestions to the government and universities, and its delegations to conferences held in foreign countries this organization has contributed to no small extent towards enlivening philosophical activity and re-establishing the importance accorded to philosophy in the country’s universities (i.e., the universities of Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad in Sind, Peshawar, Rajshahi, and Dacca).

Describing the situation in 1954, Prof. M. M. SHARIF noted the total absence of philosophical instruction in one of the five universities then in existence, as well as in numerous colleges, and the insufficiency of such instruction in the other universities and in a great number of colleges, even among those which are affiliated to universities in which the importance of philosophy is officially recognized (54.3).2 Positive psychology and what goes under the name of the social sciences were studied in but a few institutions. As far as historical research and the preparation of critical texts of the great works of the past were concerned, they were only individually pursued by investigators who had insufficient libraries at their disposal. This situation has been somewhat ameliorated but is still deplored, as is shown in the resolutions of the Congress in its session at Hyderabad (58.402).

Since 1954 the Pakistan Philosophical Congress has published regularly the proceedings of its annual sessions and has reprinted in separate volumes six of its symposia. Since 1957, it also publishes a quarterly, the Pakistan Philosophical Journal. Moreover, it has edited an excellent English translation of one of Al Ghazali’s works, Incoherence of the Philosophers.3 This translation was begun at Aligarh under the patronage of Prof. Sharif, pursued and completed at the Institute of Islamic studies, McGill University, Montreal, and accepted by this university as the thesis for the licentiate before being finally published in Pakistan.




The trait of international collaboration which I have just mentioned allows me to indicate a first important characteristic of the Pakistani philosophers: not only were they educated in English and through works, original or translated, available in this language, but many of them completed their formation in England, the United States, Canada, and to a smaller extent in Europe -- France especially and Germany. Having remained dependent on this first formation, they generally envisage their problems in terms often quite foreign to their own Muslin tradition. The philosophical positions around which they center their reflexions are those which have lately been in vogue, or are flourishing today among English speaking philosophers. If they happen to consider present-day problems, they generally do it in the same terms as American or British professors do. Moreover, American and British professors form the majority of the foreigners who visit Pakistani universities. Russian philosophers have attended several sessions of the Congress, but the Marxist prestige has seduced none of the professional philosophers of Pakistan, whose courtesy and catholic curiosity never overwhelm their deep-seated Muslim distrust of Marxism. Thus English influence even today remains preponderant. Their linguistic world is English and they commonly refer to but a few of the continental philosophers of Europe: Kant, Hegel, Bergson, Heidegger. . . .

This situation may not trouble some of them who recall the noble words of Al-Kindi, quoted by Mr. Justice Hamoodur RAHMAN (60.2): "We should not be ashamed to acknowledge truth and assimilate it from whatever source it comes to us, from former generations or foreign people." But many are conscious of it as of a mixed blessing which limits them while sustaining them. Let us consider the statement of Honorable Nian Abdul RASHID, supreme judge of Pakistan. "We do not possess Western philosophy, we are possessed by it" (54.7). And he added: "We owe such acquaintance as we have with our own philosophers mostly to Western scholars, who bring to bear on them values and judgments grounded in their own intellectual heritage" (51.8). With less exaggeration, Prof. M.M. Sharif wished that his colleagues would retain their ties with the English culture of the past. He expressed his desire in these words: "We must borrow from the West whatever is best in its culture, but we must not repeat its mistakes" (54.4).

Dr. M. Hamid-ud-din faces the situation squarely when he asks the pertinent questions: Why even now this West-oriented approach to philosophy? Why has Eastern philosophy become for us a matter of history? The unsavory answer is, he says, that having touched great heights of intellectual achievement, our great forefathers left no scope for their successors. The materials of philosophy, the facts which constitute the challenge for philoso-phizing, were so thoroughly treated by them that nothing was left for anybody who came after them. In the West, on the contrary, with power-technology renewing this material of facts, men started getting involved with life and the universe more deeply than they could with only the non-power technology of previous ages. This new power-technology pushed them into doing first-rate thinking at breakneck speed. Thus philosophy in the East came to a dead end because it did not get the material of philosophy which could nourish it and keep it alive. But philosophy in the West is now heading for a similar fate because, having involved itself in the so-called perennial problems, it has lost touch with sources which could constantly feed it with fresh nourishing material. To remedy this double disease of inanition, Dr. Hamid-ud-din proposes the perhaps utopian remedy of an international conference of philosophers which would set itself the task of systematically eliminating all unfruitful philosophical problems and of planning a programme of research unanimously accepted and feasible (60.9-94).

The facts, however, do not completely countenance the diagnostic of Dr. Hamid-ud-din. The influence of Islam still com-mands more than does that of the West the allegiance and the fundamental choices of the majority of Pakistani philosophers. Together with their few Christian and Hindu colleagues, they are animated by a religious faith. Doubtlessly, this faith varies in ortho-doxy and intensity. Their convictions are very often contaminated with modernism and a few are reacting vehemently against their traditional religion, but the belief in only one God, in the immortality of the human soul, in the absolute importance of this life for eternal salvation, in the brotherhood of all men, in the divine mission of the prophets, in the morals of the Quran, social as well as individual, determines the philosophical tenets of the majority of them, as we shall see in due time.

We must here stress the enduring influence of the writings of the poet-philosopher, Muhammad IQBAL (1873-1938), and especially of his most important book, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, which was translated into several languages and continues to be republished. In his formulation of the new Muslim humanism, he was influenced by Sufism and, philosophically, by Bergson and to some extent by Nietzsche and the American Pragmatists. He placed on a pedestal the formula which makes man vicegerent of God on earth, a formula which recalls the Perfect Man (Insam al-kamil) of the Sufis. One of his translators, R. A. Nicholson, has aptly expressed the essentials of this conception:


The vicegerent of God is the completest Ego, the goal of humanity, the acme of life both in mind and body; in him the discord of our mental life becomes a harmony. The highest power is united in him with the highest knowledge. In his life, thought and action, instinct and reason, become one. He is the last fruit of the tree of humanity, and all the trials of a painful evolution are justified because he is to come at the end. He is the real ruler of mankind; his kingdom is the kingdom of God on earth. Out of the richness of his nature he lavishes the wealth of life on others, and brings them nearer and nearer to himself. The more we advance in evolution, the nearer we get to him. In approaching him we are raising ourselves in the scale of life. The development of humanity both in mind and body is a condition precedent to his birth. For the present he is a mere ideal; but the evolution of humanity is tending towards the production of an ideal race of more or less unique individuals who will become his fitting parents. Thus the Kingdom of God on earth means the democracy of more or less unique individuals, presided over by the most unique individual possible on this earth. Nietzsche had a glimpse of this ideal race, but his atheism and aristocratic prejudices marred his whole conception.4


’Tis sweet to be God’s vicegerent in the world,

And exercise sway over the elements.

God’s vicegerent is as the soul of the universe,

His being is the shadow of the Greatest Name.

He knows the mysteries of part and whole,

He executes the command of Allah in the world . . .

His genius abounds with life and desires to manifest itself:

He will bring another world into existence.5


Iqbal has thus proposed an ideal with a Messianic tinge. He sees in man the noble creature of God, with unlimited possibilities of development in the direction of a greater physical and especially spiritual potential. Man completes creation. Mechanical causality does not bind him, it is his instrument.


God said, ‘The world so lies, and say not otherwise’;

Said Adam, ‘So I see; but THUS it ought to be!’6


This creativism ignores original sin and redemption. Iqbal is assured of the dynamic value of human nature considered integrally as a unit of thought, of will, and of free choice, which can answer to the divine commandment by faith, prayer, generous action, and the effective love of all men. The unique value of the human self is beyond doubt and it is from this vantage point that we must understand and transform the world. The self transcends space and time; it outlasts all changes. Highly probable in philosophy, and certain in faith, the immortality of the soul is perhaps possible for the perfect man only, but it is up to us to become perfect through our moral endeavor answering the grace of God.

Miss K. ISMAIL (59.194-197) and Mr. Taj Ali QURESHI (60.329) have treated briefly Iqbal’s conception of the human self. More important is the doctoral dissertation of Fr. Augustine FERNANDEZ, O.F.M., on the philosophy of Iqbal, an abstract of which has been published.’7 It provides a valuable account together with a critical appreciation of Iqbal’s Islamic humanism. I may also mention that Dr. Momtazuddin AHMED’S presidential address during the 1961 session of the Congress at Karachi was inspired by Iqbal’s philosophy, and that there exists in Karachi an Iqbal Academy of which Mr. M. RAFIUDDIN is Director.

Many are captivated by this modern prophet, who is so faithful in essence to the doctrines of the Quran. As to the fact that he is also inspired by recent philosophies, nobody reproaches him because everyone knows that Muslim tradition is far from being purely prophetic. Islam very soon encountered Greek philosophy -- the Pakistani Aflatun (Plato) and Arastu (Aristotle) are not rare -- and this encounter between revelation and philosophical reflexion has posed problems which are still very real today. But before listening to what the Pakistani philosophers have to tell us on this subject, we must consider what they think about the nature of philosophy itself.




They generally agree in recognizing its universality and its distinction from the positive sciences. However, in their efforts to characterize it, they proceed from suggestions and partial descriptions rather than from precise definitions.

Mr. Justice Amin AHMAD approaches philosophy from the judiciary angle and stresses that ". . . in its purely logical aspect, philosophy is no other than cool judicial temper applied to the sphere of thoughts and ideas, to the hopes and aspirations of man since his troubled history began" (57. xxiii).

The definition proposed by Mr. A. K. BROHI is broader and refers to the repercussion of thought upon action. "Philosophy," he tells us, "is an unusually resolute attempt to think clearly about man’s total environment in order that correct action could be designed" (57.4). "Revealed Religion," he continues, ". . . was calculated to furnish a guidance to man at a time when his capacity for rational thought had not yet fully evolved" (57.4). "The age of revelation has been followed by the age of realization" (57.5). This supposes that man can trust his intellect, and it is altogether correct because he who denies this postulate ipso facto trusts his intellect at least to the point of accepting the validity of the intellectual act involved in his negation. Therefore, the anti-intellectual objection is always an act of suicide since it denies what it proposes (57.13). Kantian Skepticism is doubtlessly valid on the purely conceptual level where it stays (57.7), but the philosophical effort tends to become experience by the concentration of consciousness and the aspiration which brings it to the term of its desire, and thus transcends the Kantian objection (57.16). From then on metaphysics changes its nature; it is no longer only a reflexion concerning the universe, but becomes ". . . hardly distinguishable from the direct participation in, and perception of, that world" (57.18). This change which elevates man to wisdom does not result from a necessary biological evolution but from freedom which characterizes spiritual evolution (57.20).

Diwan Muhammad AZRAF equally rejects skepticism as a psychological impossibility. The methodic doubt itself, he assures us, is a postulate which rests on the belief in my capacity to know. It is the postulate of the philosophical question itself. The intellect testifies to the continued unity and universality of consciousness (55.167-174).

Dr. Govinda Chandra DEV, a Hindu, also recalls to our attention the impossibility of consciousness’ doubting its own objective capacity. It is by passing from ascertained facts to the necessary conditions of their possibility that philosophy erects itself. This process, called arth patti by Indian logicians, is decisive in Aristotle, Sankara, Ghazali, and Thomas Aquinas along with Kant, Hegel, Bradley, etc. (56.38-39). But to attain completion philosophy must accept, beyond the evidence of sense intuition and of reason, the ultra-logical intuitions of the religious consciousness, of which awareness the Vedic tradition appears to give the essential under the form of a conviction of the radical identity of all beings. It is the very movement of thought toward a complete accord with itself which requires this synthesis of the senses, of reason, and of religious intuition that constitutes the whole of philosophy (56.39-40). Moreover, a welcome marriage of philosophy and the sciences, which would unite them intimately while respecting their differ-ences, is the hoped for prolongation of this synthesis. The universal love which philosophy engenders ought to perfect itself through the unlimited potentiality that the sciences are now procuring for man (56.35). This open and sympathetic doctrine obviously affiliates itself with the theses of modern Hinduism, such as one finds them in a Vivekananda, a Radhakrishnan, and an Aurobindo. Dr. Dev has set them in relief on a brightly colored historical background in two important books to which our readers may direct themselves.8

More critical, Mr. Athar RASHID notes at the outset that philosophy differs from the positive sciences as well by its object as by its method. The strict sciences are subordinated to it because they depend upon philosophy in order to validate their own possibility and their basic postulates, and to evaluate the truths they discover. Nevertheless, the function of philosophy is not, as some people claim, to coordinate and integrate in one whole the results of these diverse sciences. Taking up the problem from Aristotle and displaying an exceptional knowledge of Western tradition right up to its recent representatives in France and Germany, he reaffirms that the universality and primacy of metaphysics stem from its formal objects that is to say, from the concept of being according to which it considers all beings. He further develops this classical position according to Heidegger’s distinctions, which he grasps well but which he exposes without any special originality (55.33-49).

Others, in great numbers, remain embarrassed by the conclusions of the Kantian critique. Many also are intimidated by the discrediting of metaphysics which the English neo-Positivists indulged in, especially since these attacks were particularly aggressive during the years of their formation.

Accordingly, Prof. Qazi M. ASLAM, for instance, does not object against reducing philosophy to a critique of the foundations of the other sciences (54.109). Prof. M. M. SHARIF tells us rather vaguely that philosophy is the study of those problems which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the other sciences (54.3) and, more positively, that it is a disinterested and not pragmatic study of values. Mr. AJMAL and Prof. Abdul QADIR profess a type of Logical Positivism which originated in Cambridge. Prof. Qadir, in the course of an excellent exposé of this doctrine, affirms without hesitation that the reduction of all significative propositions to the two categories, first, of empirically verifiable assertions, and secondly, of tautologies or analytical assertions, has arrived at this very important conse-quence "that it has demonstrated once for all and that too on logical grounds the impossibility of deductive metaphysics" (56.77).

In general, however, the rejection (already historical) of metaphysics by the Cambridge philosophers has found few ad-herents among the Pakistanis. The latter react against it not only with a type of good common sense, but also with a criticism which is at times very sharp. Thus, for instance, Mr. Syed M. TAQI attacks with vigor and pertinent arguments the foundations of Russell’s philosophy and discovers a certain unaccountable ignorance -- especially in the matter of history and of exegesis of texts -- together with contradictions in the carrying out of his criticism of formal logic and, in particular, of the syllogism (55.119-128). Mr. S. Z. CHOUDHURI has exposed other deficiencies of positivism: its naiveness when it demands definitions of the same type for all possible realities; its rationalism approaching pragmatism when it chooses as its theory for truth a univocal correspondence, the hasty generalization which leads it to reduce all inductions to merely probable propositions, its ignorance of the ego as a personal subject and of the active aspect of understanding, its Don Quixotic attitude which leads it to label with the name ‘religion’ and ‘metaphysics’ imagined monstrosities which correspond only remotely to religion as it is lived and to real metaphysics (55.90-96).

Others at the Congress have also reacted against the positivist position In a paper entitled "Is Philosophy Worth Studying?" Mrs. Akhtar IMAM has tried to answer the many criticisms leveled against the study of philosophy. First of all she mentions that refined happiness which can be found only in the search for truth and in the contemplation of reality. This affects only the best minds, but philosophy has also an important indirect influence on mankind as a whole. This influence of philosophy on mankind is very conspicuous in the political field and in the development of civilizations. The development of science which marks our present civilization needs to be supplemented by philosophy in order to ascertain its principles and basic concepts and in order to infuse wisdom into the minds of those who are to make the decisions in the use of scientific discoveries. Philosophy is more radically critical than the particular sciences; the realm of its enquiry is all-inclusive; the scope of its problems is more existential and the answers it provides are of decisive importance for man’s decent survival in this scientific age (59.21-27).

In a spirited but not very substantial "Defence of Philosophy" Mr. S. Islam CHAUDHRY showed that skepticism can never be final and presented philosophy as a sort of "frontier" which ever remains open to our exploration and conquest for it is "the attempt to deal with the whole and with our experience as a whole" (61.)

We can conclude this section with the remarks of Dr. Khalifa Abdul HAKIM. Philosophy, he tells us, studies the postulates of the other sciences and coordinates their results, but its investigation also bears upon certain fundamental problems never entirely solved. Especially does it maintain a sense of unity, a sense of the universe, and realizes little by little the cultural unity of man. Unlike religion, philosophy must portray neither dogmatism nor narrowness of spirit. Without falling into academicism, it ought to keep itself above partisan choices and national ideologies. Philosophy guides, it warns, and its strength comes from its independence. Turned over to the theologians only, the human spirit would find itself fossilized; turned over to positive science only, it would turn to fragments. Philosophy is there to render possible a synoptic vision of life. Faith is not in itself a stumbling block for philosophy; but it can stagnate, and that is what has happened to the Moslem faith (54.9-24).




Whenever the Pakistani philosophers discuss the relations between reason and faith or between philosophy and religion, the divergence of their views is apparently as marked as when they discuss the nature of philosophy. In the published documents, the critics of faith predominate. However, the majority of them are believers whom the Muslim faith inspires. Many passing phrases in other discussions betray this adherence.

Mr. Diwan Muhammad AZRAF has exposed his views on the relationship existing between reason and faith in a communication with the rather misleading title: "Philosophy of Religion." A more accurate title would be "Philosophy and Religion " since he has tackled the rather difficult task of distinguishing the two. Both, he says, have their origin in some sort of doubt as to the nature of the experienced, and in the attempt to determine the truth of different views about reality. That doubt is coupled with a belief in the capacity of man to know truth, and that attempt is a search for a unitary principle. Kant has shown that the idea of God as the unitive principle of experience is inescapable, even though he could not ascertain its objectivity through his Critique of Pure Reason. This tendency to reduce all the facts of experience to a unitary principle still persists. With the exception of William James all the philoso-phers of our age show this inclination in varying degrees. In religious circles we find a similar tendency. Even polytheism is usually henotheism of some sort.

But religion and philosophy differ with regard to their methods and attitudes. In religion, especially revealed religion, there is a strong tendency to extol intuition at the cost of intellection; truths are accepted on the authority of the individual whose intuitions are taken as infallible. In philosophy, on the other hand, stress has been alternately laid on the exercise of the senses or reason in order to attain the knowledge of Ultimate Reality. The controversy for the supremacy of either reason or the senses in philosophy has rightly been characterized by Bergson as an admission of the predominance of the intellect. But he has pointed out that the nature of the universe is such that it can only be grasped through intuition. Yet it cannot be overlooked that the evaluation of intuition cannot be done by intuition itself and that knowledge attained through intuitions is to be tested by the intellect in spite of the latter’s being deprecated as a method. Philosophy, therefore, has to rely on the intellect for arriving at the truth.

Besides this, there is a difference between the attitude of religion and that of philosophy towards reality. In philosophy the emphasis is on knowing. In religion, on the other hand, there is a feeling of dependence on the Ultimate Reality who is looked upon as the source of all that is. This feeling of dependence is present in all religions despite the fact that they differ in other respects. It is perhaps due to this feeling of dependence that religion imposes laws and builds up institutions so that people may be able to satisfy their spiritual yearning. In philosophy there is no such conscious effort. Religions are democratic in their appeal and institutions in their practical shape, while philosophy is aristocratic in its appeal and seldom affects the practical life of the common man. Marxism may apparently be viewed as an exception to this rule. But Marxism is not a philosophy in the strict sense of the term. It is a combination of philosophy and economics informed and permeated by a spirit of prophecy and a promise of a future Blessed Kingdom (though not of the Spirit) like that Of religion. The sense of dependence on the Absolute is present in Marxists and they show the same sentiment and emotion for it which is found amongst the orthodox in religions, although the Absolute to which they pay homage is interpreted materially

Historically religion preceded philosophy. But while philoso-phic thought developed from the ideas of religion through reflection and criticism, religion as a practical phase in man’s life never ceased and its hold on the non-intellectual strata of society always persisted. The linear theory of Auguste Comte cannot stand the test of historical evidence. No hard and fast line of demarcation can be drawn between the theological, metaphysical and positive stages in human civilization. All that can be said in favor of his contention is that the centre of interest varies from age to age amongst the thinkers.

The modern tendency was at first to discover the meaning of existence in terms of the intellect. Naturally, therefore, religious ideas were relegated to the background. The recent tendency, however, in some quarters is to accept religious experiences as data for thought. Others, such as Russell, condemn this tendency as a sort of romanticism. Supporters of religion oppose both these points of view. They do not accept Russell’s view of this as romanticism; yet they are equally opposed to placing religious experiences on a par with other experiences. To them, religious experiences have a value superior to that of other experiences; accordingly, they must be assigned a unique status in philosophy.

The criterion of certitude in religious consciousness is a harmony not to be found at the ordinary level of consciousness. It is sought in an immediate experience which comprises all the varieties of the universe in its all-inclusive whole. This harmony is also sought in philosophy through intellectual or supra-intellectual methods in which contradictions are transformed and sublated. The attitude towards this harmony in religion is one of reverence and devotion whereas in philosophy it is par excellence an attitude of knowledge for its own sake.


Viewed from the standpoint of philosophy, religion may, therefore, be characterized as reverent philosophy and philosophy as irreverent religion. They can, however, have a meeting ground if we can find a source of knowledge in which thought as such can be divested of its relational character and in which intuition as a method is universalized and our attitude towards knowledge is changed from that of simple interest in knowledge for its own sake to the attitude of deep reverence manifested by a devoted soul. The possibility of such knowledge cannot be ruled out. Let us, therefore, hope that in the days yet to come man will set wings to his feet and succeed in attaining it (59. 36-49).


Dr. K.M. JAMIL, on the other hand, has emphasized rather the continuity of philosophy and religion and the interactions which profitably bind one to the other. He stresses that language is analogical and therefore basically inadequate. Since philosophy cannot move except within the boundaries of language, it suffers limitations. It is religion, and especially mystical experience, which accomplishes the project of philosophy. The rich efflorescence of scholasticism, both Christian and Mohammedan, proves conclusively that human reason can scientifically assimilate a supra-rational testimony and find in it its own completion. James and Bergson have reintroduced mystical experience into the temple of philosophy. Today’s philosopher should pursue his efforts critically but with the determination to understand the riches of faith. Credo ut intelligam. Possibly philosophy would fail in its attempt to achieve this mystical unity with God since: "After a long struggle, Al-Farabi expected to achieve this until the last moment of his life, but he could not. In the end he cried out: `All is vain.’" Averroes relates this and, although he was far from being perfectly orthodox, he concludes: "But this disappointment is not the proof that it is not possible. It only proves that Farabi was not one of those who had been favored by Divine Grace" (57.55).


The conceptual metaphysics can at most strengthen or lead to a correct belief but beyond that there are realities wherein our metaphysics is blind and the language that is used there has its own grammar and logic. That is what we should call a metametaphysics -- a philosophy that goes beyond Aristotle’s Proté Philosophia. A philosopher must have courage enough to penetrate into such a domain and have his investigations there (57.59).


Plotinus has shown us the way but, as Bergson said about Plotinus:


It was granted to him to look upon the promised land, but not to set foot upon its soil. He went as far as ecstasy, a state in which the soul feels itself, or thinks it feels itself, in the presence of God, being irradiated with His light; he did not get beyond this last stage, he did not reach the point where, as contemplation is engulfed in action, the human will becomes one with the divine will.9


It is this point that the Christian mystics and Muslim sufis have reached and it is their experience that we must scrutinize if we want our philosophy to complete itself by tending beyond its own limits.


The supernatural might not be very far from the natural. It could be in us, in our faculties, and in the world we live in; though it has been pointed out that it is found in its true sublimity and grandeur in a realm which is not open to all (57.62).

But an inquisitive mind will never be satisfied if you ask it to restrict its activity to logical analysis of language, or clarification of definitions or some such work. Philosophy must remain a search for the truth and take cognisance of the fact that some of the questions that puzzle our mind are those that concern us most intimately. The desire to know the nature of the universe, its stuff or material, its creator or God, its purpose, its relation to man and his destiny, is very natural to us. No amount of philosophizing would prove that we do not know or are not clear about what we would like to know (57.63-64).


Mr. Tufail A. QURESHI re-echoes all these views of Dr. K.M. Jamil. I should like to quote him at great length since his address (58.317-326) abounds in pertinent judgments and auspicious formulas on mysticism and the social influence of mystics, but the time has come to pass on to complementary or divergent opinions.

Dr. Athar RASHID begins by reminding us that the controversy between reason and faith imposed itself upon philosophers only with the coming of Christianity, and that Christian thinkers -- an Augustine, a Thomas Aquinas -- saw no conflict between reason and faith, which, according to them, complement one another. The difficulties arose only later, after the Reformation. It was then only that the synthesis split into rationalism and fideism. We unfortunately inherit this division (57.95-98).

There are doubtlessly beliefs which cannot be scientifically substantiated. Those beliefs, however, which spring either from immediate experience, or from the experiences of genuine mystics, or from divine revelation, propose themselves to reason as a complement although they do not depend on it. With regard to these the competence of reason is total and its effort at critical justification is legitimate. There is apparently an antinomy between the dogmatism which is congenial to religious faith and the dynamic progressivism of rational activity. The philosopher ought to remain faithful to his vocation and, without ever rejecting faith, he ought to subject it to the judgment of reason (57.99-100).

Let us come now to views dependent on the Kantian critique. Mr. M. M. AHMAD maintains with Berkeley that there is a universal spirit which keeps unified in consciousness the objects and events of this world (Pakistan Philosophical Journal, II, 1, p. 3), and repeats Kant’s idea that there must be a permanent consciousness preceding the changing consciousness. The a priori which command the determinations of changing consciousness find their own reduction in the unity of the eternal consciousness (ibid., p. 5). Since the manifold proceeds from it, it is also from this unique conSCIOusness that we must await the full light. "For the knowledge of destiny and the ordering of life therefore one has to depend on revelation and it is in the light of revelation that things are rightly apprehended and proper value is set on them" (ibid., p. 6). But the nature of the revelation Mr. Ahmed refers to remains very ambiguous.

Mr. S. Z. CHOUDHURI likewise vaguely refers to faith as a "trust in what is presented to us by our highest thought, deepest emotion, and noblest will" (57.115). Furthermore, he maintains that "Reason is faith in the making," and that "faith is reason par excellence" (ibid.) "Hence reason is not the antithesis of faith, rather reason finds its normal fulfillment and culmination in faith." For "faith is a unique synthesis of thought, emotion and will at their best." However, "although faith of the highest order is capable of being analyzed, the analysis cannot be stretched to its logical limit. There is a supreme moment in faith which it is well-nigh impossible to communicate" (57.116). However, this is normal in virtue of the continuity between reason and faith which are "twin aspects of the same reality, i.e., the mind" (ibid.) One feels that such views originate in Heidelberg rather than Mecca.

Mr. A. KARIM also limits his exposition to the relations existing between reason and faith in the order of our purely natural knowledge according to Kant. Hegel, Croce, Bergson, Otto, and Bradley, and proposes views resembling closely those of Mr. Choudhuri (57.347).

Mr. Kazim-ud-din AHMAD means by ‘reason’ what Kant calls discursive understanding, excluding higher reason or Vernunft, which he would rather translate as ‘intuition.’ By faith, he means religious faith, that is, "a belief in the existence of God and other entities of an order of reality other than the natural" (57.109). He thus reduces the discussion of reason and faith to this question: "Can the existence of a personal God be proved logically?" His answer is in the negative; he rejects this possibility, without, in spite of that, denying that God can exist. To justify his negation, he reduces the various possible proofs to three types: the mathematical demonstration which "alone gives certain truth" (ibid.); the intellectualization of the inductive sciences, which aim at verifying an hypothesis without ever being able to attain absolute certainty but only probability to a higher or lower degree; and rationalization, which "consists in inventing arguments in order to support a pre-existing conviction. Thus the conclusion is prior to the argument, and not its result. This is no proof at all" (57.110). Too sure, no doubt, of the validity of his division, he immediately proceeds to group under it the classical `proofs’ of the existence of God. He finds no place for them other than in the third category, which arrangement ipso facto places them outside the order of proofs (ibid.) Is it not possible, however, to prove the existence of God by basing oneself on the testimony of the mystics ? That would be possible if the experience of the mystics could be called ‘knowledge,’ but wherever the object cannot be distinguished from the subject we can no longer speak of knowledge, since nothing objective is revealed. Having thus easily disposed of mystical experience which he misapprehends, he rejects the pretensions of the intuitionists stating that, psychologically, an intuition is "just a conviction of which the causes are not known," and that neither Sankara, Plato, nor Hegel proved the first premise of their philosophy (57.112). Our convictions are contingent and do not bear with them their evidence. Our conviction, for example, that the highest value ought also to be the highest reality has but a pragmatic and subjective value (57.113). "Nobody knows God, but only the philosopher knows that he does not know" (57.114).

Perhaps an excessively literal disciple of the Cambridge philosophers, Mr. C.A. QADIR, already mentioned in the preceding section, analyses certain objects of belief and shows their origin to be in linguistic obsessions and deceitful expressions. If, he says, according to Kant himself, the ‘Thing-in-itself’ can give rise to contradictory affirmations, it obviously has no rational meaning and can only be the object of pseudo-questions. However, pseudo-questions can only receive pseudo-answers, that is, they are absurd. The ‘Thing-in-itself’ has thus no right to evoke faith (57.103-104).

As far as the question about God is concerned, Mr. Qadir restricts himself to refuting Fr. Copleston, who maintains that it is possible to have about God a discourse which does not possess merely emotional, persuasive, or prescriptive value, but which is strictly meaningful. Copleston explains that the propositions concerning God are not entirely anthropomorphic but intrinsically analogical. We must distinguish between the objective and subjective meaning of the terms which must be purified and elevated to the eminence demanded by the prescriptions of the theory of various meanings: univocal, purely equivocal, and equivocal secundum quid, that is, analogical. To discern which one of these meanings applies depends on the indications of the context. Mr. Qadir rejects without ado this distinction as impossible, and considers all theological language as anthropomorphic or absurd (57.106).

He also attacks Jasper’s ‘philosophical faith’ conceived as a leap which, under the pressure of his limiting situations, man takes beyond conceptual knowledge and towards transcendence For Qadir, every consideration of this kind is futile (57.107-108).

To Mr. M.X. RUB, a beginner in philosophy, it appears equally prudent to reduce the idea of God to a pure creation of fancy, which has perhaps contributed to the growth of our civilization, but which has caused more harm than benefit (57.352).

Mr. Mazher-ud-din SIDDIQI reduces the discussion about God to an antithesis between idealism (Plato, Berkeley, Bradley) and realism: (James, Russell). From this vantage point he has no difficulty in indicating the exaggerations of both tendencies and in showing that we cannot reduce reality to a monist Absolute, or to an absolute pluralism of individuals. Likewise, he states, "It is clear therefore that neither a completely transcendent God nor a purely immanent one offers the solution of the theistic difficulty. In fact, transcendence and immanence involve each other (67.331). He seems to understand this implication in the sense in which Whitehead takes it, for whom God must necessarily be conceived as a creator essentially related to creatures. This conception does not admit a creative act (cf. 57.330). It follows from this that the realistic conception of the world as independent of and opposed to, the spirit is as untenable as the idealistic thesis, according to which only the spirit exists and prescribes the laws of knowledge without reference to an already existing world. Leibniz’s Monadology is perhaps the only outlet from this difficulty, with, however, the reservation that the monads are not windowless but that each one shares the life of all the others be it only to an infinitesimal degree (57.331).

The duality of the described positions is due partly to the fact that the question was the subject of a symposium which normally implies exposes pro and con. It is certain that the number of those for whom religious faith retains also a rational value is greater than it appears to be in the accessible publications. It is also certain, nevertheless, that this faith is undermined in many cases because of their excessively exclusive familiarity with philosophies of the modern age which were often skeptical or hardly apt to confirm faith. While it is already waning in Europe, atheistic humanism is here making fresh conquests. It is further certain that despite the repugnance of many, it is difficult for them to resist the attack levelled against metaphysics by the neo-positivists and their successors, at least until about 1950. This recent trend has the vigor of novelty. It has hardly been filtered, criticized, limited to its valuable elements only. It is in fashion and even philosophers resist with difficulty the attraction of novelty.

Before ending this section, we must refer to a remarkable article by Mr. M. Saeed SHEIKH on a related topic, philosophy of religion. He defines it as the application of philosophy to religious facts. Philosophy of religion since Hegel realizes that the term ‘religious’ designates a fundamental, distinct type of human experience, a type open to philosophical investigation. Hegel, however, ignored an essential principle of this philosophy as we understand it today, namely, "that the facts and experiences of religion are to be interpreted and evaluated primarily with reference to their own field and only secondarily from the point of view of any general philosophy" (58.38). This very principle was also ignored by such philosophers as Royce, Bosanquet, Pringle-Pattison, Jones, and Webb, who attempted to reduce these facts to their idealistic philosophy. Following W. Vatke, who insisted in the last century on the sui generis character of religious facts, and on the necessity of an empirical inquiry, free of prejudices, such philosophers as O. Pfleiderer, C. B. Punjer, G. Teichmuller, H. Siebeck, A. Sabatier, etc., have fortunately made progress in this direction.

Natural theology can supply an hypothesis (God) explaining the religious facts, but these facts must nevertheless be clarified and evaluated independently of the hypothesis. Certain empiricist theologians insist almost entirely on moral experience which is, however, not identical with religious experience. Others, such as Schleiermacher, adhere to their individual religious experience, which may be too partial and too greatly dependent upon their own religious and even philosophical affiliation. But to be adequate, philosophy of religion must essentially be a reflexion upon religion in history, that is, upon all religions. The Quran recognizes this universality of religion when it states that no people has been left without prophet (35/24; 10/47; 4/164), and that the believer should receive all the messengers of Allah (2/4; 2/136; etc.) without distinction between any of them (4/150).

The phenomenology of religion has accumulated an enormous wealth of information, which should provide us with an empirical base. The psychological study of the religious consciousness ought to be completed by a historical study of the religious facts, but both are but preparatory stages. The critical evaluation and profound explanation are not within the province of the history or psychology of religion since their function is purely descriptive.

The author then makes the point that "the description of valuations without evaluations requires a subtle kind of objective subjectivity" (58.44). It does not at all require that we be irreligious; on the contrary, it demands a sympathetic understanding and even some kind of participation in religious life. A lived commitment to religion is preferable to detached contemplation. And among the degrees of commitment, that one is preferable in which "the philosopher or scientist of religion lives the life he contemplates on the highest level of his own religious tradition" (58.45). The personal contact with adherents of at least one of the other religious traditions appears to be equally necessary. The absence of such a real or at least sympathetic participation accounts for the weakness of the majority of published works in this domain. The limited viewpoints of behaviorism, or of more or less Freudian psychoanalysis, along with that of "primitivism," are altogether inadequate.

What we must study is the religious experience expressed in myths, in the lives of the saints, the accounts of mystics, etc., and even in legends. We cannot bypass these doctrinal or religious experiences although we are aware that the reality of religious experience transcends them. Further, the resemblances among religions are important, but attention to differences is also essential.

Our task as philosophers of religion is "to interpret and evaluate this infinitely complicated system of arranged facts and experiences and we have to face the question how far the religious conceptions of mankind correspond to truth" (58.49). We can, apparently, be guided by history which rises from the particular to the universal, and manifests a process of self-criticism in the domain of religion. A spiritual conception of God has succeeded naively materialistic views; a moral idealism, purely ritualistic and often immoral practices; a universal religion, purely tribal or national outlooks. It is by the superior that we must understand the inferior, and not vice versa. We must recognize authentic experience beyond the doctrinal formulations. The more we understand the fundamental truth of our own religion, the more our differences from other religions diminish. This is what the purely pragmatic study does not attain.


Religion means to be true as well as effective and effective because true, for it assumes an inseparability of value and existence or of the axiological and the logical. Merely pragmatic and operational notions of truth may work in science but in religion truth to be true must be true altogether. The religious consciousness in its highest development claims to be in an intimate sense en rapport with the ultimate nature of things. Hence religion more than anything else is a perpetual challenge to philosophy, compelling it to investigate its claims to be a valid interpretation of truth and reality and to examine its assumptions. The Philosophy of Religion is the response of philosophy to this challenge (58.51).


As an example of philosophical reflection upon one’s own religion, I shall now acquaint the reader with the paper of Dr. Richard C. RUDER, entitled "The Triune Man." Man, says Dr. Ruder, is characterized by a threefold relationship: first, to self; then, to others; and, thirdly, to the world of abstractions or ideas, that is, to the symbols of thought. Hence, he has "self-awareness," "other-awareness," and "understanding-awareness." The ordinary man exercises all these three awarenesses in turn. But it is possible to concentrate on either of the three exclusive of the other two. When successful this concentration terminates in an "ecstasy," which may be called mystical. Thus there are three forms of ecstatic mysticism, characterized as absorption in self, or in the other, or in the abstract.

Ecstatic mysticism often results in highly creative activity, but it easily carries with it a denial of those relationships which its very movement tries to exclude. Hence, it can alienate man from his complete self and such estrangement often results in inner conflicts, which can further give rise to social conflicts. Christianity obviates such dangers through its revelation of the personal trinity of the One God. It is maintained by Dr. Ruder that the person of God the Father expresses the particular Lordship of God over those areas of life where other-awareness is greater. In prayer the Christian prays to the Father. The person of the Holy Spirit expresses the Lordship of God over the inner structures of man’s self-awareness. The Christian prays in the power of the Holy Spirit. The person of the Son, incarnated in Christ, expresses the Lordship of God over our understanding-awareness, since He is the Revealer, the Mediator, the principle of unity of all men under God as the Head of the Church which is His Mystical Body. When Christians pray, they pray through the Son.

It must be clearly pointed out that it is One God who is revealed as Trinity of Persons, and that God is not identified with man but stands over him as Lord. It follows then that the fundamental importance of the doctrine of the Trinity is to insure that the One God is brought into relationship with all the activities of man, and that His Lordship over man is explicitly guaranteed through worship of God in His Trinitarian revelation.

Again, it is here claimed that there are three types of Christian heresy. Heresy is witnessing to a truth but to a partial truth, exclusive of the rest of revealed truth. The first type of heresy may be called a God-the-Father heresy. It witnesses only to the otherness of God. Deism is of this type. A second might be called a God-the-Spirit heresy. It witnesses to God only as the supreme Self of man. Pentecostalism is an example of this second type of heresy. The third which be called a God-the-Son heresy, where reason, thought and understanding are considered to be of exclusive importance. Gnosticism is a good example of this type.

Christianity is a social religion; its doctrine must hold for all men, represent all men, and bring all men under the lordship of God. The Deist, the Pentecostal and the Gnostic stand apart; the more strongly they hold their beliefs true though they may be, the further apart they stand. The Church can only witness to the fullness of the divine revelation. Therefore, while it can make use of the dynamic power of mystical experience in individual persons, it cannot identify it as being a valid and direct experience of God. At the most it can consider it to be only an experience of God which must be placed alongside of the fuller revelation. Thus in Christian understanding it is considered to be a special grace but it is not an end in itself (59.252-265).

Mystical experience was further considered by Mr. Hafizur RAHMAN and analyzed from a philosophical and psychological standpoint. Besides the four notes mentioned by W. James, namely, ineffability, noetic quality, transiency, and passivity, we should add four more traits, viz., sense of an all-pervasive presence, sense of the unreality of space and time, loss of personal identity, and sense of a deepened significance in life.

Mystical experience differs from those produced by drugs, psychological means, etc., at least in two important respects. First, in the case of those different means, the experience is followed by exhaustion and weakness but the sense of power that comes in mystical experience is just the opposite. Secondly, the moral effects are also different: on the one side, a weakening of the will and loosening of the moral fibre; on the other, a new and growing integration of individual and social life.

Mr. Rahman considers all mystical effects as fruits of auto-suggestion, yet he makes the following refreshing remark: Even regarded as autosuggestion, it is probable that prayer must be more effective than autosuggestion proper. For precisely that element which was seen to be most essential and yet most difficult to attain, namely, the abandonment of voluntary effort, is provided naturally by the mental attitude of prayer. The trust in an all-powerful God makes possible that abandonment.

Mr. Rahman is also sure that these inward mystical experiences cannot be turned into compelling ontological proofs. Indeed, they do not settle the question of the reality of God for everybody. However, he wisely remarks that while it is true that psychology cannot prove the reality of the mystical perception, it is equally true that it cannot disprove it (60. 315-327).

Mr. Ahmad SAEED is less prudent in his effort to show that mystical experience is a purely psychological phenomenon (60. 333).




The time has come to tackle the more particular question of the relationship between Islam and philosophy. This question preoccupies particularly the Moslem majority of the Pakistani philosophers. At the outset we shall consider what Mr. Muhammad SHARIF, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has to say about the insufficiency of science and the need of prophecy to answer some of life’s basic problems. Mr. Sharif drew the attention of the Congress to some statements of the Russian mathematician and philosopher, Ouspensky, concerning the helplessness of science regarding the problems of life and death, space and time, the mystery of consciousness, etc. "By the aid of scientific method," writes Ouspensky, "we cannot even tell what the man beside us is thinking about. No matter how we may weigh, sound or photograph a man, we shall never know his thoughts unless he himself tells them to us." The difficulty is even greater when we attempt to catch a glimpse of God’s cosmic consciousness. Here, says Mr. Sharif, we have no other recourse than listening to the prophets whose high office is to instruct people.


A prophet is, so to say, standing upon a high eminence, and this world and the next and all the universe with its scheme and purpose lie open before him. His knowledge of things is derived from the Original Source, his words are not his own: these are messages from the Lord-on-High.


He then recalls the basic concepts about God, man and the world, revealed in the Quran, and on the foundation of which a new world has to be constructed. "This," he thinks, "cannot be brought about by the statesmen; the theologians with their narrow outlook; are unable to cope with it; let the philosophers with cosmic outlook and breadth of vision try!" (59.ix-xiv).

Let us now consider how the Pakistani philosophers understand and defend their ‘prophetic’ religion. We shall begin with the remarks of Principal Muhammad AZRAF, even though his interpretation of Islamism is tainted with modernism. Russell wrote somewhere that Moslem thought has developed as a pure deduction starting from the Quran’s dogmas. Mr. Azraf rises up against this assertion and points out the importance of induction in this development. When it is a question of the experimental sciences, Russell acknowledges that the Arabs were more inductive than the Greeks, but he has not realized that they were so precisely because of their belief in the Quran (55.209-210).

The Quran’s dogma, Mr. Azraf maintains, does not imprison the spirit, and he also stresses that the fact of prophecy in Islam "indicates the revolt of the human spirit to have an independent role in searching out its own track without the guidance of any authority" (55.210). He bases this rather modernist conception on a passage in Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam where Iqbal states that


In Islam prophecy reaches its perfection in discovering the need of its own abolition. This involves the keen perception that life cannot for ever be kept in leading strings, that in order to achieve consciousness man must finally be thrown back on his own resources.


This is why Muhammad is the last prophet. Moreover, Mr. Azraf, following Abdus Salam Khan, recalls that


The Quran draws a distinction between ‘Ilm, the knowledge gained by intuition, and Hikmat, knowledge gained by scientific research, and it postulates that one who is granted the latter receives the supreme advantages. Hence the importance of scientific knowledge and research in Islam.10


That the Muslims have used deduction and derived from the Quran secondary rules to direct their lives is a fact that justifies itself if their faith is true. The belief in Allah, Creator and universal Providence, is a postulate of their thought since this postulate is the only guarantee of the correspondence between thought and reality which is itself postulated in every effort to know. Other conceptions of the Divine can constitute an obstacle to free thought, and fall as such under Russell’s critique. Russell himself admits that "the sphere of values lies outside science except in so far as science consists in the pursuit of knowledge."11 Yet values are necessary to human existence. The Quran provides the required base for values when it affirms that the government of the world is a moral government. The Quran is concerned only with values without meddling in the sphere of the empirical sciences to which, however, it affords a necessary supplement. To judge the value of the Quran according to the conduct of Moslems would hardly be fair. For everywhere men have betrayed the spirit of their religion and the dark days of Islam, which began in the year 661 of the hegira, that is, after the assassination of Hazrat Ali, are continuing right into our own times.

Russell does not distinguish the deductive spirit from the deductive method. The latter is legitimate and necessary, even in the positive sciences. The former can become fatal if it implies a blind recourse to undiscussed premises. Islam does not encourage this type of laziness, although it may be frequent among its adepts, but rather recommends an aptitude of discernment, open to two methods, the deductive and the inductive (55.211-217). Mr. M. S. HASAN AL-MASUMI has also emphasized the importance of reason in Islam (60.310-314).

Treating more generally Islam’s attitude towards philosophy, Mazherud-din SIDDIQI (56.133-138) proposes the view that Islamism is neither a philosophy nor a religion but a movement of social transformation. However, its message of action implies a philosophy. The dominant philosophical conception, implied everywhere but never directly expressed in the Quran, is the unity of human life (tawhid). The Quran opposes itself to distinctions founded on religion, race, color, nation, function. It does not accept two classes: the clergy and the laity. In the matter of knowledge, contrary to the Greeks and Indians, it attributes equal value to the interior (anfus), the heart, intuition, and to the exterior (afáq), the senses, thus restoring the unity of the knower. In matters of social life, it breaks down the walls between religion, polity, and economy, and wants all three to be dominated by the fundamental values: sovereignty of God, vice-sovereignty of man. Thus, for example, it rejects the capitalist position just as much as the communist one which wants to base economy entirely on the factors of production. The Quran proposes, on the contrary, a sort of Muslim socialism which limits the individual rights by the rights of society and of the common good (cf. infra).

In general, it cannot but consider with favor a pluralist pragmatism in the vein of W. James, and oppose itself to the Platonic idealism and the individualism which the latter implies. The way towards God which Islam proposes is not that of individual contemplation, but that of the effort of all towards the progress of all (jehad). Aristotle attracts it more than Plato, law more than theology.


The reality of the individual in Islam and his primary importance in any social scheme, Islam’s adherence to and insistence on democracy, its opposition to political absolutism and totalitarian autocracy, the Islamic concept of God as an individual standing in personal relationship with His creatures -- all these spring from its basic anti -- Platonic world view (56.1 37).


This does not mean that Islamic realism considers the realities of this world as perfect; on the contrary, it considers them as determined, but in potency to a higher realization. To bring this about man presides as God’s vicegerent. Man participates in God’s efficacious causality.

Mr. Muhammad A. HYE also takes up the concept of tawhid. He defines it thus:


Tawhid means a (categorical) negation or rejection of all sources of real power, of all objects of human devotion and loyalty except the power of Allah, to whom alone all devotion and loyalty is due; it implies a rejection of all fears except the fear of Allah; a complete surrender of our will and purposes to His will and increasing purpose; and an unflinching devotion and loyalty to Him (55.219).


Iqbal considers this principle of tawhid as "the foundation of world unity and Islam as a religion is only a practical means of making the Principle a living factor in the intellectual and emotional life of mankind." It is expressed in this phrase of the Quran: "None but Allah possesses real power and is worthy of human devotion and loyalty."

The second fundamental principle of Islam is prophecy, which implies a divine revelation touching upon the angels, human souls with their freedom and immortality, the resurrection of all men, the last judgment, heaven, and hell. Accepting here Kant’s conclusions, Mr. Hye considers that these truths being supra-sensible, they cannot be demonstrated by pure reason but only believed on the Quran’s authority. Mr. Hye simply brings out the contrasts between revelation and reason, without accepting that some of these truths could he discovered with certitude by reason and not only taken on faith. He excludes, for example, the possibility of a rational proof of the existence of God, and even considers every effort in this direction as blasphemous.

However, no more than any other religion can Islamism be opposed to reason. which must at least be able to judge upon Islam’s claims for credibility. This rationalization of faith, far from being due to foreign exigencies, is for Islam a strict obligation, which arises out of its own spirit as well as being prescribed by certain versicles of the Quran. Islam therefore needs a theological science while at the same time it rejects the pretensions of every purely rational theodicy. History shows that this theological bent in Islam was essentially spontaneous and original, and not simply determined by influences exterior to it.

The principal problems treated by these theologians concern the freedom of the human will, the unity of God, His attributes, the distinction between faith (imam) and action (‘amal), and the relationship between reason and faith. The Mu’tazilites began theological speculation before the first wave of Greek influence, which does not date earlier than the year 150 or 200 of the hegira. Against those who, during this period, held that the vision of God is the end and achievement of revelation, the Mu’tazilites based their rejection of this doctrine on the following arguments:

1) The vision of Allah can only be due to his essence or to a necessary attribute of his essence, and if this is so, He ought always to be seen and by all. This, however, is not the case, therefore this vision is impossible.

2) Nothing can be seen if it is not present in space and time. Now Allah cannot be present in this way because of his spiritual nature.

3) Nothing can be seen which does not have a form capable of impressing the eye. However, Allah has no such form. . . .

To these arguments the Mu’tazilites added the scriptural argument. For the Quran says: "The eyes of men cannot see Him." Those who demand a vision of the Lord "definitely show arrogance and strong defiance!" "O ye believers, when you said,’ `O Moses, we shall never believe you unless we see Allah face to face,’ then they were taken by sa’ziqa (punishment)." Allah says to Moses, "[O Moses] You can never see Me." "Allah never speaks to a man except through revelation or from behind a screen (wall). All this shows that theological reflexion arose immediately after the preaching of the Quran, although it is true that it was later influenced by the studies of the Greeks (55.219-237).

Mr. Aldus SUBHAN has likewise demonstrated, using the texts of the Quran and the Sunna as a starting point, that reason and the spirit of independent inquiry are inculcated by the Quran and are soon to be found at work in the elaboration of tradition. Indeed the first task of the compilers of the Sunna was rationally to reconcile those texts or partial traditions which were apparently opposed; and later on when conquering Islam encountered the philosophies of the preceding civilizations, their second task was to develop the rational .consistency of the faith in order to defend and propagate it. The political evolution of Islam also posed problems about political and social morality to the solving of which the thinkers applied themselves under the double guidance of reason as the criterion of good and evil, and of the Quran and the Sunna as the supreme authorities (57.321-326).




Several of the Pakistani philosophers consider philosophy above all as a search for values. Mr. Taj Ali KORAISHY tells us that "the quest of Truth, Beauty and the Good is the pole star of the life of man" (57.289). If knowledge is very utilitarian at the outset and arises spontaneously from man’s efforts to master a rather hostile environment, it is, nevertheless, not a simple instrument of the desire for power, but is soon sought for itself. It is in this disinterested perspective that philosophy made its appearance. Truth is thus the first value, but philosophy also reveals the goodness of objects; this second value leads us to say that philosophy is the search for happiness. Since man is complex, he has diverse appetites and his well-being is founded on different levels, the physical, the psychological, and the spiritual, which are arranged in a scale. Beauty itself is a special kind of goodness. These values can conflict. The search for a certain degree of beauty, the sensible for instance, can bring with it dangers and evils. Truth is not always beneficent. The welfare of one may bring privation of another. The identity between the true and the beautiful may be affirmed by a poet such as Keats, but experience declares it to be false. The source of such conflicts of values lies in the multiplicity of degrees of the true, the beautiful, and the good. Nevertheless, if we consider them in order, the conflicts diminish and even disappear.

The Quran provides this order according to which God is first and the other degrees of value descend from Him as the starting point. This order is inscribed in our aspirations which do not stop until they reach Him and in the disappointments that cap our inferior pursuits. Such failures come from the fact that we do not experience values at the supra-sensible level and the sensible experiences which we have deceive us and turn us away from our goal. It is only by approaching God, says the Quran, that we attain the full measure of peace and happiness (57.289-303).

The majority of those who treat this subject insist upon the objectivity of values. M. Fazlur RAHMAN recalls to us Urban’s opinion that there cannot be any description, even the most scientific one, without an element of appreciation. To be valid is a character of reality as such. This character is acknowledged by reason in judgments of subjective valuation. The values are eternally realized in God, Who actualizes them in the world; however, they are never completely apprehended by men (58.175-183).

Prof. M. TIMUR likewise maintains that values are objective. The good is not the good simply because it pleases me, but in itself and universally The objective existence of values reveals itself in ordinary experience, as when we judge that an object or a man is superior to others, although we do not prefer him.

We thus form universal judgments about four classes of objective values: pleasure, beauty, knowledge (or truth), and creative activity. Creative activity is indeed a value provided it is moral, thus implying love, especially the love of those similar to us which is at the origin of social creativity. It is also this creative, moral activity which is the origin of artistic and technical creations. This value, therefore, extends itself to our instruments and we can speak of an instrumental value.

What is it, then, which underlies these four values and renders them good? Evaluation consists in placing the different objects of our experience in a scale of excellence. Excellence, superiority, moral height, are thus what determines our judgments of value. The idea of superiority thus appears as one of the ultimate modes of thought. Good and evil, value and its opposite, form a vertical gradation according to their respective degrees, but are separated by a horizontal break imposed by judgment, which distinguishes pleasure and pain, beauty and ugliness, knowledge and ignorance, creation and destruction as pairs of contraries (and not contradictories). It seems impossible to define these contraries absolutely other than by the relative terms of ‘upper’ and ‘lower.’ We must therefore define value or goodness as the fact of occupying a certain place in the upper part of the scale of excellence, and evil or disvalue as occupying a certain place in the lower part of this scale. The upper and lower parts are opposed to one another as the positive and negative poles at the very point where they meet, which is a point of discontinuity (54.45-54). Prof. Timur gave us a further analysis of the moral judgment in a recent paper (60.255-267).

Prof. Timur’s theory rightly stresses that good and evil are terms essentially relative to a certain center, which is either the subject or, more precisely, the needs inherent in the subject’s appetites. But he does not examine sufficiently the nature of this center and thus only imperfectly rejoins the classical analyses of the transcendentals

The notions of success and failure are bound to those of value and disvalue. Mr. Abdul MATIN defines success as "any achievement of necessarily intrinsic value" (57.309). This definition appears to him as one which cannot be perfectly verified, so that we cannot speak of an absolute success but only of a relative one. He defines relative success as "the relation of something smaller or less valuable with something greater or more valuable", for example, the relation of the human individual to the universe of beings. With man, in particular, this relation is obtained through the exercise of his faculties of practical action, of knowledge and contemplation, the faculty of contemplation giving him his unique position among beings.

To these three faculties correspond three values: happiness, satisfaction, and bliss, which he defines by almost synonymous terms. By practical action he means all change caused by the motor nerves and the muscles, by knowledge all change caused by the perceptive nerves, by contemplation all mental change. The three constitute the domain of human activity, which can be moral, immoral, or non-moral. Moral activity is essentially organic, in this sense that it comes about only when the diverse parts of an organism work in harmony to procure the greater good of the whole organism or at least of its most important part. The limits of our power over the other beings are the limits of our moral success. This power comes about only in the measure that such a harmony can operate, that is, to begin with, in the individual, then, but less perfectly, within the human society. Our relation with lower beings no longer turns out to be effectively moral, that is, organic. However, it continues to be governed by morality and can in certain cases become immoral because of its disharmonizing repercussion on the socio-human organism, for example, in the case of cruelty towards animals, or the extravagant exploitation of mineral resources. Harmonious activity, which requires the exercise of such virtues as honesty, love, sympathy, certainly conditions man’s success as man. This is why it is obligatory and objective. The more men organize, the more also this obligation is recognized, and the more diverse its applications become. Moral obligation is more radically founded in our nature than in the belief in God or in the immortality of the soul, with which this obligation does not identify itself.

Human knowledge can be scientific if it terminates a conscious process of exact observation and verification; if it is obtained without recourse to such a process it is non-scientific, or ordinary knowledge. The value of ordinary knowledge is but practical and uncertain. Scientific knowledge is a true value since it ascertains our relation to a universe that transcends us.

By contemplation, we try to seize all reality as the content of our own mind. We thus go beyond the horizon of scientific knowledge. Contemplation can likewise be of three types: rational, irrational. and non-rational The first one only is properly valid. Irrational contemplation, through poetry and the other arts, ought to subordinate itself to reason, which is our supreme criterion. Rational contemplation alone leads us definitively to bliss, which is our highest value.

When through practical action we attain the moral values, we can say that our life is "good." However, complete success is only attained by the acquisition of scientific knowledge and rational contemplation. The moral man is happy, the scientist satisfied, but the philosopher alone attains bliss (57.309-320).

Prof. Fazlur-RAHMAN distinguishes also the aesthetic, moral and religious values from that of scientific knowledge. He regrets that the almost exclusive attention accorded to scientific knowledge contributes to undermine those values which science cannot apprehend. We want to explain everything by mechanical causality, and we forget that the total explanation can only be found in the intelligent and voluntary activity of God. The medieval thinkers were superior to us in this respect. They knew that there are various disciplines because there are various methods of investigating reality and that it is a mistake to want to know everything by a single method. The search for the immediate antecedents which is proper to the empirical sciences must grant scope to the search for ultimate causes, that is, to philosophy. Philosophy does not ignore the difference between the various kinds of causes. Quoting Dr. N. K. Brahma, he writes: "Modern science is not truly scientific inasmuch as it lets reason lie dormant and does not realize the inadequacy of what it is asserting to be the cause." It does not feel the need of recourse to the higher categories. It sins through dogmatism, considering its own explanation as ultimate and sufficient.

Science forgets the fact of freedom which imposes itself upon man and which derives from his nature as rational animal. Modern psychology makes light of this original character of the human being, although it rarely denies (the strict behaviorists have become rare) the teleological character of human activity. We must on the contrary recognize with Iqbal that, "in his inmost being, man, as conceived by the Quran, is a creative activity, an ascending spirit who, in his onward march, rises from one state of being to another."

By freeing us from the narrow concept of mechanical causality, this recognition of human freedom opens to us the realm of the formal and final causes and, through them, gives access to the notion of a real and supreme Spirit, Who creates and freely supports a universe which He directs towards an end He has chosen. It is by this recourse to a freely creating God that we can find the adequate explanation of this universe. God is the creative Will. The universe is His wilful creation. God is immanent to it but, more essentially, transcendent; for, according to the expression of Dr. K. A. Hakim, "the universe in any phase, at any one time and collectively in all phases, at all times, is only a limited and partial expression of His creative will." This is why science ought to be complemented by philosophy, and philosophy ought to perfect itself in religion (56.151-169). Prof. Rahman further developed these ideas in another paper, entitled "Idealistic Metaphysics" (60.25-39). Seven of his papers have now appeared in book form under the title, Philosophy, Science and O! her Essays (Lahore, Pakistan Phil. Congress, 1961, 160 pages).

In connection with what precedes we may note here the contribution of Mr. S.M. TAQI who condemns the attempt of certain philosophers of the sciences to consider the notion of cause as bereft of all ontological value and to reduce the bond between effect and cause to a mere coincidence. He is adamant in his defence of real causality but somewhat journalistic in tone, and he does not introduce anything really new (56.121-128).

The Symposium on Basic Human Values which took place in 1960 simply confirmed the general trend of the above papers. Mr. Khwaja Ghulam SADIQ struck the tone of the discussion when he upheld the objectivity of values (60.81-86). Mr. Ala-ud-din AKHTAR based this objectivism on religion and the Quran (60.87-94). Dr. G. C. DEV once more showed himself as a universalist and down to earth humanist (60.95-102). And Mr. Abdul QAYYUM stressed the importance of the basic material values as opposed to ultimate ideal values (60.103-108).

Mr. Abdul MATIN, whose general conception of values we have summarized above, provides a suitable conclusion. Every great traditional religion, he tells us, presents itself on two planes, the one of practice where it prescribes good actions, and the one of contemplation where it proposes the correct faith and proper worship. Following here Otto, we may call the first plane rational and moral, the second non-rational and non-moral. The first retains even today all its value; the second is at present encumbered with doubts and should remain a private affair. However,


If I am allowed to talk of an absolute Deity, having in a sense both a physical and a mental aspect and identifiable with Nature as a whole, I would like to characterize moral practice, scientific cognition and rational contemplation as the three grades of worship towards Him, of which the latest is obviously the highest. Thus rational contemplation, as the highest form of worship, relates us with the Deity, which is the highest limit of our relation. Somehow or other, intuition may have some contribution to this worship by associating to the same an additional relish of mystical feeling or ecstasy, just as, I must say, it can enhance the agreeability of our moral practice by adding to its foundation a feeling of love and sympathy (57.319).




The Lahore session of 1959 devoted a symposium to the notion of existence. The choice of this topic was timely since existence is the focus of continental existentialism, and has also been interpreted anew by some of the prominent Anglo-Saxon philosophers.

Dr. Athar RASHID’S masterful survey of the historical development of the notion of existence from Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Jaspers shows, following Heinemann, that this trend arose as a reaction against the two great movements which reached their climax in the nineteenth-century: naturalism which culminated in Darwinism, and idealism which reached its zenith in Hegelianism. These two movements had undermined the notion of human freedom and reduced man to an insignificant position in the grand process of life evolution or of the evolution of the Idea, Hegel’s Absolute. Since Kierkegaard, existentialism simply seeks to restore man to himself instead of allowing him to be swallowed by the all-devouring Absolute, or to be robbed of his freedom, of the power to transcend natural existence and rise above the material world. Kierkegaard’s "subjective or existing thinker" must replace the "objective or abstract thinker." For the objective thinker, being and thought are to be kept apart. The subjective thinker, on the other hand, sets himself to the tasks imposed upon him by his existence. Existence does not allow itself to be thought; the actual, the active, the self-determining existence functions at a level totally different from that of thought, which is kept out and is drawn into service only in the intervals between actual existence. Thought is, so to say, always an afterthought.


To give a straight and direct definition of Existence is not possible for the simple reason that it emerges only after it has shed off all determinable contents. So long as man identifies himself with any determinable elements, he is determined and not free and as such alienated from himself. . . . The innermost core of man, which is ‘beyond’ all assignable contents and which is discovered only because everything, of which the contents are determinable, falls or drops away as something external, strictly speaking that core which remains intact, is the Existence. The process of this inner realization which man experiences amounts to his alienation from all his possessions and from the whole environment forming his ‘home’ in which he habitually feels safe and in which he would be lost if his heart clung to it. . . .

In a sense, Existentialistic experience may be conceived on the analogy of the so-called ‘negative theology’ . . . since it becomes evident in the completion of the movement in which all possible determinations are found as improper. What is then saved from the negative process is Existence This impossibility of defining Existence and determining ‘what’ it is, is felt at the very outset.


Existence being undefinable, it can only be approached, and this can be done in various ways. Jaspers and Heidegger have explored some of those ways. The second part of Dr. Rashid’s paper summarizes their contribution (59.67-85).

In the same symposium Prof. Fazlur RAHMAN also treats of existence but in the quite different context of contemporary British philosophy. The skeptical statement, "Nothing exists," is strictly speaking meaningless, since it involves the reality of that very denial and therefore also of the one who makes it. In the cogito we experience existence. Existence is the most primitive concept and, hence, indefinable, but the ground of every definition. There may be many modes of existence: subjective or objective, Ultimate Reality or appearances, logical or real, but existence itself is pervasive and need not be restricted to the world of spatio-temporal existents.


The New Realist tells us that there are two types of being, namely, the ultimate metaphysical stuff and the constructional world of existents in space and time. By logical analysis of the existent objects, he arrives at certain logical and mathematical concepts which are simple and indefinable, namely, terms, propositions, numbers, equations. These are neutral because they are neither mental nor physical. The world of existents has been constructed out of these neutral entities. The neutral stuff is neither existent nor non-existent. It is neither real nor unreal.


Against this view it may be pointed out that concepts are but signs of reality and therefore different from it. We cannot deduce reality or actual existence from concepts. Concepts are but forms of thought and have no other being than being thought. As to the objects of dream, illusion, hallucination, and mathematical objects, they have been given the status of subsistence. As such they are said to be unreal or non-existent. Yet, should we not attribute to them that sort of existence which is ‘to be illusorily posited,’ i.e., a form of logical existence? Hence, we should understand ‘subsistence’ in terms of existence or reality.

Prof. Rahman further objects against the purely formal treatment of judgments by Russell, Ayer, etc. In thus treating judgments the existential import of the copula is lost sight of. Russell’s neutral monism, which posits an ultimate metaphysical stuff, the subsistent, to which he reduces the mental and the physical as logical constructions superimposed on that neutral entity, does not really succeed in reconciling the subjective and Objective poles of our experience. It still is a witness to the reality of existence but fails as an account of our grasp of existential reality. McTaggart’s criticism of that theory deserves attention, for it appears to be thoroughly pertinent.

In the wake of Bradley, one sometimes restricts the meaning of existence to the sphere of spatio-temporal existents or in general to that of dependent entities, whereas the term ‘Reality’ is reserved for the independent and pure Being in which diversities do not exist.


But we think that Reality does not exclude existence. There is nothing which falls outside existence. Reality must include everything. It must also include appearance. What appears also is. In this sense the spheres of reality and existence coincide (59.93).

The universe not only is or exists, but is intimately connected with our personality or life. . . . We assess this existence in terms of value. . . . We characterize existence as true or false. . . . This is a necessary characterization, for existence must have a meaning for us. . . . Facts are thus interwoven with the judging mind. Facts are real in so far as they cohere in a whole of which the mind is an integral part. ‘Truth is reality explicating itself as a logical whole through minds as the organ of its self-expression.’ So, Reality explicates itself in truth and there is no truth apart from thinking and judging. Thus a study of ‘Existence’ necessarily includes a reference to Reality and knowledge.

In reflective thought we try to understand things in their mutual interrelation. When we experience A to exist, B to exist, C to exist, etc., we raise the question of existence as common to all existents. . . . The notion of existence, then, is universal . . . as common to all facts. Such a universal as is common to all is called Pure Universal (59.93-94).


It is not through their existence that existents are differentiated but through their essence. This cannot be reduced to a quality or to a group of qualities, for quality does not exist by itself. It requires some thing or substance in order to exist. So we arrive at the idea of substance.Substances are differentiated

The Pure Universal ‘Existence’ is one, but the existing substances are many.


The Many are real and their reality is a fact of experience. The Many as experienced are not unreal in immediate experience. . . . It is only in the light of the Ultimate Reality that the many existents may appear unreal.


As an existent, the One is that Ultimate Reality which includes the Many and at the same time transcends them. It is because it is thus infinitely comprehensive that it is not possible for our finite mind to have a complete knowledge of Reality.

Absolute non-existence or universal nothingness is an impossibility, as Bergson definitely established. As to Heidegger’s nothingness, it is used not as a logical term but only to characterize the basic mood of the Dasein or human Existent

Human thought is analytic; it breaks up the concrete whole of experience into its fragmentary aspects, that is, into subject and object. Hence, it cannot grasp the Reality which is all-comprehensive. Even in self-consciousness human thought remains analytical and partial. We may perhaps agree with Bradley when he emphasizes the comprehensive grasp of reality which we may obtain through intuition or direct experience in the form of feeling. Yet, even this sort of grasp is deficient, and Bradley himself confesses, "Fully to realize the existence of the Absolute is for finite beings impossible." Even in mystic experiences there is no complete merging of the finite in the infinite. The distinction remains. Iqbal points out that


In the higher Sufism of Islam unitive experience is not the finite ego effacing its identity by some sort of absorption into the Infinite Ego; it is rather the infinite passing into the loving embrace of the finite. As Rumi says:

Divine knowledge is lost in the knowledge of the saint!

And how is it possible for people to believe in such a thing? (59.86-101).


Mr. Manzoor AHMAD was the third member of the Congress to take part in the symposium on the notion of existence. He very ably showed that the question ‘What is existence?’ differs from all other questions because it is not asking about an essence and essences alone can, strictly speaking, be defined. However. he is only partly right when he accuses traditional philosophy of having attempted the vain quest for the essence of existence. The mere perusal of E. Gilson’s Being and Some Philosophers could have convinced him that if indeed that vain question has played havoc in the field of philosophy at various periods of its development, yet some of the most classical philosophers, such as Aquinas, have perceived very well that the "act of being" is not a concept and, hence, not definable, and still can be grasped in its own way since it is signified in every judgment by the copula in its existential function. But Mr. Ahmad himself falls victim of essentialism when he concludes that "any talk on the ‘notion of existence’ as such is simply to talk on nothing" (59.108), and accepts as significant only particular questions on propositions regarding various forms of existence, i.e., according to the vocabulary of classical as well as phenomenological philosophy, various essences (59.102-108).




The problems of epistemology have been the topic of various papers; in particulars the problem of universals was the subject of one symposium in the course of the 1958 session, and causality of another during the 1960 session.

Dr. M. M. AHMAD has dealt with the reconciliation of thought and experience from the standpoint of the ethics of values. He takes as his starting point the conflicts that present themselves between the exigencies of virtue (thought) and happiness (experience) on the level of our moral life, or on the level of social life between the demands of society (the state may require that we risk our lives) and of the individual (who experiences his life as an essential good). The only satisfactory solution of this kind of conflict supposes that man, being rational, ought to pursue universal values, and that the sacrifice of his individual values is commanded by his pursuit of the total value. The difficulty in accepting this solution resides in the fact that individual values are directly experienced as good, whereas the universal values are only thought of as ideals (54.55-56).

Dr. Ahmad believes that this difficulty is more apparent than real. In fact, dreams and hypnosis show us that images and ideas can reach the intensity and objectivity felt in an actual experience. The question of their truth must therefore be resolved by some factor other than this feeling of reality, namely, their degree of coherence with our other experiences. Even repeated experiences can be false, as in the case of illusions created on a screen, or the apparent movements of the sun. It is by reference to a complete system of coherence that we can finally judge about the truth of our experiences. This complete system can only come about by abstraction and generalization, that is, by cold and abstract thought.

Is the experience of the whole and of the universal good impossible? It seems that by detaching oneself from the sensible, and by a consuming love of the ideal, we can reach an intense realization of the universal values. This is why the philosopher ought to be a lover of wisdom (54.57-58).

Mr. M. Abdul HYE studies more extensively the relation between epistemology and metaphysics. Metaphysics, which deals with supra-sensible realities such as God, free will, and the immortal soul, seems to have waned after a period of despotic dogmatism. However, man cannot be satisfied with this setback and the philosopher naturally rediscovers Kant’s way while he turns again towards the questions of epistemology which metaphysics presupposes. Certainly every epistemology presupposes a certain amount of metaphysics. It presumes at least that reality is such that it can be grasped by our faculty of knowledge. This is the fundamental postulate of every inquiry. This is why we cannot strictly say that one or the other of these disciplines must absolutely be first, but rather that they are interdependent (57.23-24).

Theories of knowledge can be reduced to three: the reproduction theory, the creation theory, and the revelation theory. The first one depends on Cartesian metaphysics and conceives the relation between subject and object in terms of the relation between two physical substances. It normally ends in either rationalist or empiricist subjectivism which posits the object only as an ‘X’ since to know it otherwise would induce an infinite regression. Therefore we must attack the very root of this theory if we want to free ourselves from subjectivism.


‘The substantiation of the knower,’ said Pringle Pattison, ‘into a being outside the world he desires to know and the treatment of the two as separate and independent facts, having no organic relation to one another, is at the root of this difficulty. It is because of treating man, the knower, as if he were a stranger visitant, contemplating ‘ab extra’ an independent universe, that it seems impossible for him to know the real nature of anything or in the last resort, to know anything but his own states’ (57.31).


The creation theory of knowledge is ordinarily, but erroneously, attributed to Kant. It is diametrically opposed to the reproduction theory. If it is not the object which creates in us its representation, we must be the ones who create the object. Kant clearly states that we constitute the object as object, that is, as posited by thought, but he does not eliminate the object in itself which he holds as independent from thought. However, even this construction of the object as such is for Kant matter for belief. We can thus doubt it. If all that we know is the object as such, that is, as synthesized, constructed by us, the knowledge of the object in itself remains unexplained. However, this knowledge is an irrefutable, ultimate fact which it is meaningless to try to explain by a reduction to other facts (57.32-33).

The third, namely, the discovery or revelation theory of knowledge, is generally held by modern realists, such as G. E. Moore, S. Z. Hazam, B. Russell, etc. Knowledge is a revelation on the part of the object and a discovery for the subject. This theory implies two theses: the thesis of the reality independently of us of the exterior world, and of its direct revelation to our senses. The evidence of this revelation prevents us from reducing the knowledge we have of exterior objects to a mere belief. The facts of illusion and error do not justify the generalized objection of the skeptics. This objection cannot even attempt to pose itself except by admitting in fact the validity of the knowledge which it verbally rejects, and therefore the validity of direct perception on which in the final analysis depends all other knowledge. When it is a question of first facts, notions, or principles, we can give no other proof than this impossibility of the objection posing itself without ipso facto admitting them. We must therefore adopt this third theory of knowledge, which is the most adequate (57.35-39). After having studied knowledge in general, it behooves us to pass to particular problems such as the one of universals. Introducing a symposium on this topic, Mr. C. A. QADIR, a logical positivist, attempts to distinguish universals from particulars. He notes in the first place that, according to Russell’s distinctions, the universals are verbal concepts (objects of conception -- let us remark that Russell says rather that there are also verbal and syncategorematic, besides the nominal and adjectival universals), relative, neither temporal nor spatial, and predicable (but not necessarily predicated), whereas the particulars are percepts (objects of perception), substantive and not relative, temporal, spatial, and unpredictable. He refuses to designate with Russell the very special mode of being of the universals as subsistence because it reintroduces surreptitiously the existence we have already denied as belonging to universals. He also refuses to understand the universals as simple perfections, as Plato does, since this term cannot have any precise meaning although it may have a poetic one. The distinction between the universals as predicable and the particulars as unpredictable must equally be rejected since it rests only on the structure of certain languages and cannot apply to the syncategorematic universals, such as the conjunctions ‘or,’ ‘either,’ etc., and the prepositions, which are evidently not predicable. Aristotle seems to think that since a universal can be predicated of several subjects, it denotes a property common to all these subjects, but such an assumption is a petitio principii. Moreover, as Spinoza noted, every property cannot be but particular, and if we eliminate its difference, we lose it entirely.

The recent position of the problem conceives the distinction between universal and particular on the pattern of the distinction between the type word and the token word. The token words, whether spoken or written, are all individually different, the type word remains the same. However, it seems impossible to designate, other than relatively, any word as a type word. We can agree to recognize certain types as norms, but that does not make of them natural norms. And we seek in vain for those essential and unchangeable qualities Aristotle speaks about. Our paradigms are all conventional, adopted for reasons of economy and convenience as Locke had already noticed. Even in geometry the Euclidean definitions have lost their exclusiveness. It therefore remains doubtful whether or not there are common properties. However, we cannot deny that certain words are employed distributively and seem to indicate the existence of the universals they designate (58.53-59).

The logical analysts warn us that before we seek the answer to a question, we must ascertain whether the question has any meaning. The question, "What is a universal?" resembles in its linguistic form the question, "What is a table?" However, its subject is not real and thus it lacks meaning The question of existence is foreign to the sphere of universals. The universals designate a kind of terms; we can ask how they function but not what they designate, for they designate nothing that exists.

If we accept this interpretation, the problem becomes purely linguistic and merely a problem of quantification. The quantifiers such as ‘all,’ ‘some,’ and ‘any’ have been called by Frege incomplete symbols because, considered apart from the propositions where they have their function, they have no significative value, whereas within a proposition they codetermine its meaning. Being therefore but a type of incomplete symbols, the universals cannot be reified. Universals have also been considered as a sort of syncategorematic term, that is, incapable of serving as subject or predicate in a logical proposition, yet determinable by other constituents of such a proposition. However, this view encourages our tendency to reify them (58.59-64).

Moore used to maintain that, without being existents, the universals are. Russell holds that there is at least one universal which we cannot eliminate, the one of similarity, which opens the door again to other possible universals. Mr. Qadir thinks he can refute Russell’s position, but the argument he proposes does not appear to me as convincing. Whatever the case may be, Mr. Qadir does not deny that individual beings belong to species, but he denies that this belonging implies some entity other than these beings themselves and which would transcend them (58.65-66). It is clear that his whole treatment of the subject begins from a consideration of the Platonic doctrine of ideas that is too exclusive, coupled with an insufficient penetration of the Aristotelian doctrine.

Diwan M. AZRAF has a better knowledge of both the general and even medieval history of the question. Before asking himself, as Mr. Qadir does, whether or not the universals exist, he is of the opinion that the epistemological problem of their status in our knowledge must be solved first.

The universal is a fact given in every judgment. The predicate of the judgment is of itself universal, though it be particularized by its relation as significative predicate to a concrete subject. Universality is a mode of being which is a priori in the intellect. Therefore, we cannot derive it as such from pure sensation. Plato’s error is not that he recognized this, but that he attributed to universals a form of existence which is proper to real beings only, which necessarily leads to infinite regress (cf. the argument of the third man). To avoid this difficulty, Aristotle attributes existence to them only insofar as they are realized in the individuals. This theory offers its own difficulties, but to want to reduce the universals to a fact of linguistic convention is but a subterfuge, since such a convention can function only if it is based on a common concept in the minds of those who accept it. The medieval thinkers applied themselves to defining the metaphysical status of universals, but this quest seems to be in vain. It is as if we asked ourselves what is actually the subject ‘Alexander’ in the affirmation ‘Alexander defeated Porus,’ or the subject ‘Hamlet’ in the assertion ‘Hamlet is the best tragedy of Shakes-peare.’ To treat them as incomplete symbols or as syncategorematic terms is impossible. They are not actual, but they are not nothing. They exist at least as objects of thought. The same holds for universals.

There are, evidently, two kinds of universals: the nominals, which can serve as subjects as well as predicates, and the others (verbs and syncategorematic terms) which cannot, but are not, however, restricted to a singular application. The former are universal functions of consciousness. which play a role even in the judgment of direct perception and become empirically real in it. By themselves, or when employed in absolute propositions, they have but an intentional existence. As far as the syncategorematic universals are concerned, they express relations, and that is where their functional value lies. Verbs and adjectives can equally be reduced to relational functions. "So at the end we may conclude that universals are functioning patterns of our consciousness. Whether these have any metaphysical status or not is beyond the scope of Epistemology" (58.67-76).

Mrs. Akhtar IMAM, a realist, quite correctly states that the reality of universals is presupposed by the very objection that denies them. To reduce them to pure symbols implies some reality of which they are a symbol. It is this reference to some sort of reality that Mr. Qadir neglects and even denies. Diwan Azraf, on his part, conceives universals as functional, universal patterns, and his definition, therefore, being a vicious circle since it presupposes what is to be defined, explains nothing. He also runs the risk of falling into subjectivism, whereas the commonness of similarity indicated by universals is objective. After these criticisms which may appear to some as not quite convincing she herself admits that she is unable to explain positively the fact of universals, but refuses to consider this inability as a sufficient reason to abandon the realist theory of universals (58.77-84).

Mr. S. K. HUSAIN equally rejects every form of nominalism as well as Platonic realism. The formation of general or universal concepts is one of the components of the formation of a science. Unless we are prepared to reduce the sphere of scientific knowledge to a realm of illusions, we must grant universals a very honorable position. Universals are synthetic concepts in the sense that they describe quantitative or qualitative relationS between singulars. Their reality stems from the fact that they are organizations of singulars. Formal relations are no less fundamental than the sensible qualities. This conception of universals as synthetic preserves the authentic element in nominalism as well as in absolute realism, yet avoids the extremism which has transformed them into errors (58.85-89).

Causality is another thorny topic of epistemology to which the Congress devoted one of its two symposia of 1960. Prof. A. M. DATTA introduced the subject with an historical conspectus ending with the remark that Hume’s skepticism regarding the causal relation has not yet been completely refuted but that we can at least hold the causal conception as a good working hypothesis (60.109-115).

Prof. Abdul Hye, on the contrary, thinks that Hume has successfully proved that we do not know with certainty that particular events are necessarily connected with other individual particular events because our repeated past experience is no guarantee for the future. However, Hume failed to disprove that every event must have some cause. Besides he tacitly assumed the principle of causality in denying it. Prof. Hye then describes briefly the interesting theory of causality of the Ash’arite school. While agreeing somehow with Hume and Kant, this theory yet posits God as the creative Cause of the universe and all events (60.116-126).

Dr. M. AJMAL, considering the meaning of causality in the context of social sciences, recalls that it used to mean the possibility of prediction as well as of control. The present trend, he says, is towards retaining the first while eschewing the second (60.127-132).

Mr. Khwaja Ashtar HUSAIN throws much light upon the history of the concept of causality by showing that it is implied by every dynamic view of the world whereas it is excluded by every form of logical staticism. Indeed, Neoplatonism from Plotinus to Porphyry, Averroes, Leibniz, Kant, and even Hume, always tends to expel real causality. It is mainly against this view that Ghazali directs his writings. But for him, God is the only Cause as creative Will and this causality which renders the world intelligible does not imply predictability. Ghazali’s realistic trend is pursued by Schopenhauer, Bergson, and Hartmann and lies at the base of the social sciences, whereas the physical sciences, issuing from the Neoplatonist trend, depreciate the realism of causality.


We must, however, take into account the fact that determinism and causal principle are two distinct notions. The former implies ‘binding necessity’: the latter involves a power to effect modifications, which always leaves room for variation. The equalization of the two is an enlargement of the Neoplatonic logical determinacy of the dualising nature of the knowledge-relation, that reduces every relation to an unalterable binding necessity. The recent development in physics, however, refutes determinism without disparaging the causal relation in any way.


Consequently, there is no place for the nominalism of causality. Sciences study a selected feature of reality. They study the causal interactions between things and events (60.133-143).

As a logical positivist, Prof. C. A. QADIR considers the problem linguistically. Propositions are either analytical or empirical. The statement of the law of causality is neither; what is it then? Prof. Datta said that it is an hypothesis, but this cannot be for it can be neither verified nor falsified. Some think that it has been falsified by Heisenberg’s principle of indeterminacy but this principle has not overthrown the law of causation. It has not even eliminated determinism, though it has perhaps limited it. But even to say this implies that one considers subatomic entities as Newtonian entities and macroscopic bodies as non-different from their ultimate constituents. But parts should not be assimilated to wholes and neither should the deterministic character of wholes be necessarily attributed to their parts Against Dr. Ajmal, we should note that the notion of cause is not inextricably bound up with the notion of predictability. On the other hand, to speak of power is to speak anthropomorphically.


As I see it, the sentence ‘Every event has a cause’ is an optative sentence whose value is determined and also strengthened by the extent and range of predictions it leads to. But I also feel that a complete verification of causality is not possible because of its unrestricted generality. . . . It is a vacuous statement or at best an optative sentence indicating the faith of a scientist. . . . But howsoever strong the wish might be, it can never preclude the possibility of explaining nature through techniques other than that of causality (60.144-155).





In 1959 the Pakistan Philosophical Congress held an important symposium on a difficult topic which has for some years exercised the minds of many Anglo-Saxon philosophers as well as of many Continental thinkers, especially the Existentialists: our knowledge of other minds.

Mr. C. A. QADIR had the honor of opening the debate. After indicating that he intended to speak only about human minds he rejected as insufficient the position of a good many positivists who have allied themselves with behaviorism in order to escape solipsism. These positivists are driven to that position because they hold that a person can through introspection verify only his own feelings, thoughts and desires, but not anybody else’s; hence, a statement about another person’s feelings, in order to be verifiable, must be reducible to a statement about what the first can observe of the other’s bodily behaviour. What is implied by this mode of thinking is that statements about the so-called mental experiences are reducible without a remainder to statements about overt behaviour. This is open to serious objection.

As an improvement upon the behaviorist position, Carnap in Testability and Meaning replaces those behaviour-statements by reduction-sentences which provide decisive tests for the presence of mental states. This is called physicalism, an epistemological procedure whereby through a series of positive and negative reduction-sentences, the vagueness of the reduced property is diminished and a psychological predicate is translated into a physical predicate. Those reduction-sentences express mere physical correlates of the psychological properties; they do not pretend to define those properties adequately, nor to reduce them to observed behaviour.

Physicalism comes closer to the traditional view which is based upon analogy alone. Directly I am only aware of my mind as accompanied by distinct sorts of behaviour, internal and external. This awareness serves me as the sure term to which I compare the various sorts of external behaviour which I observe outside myself. When the similarity between these two terms is sufficient, I conclude to the existence of another organism also accompanied by a mind and states of mind analogous to my own.

Mr. QADIR finds this solution not altogether correct in so far as it would be difficult to hold that recognition of another mind is always an inferential process, for instance in a baby who comes to know his mother. Yet, Prof. Wisdom exaggerates the criticism of the analogical solution when, in his book, On Other Minds, he writes:


You want to infer from the shadows on the blind to the existence of the people inside the room; but the parallel does not hold. For there is nothing which corresponds in this case to going into the room and meeting the people. It is rather as if you were to look for the invisible fairy that you supposed to animate your watch. You are succumbing to the myth of the ghost in the machine.


Thus Prof. Wisdom wrongly implies that the possibility of direct acquaintance with the analogically inferred fact is a requisite of the argument through analogy. Prof. Ayer also holds that, in an ordinary way, an argument from analogy is a substitute for direct observation. But if this is true only in an ordinary way it is then not a property of this type of argument. And, so far as other minds are concerned, the argument from analogy is not a substitute for any observation. It is true that direct observation of other minds cannot be had in the way we directly observe our own mind, but this impossibility does not falsify the argument from analogy since the latter does not require the contrary possibility. However, to maintain the validity o£ the argument from analogy is not tantamount to saying that it infallibly reaches conclusions that are certain. Yet, in ideally favorable circumstances, the conclusion will be highly probable.

Another difficulty which Prof. Wisdom has noticed is that it is not clear to him what condition is to be fulfilled in the case of analogical inference from a man’s outward state to his inward state. Mr. Qadir thinks that this difficulty can be overcome through the technique of reduction-sentences evolved by physicalists. The concept of verifiability which this technique implies is to be understood as confirmability and the latter sharply distinguished from definability. Reduction-sentences should be of the nature of operational tests, i.e., very much like crucial instances which enable an investigator to decide and to determine the degree of confirmability. And we should aim at a whole series of such sentences capable of providing both confirming and disconfirming evidence. It is obvious that the reduction-sentences can at best establish a fairly high degree of confirmability. This may not be enough for the skeptic but it is foolish of him to ask to be given regarding other minds the same sort of direct evidence which he enjoys regarding his own mind (59.109-121).

Mrs. Hamida KHANOM would also reject the strict empiricist position as well as the metaphysical monism of the Bradley or Mayavadin type which eliminates the problem of our knowledge of other minds by simply denying that other minds really exist. She further rejects, rather naively, any metaphysical approach to this or any other problem through the concepts of transcendent, substance, etc. And, moreover, she denies logical value to religious statements. Such rejections imply that our belief in substantive selves is a fictitious assumption and other minds are in that sense inaccessible to our experience. Yet, she says, it does not follow that our knowledge of other minds is a purely irrational belief. For denial of the substantive ego should not lead us to believe that the self is "nothing but a bundle of different perceptions." All that is required is "the ability of the self to remember some of its earlier states." I might object to this assertion that the concept of memory appears untenable unless some concept of substance underlies it, but I cannot now dilate upon this objection.

What then is our knowledge of other minds? Mrs. Khanom holds that it is given through intuition, but she hardly explains the nature of that intuition apart from characterizing it as intimate, warm, lively, and different from our knowledge of other objects. Further on she accepts with Mr. Qadir the role which analogy plays in that knowledge. But she stresses more than he does the uncertainty of analogically inferred knowledge since she holds that the person can never be sure even of his own mind and the starting point of the analogical process is therefore uncertain (59.122-127) Dr. G. C. DEV is an advaitin and to people but superficially acquainted with advaita it may appear that this allegiance can only be an obstacle in the treatment of our problem. Thus, both Mr. Qadir and Mrs. Khanom have referred rather disparagingly to the position which they thought Dr. Dev ought to maintain to remain faithful to his basic conviction (cf. 59.112-113 and 123). As to Dr. Dev, he considers himself as much a realist as G. E. Moore, who observes that belief in other minds is a truism, a plain fact which cannot be disputed. He is therefore ready to speak, in the terms of Alexander, of our experience of sociality as a special type of knowledge. But he rightly remarks that the invention of a new name does not mean much unless we can determine it in precise logical terms.

The difficulty in ascertaining the precise nature of that knowledge lies in the fact that, although it may be a truism, our knowledge of other minds is not and cannot be an immediate experience. "There is an insuperable barrier between two subjective realms, one represented by my mind and the other by the mind of my good neighbor." My knowledge of his mind is therefore mediate, i.e., inferential. Obviously this is not a consciously elaborated process of inference but a spontaneous affair; we might call it a sort of instinctive inference. Perhaps too easily Dr. Dev compares it to that mixture of perception and inference which we simply call perception and states that just as perception is normally valid so also is our spontaneous inferential awareness of other minds. He would range it among those "protocol facts" which, being immediately derived from experience, need no verification. Yet because it is inferential it should be treated as a "protocol fact" of the second order. Hence, some sort of verification of its validity may be deemed necessary. It is sufficiently verified by its workability and by a statistical average.

Dr. Dev agrees with Mr. Qadir and Mrs. Khanom as to the analogical character of the inference our knowledge of other minds implies. It is therefore of limited certainty but Dr. Dev sees no difficulty in this since, "from a correct perspective, analogy is the basic principle in all inductive generalizations." If we press for undue similarity all inference will ultimately collapse. But inference is warranted by the fact that it is a postulate of action, and as to the instinctive inference we are now treating we should say that it is a postulate of our social existence.

Advaita as exposed by Dr. Dev, especially in his recent book Idealism: A New Defense and a New Implication, never denies the reality of the finite centers of experience which we call minds. Dr. Dev states his opinion in the following words:


In the light of abstract speculation backed by religious experience of unity, I believe in a universal mind and, in the light of our normal experience, I also believe side by side in other minds and the world around. Both are for me true and their mysterious merger I call Maya and I do not think I am treading an unknown path.... My claim is that religious experience in its fruition is no other than the confirmation of the idea of unity which is the ultimate goal of abstract speculation, the pole star, as it were, for intellect in its voyage to reality in the perilous sea of appearances. If religious experience of unity stands to reason, as I believe with Iqbal and others that it does, this may be said to be the very climax of our knowledge of other minds, an immediate awareness of them in love (59.128-137).


Prof. Qazi M. ASLAM does not find it irrelevant to emphasize the certainty of the fact that we really know other minds and communicate with them, and the exceptionality of errors in that domain. The only thing in question is the sort of explanation we should give of that fact. How then is social communication possible? Theories of language are here of little help, for the capacity to communicate presupposes the capacity to interpenetrate without explaining it. This is why social psychologists have felt the need of more refined descriptions of the fact of social interpenetration. Prof. Aslam quotes approvingly from Asch’s sensitive analysis of the special gift of perception of others implied in interpersonal relations (Social Psychology, pp. 161-63; 346).

Accordingly, if we realize that communication implies self-commitment, we shall refuse to separate social behaviour from the socially behaving selves and we may then find it easier to concede that knowledge of other minds is at least as direct as knowledge of physical objects. Likewise it is also liable to error, superficiality and other limitations


But, perhaps, we have better right to speak of peeping into a man’s heart than of peeping into the heart of matter. Perhaps we have more checks for correcting errors in our knowledge of other minds than we have for correcting errors in our knowledge of physical objects.

Communication has its degrees of success or adequacy and also its direction and our knowledge of other minds really depends on the degree of the adequacy of communication and its direction. If one party gives more and receives less, it reveals itself. This mind is more known than it knows. . . . No wonder, good listeners know more about other minds than bad listeners (59.138-144).


The extensive and thought-provoking contribution of Prof. Abdul Hamid KAMALI to this symposium is of unusual quality and deserves to be summarized at some length, mostly in his own words.

Prof. Kamali begins with a preliminary remark: since no science is concerned with individuals as such and the latter appear in sciences only as variables which do not affect the meaning of the scientific symbols, it is obvious that whatever may be the solution of our problem concerning our knowledge of other minds it will not affect psychology.

However, it is a fact that we are acquainted with other minds. Concerning this fact the epistemologist raises the question: How is it possible? But the epistemologist, whether Kant or Hegel, Neurath or Carnap, "is the same old Neoplatonist who believes that the form of knowledge determines the mode of reality. . . . In the meek form, the Neoplatonist is a logical positivist or phenomenologist demanding the conditions of experiences; in the bold form, he is an idealist, asking about the categories of experience." In either form he postulates that "knowledge somehow or other institutes the reality." The inevitable direction of his formulations is "towards the conclusion that other minds are logical constructions." "For Bradley and Croce, other minds are logical constructs of the objective spirit. To Russell and Carnap, they are logical constructs of the observer."

The trouble is that:


The essential characteristics of the ‘fact of knowledge’ are missing in constructionism. The Pan-physicalistic and Idealistic philosophies consider that construction and synthesis are the only functions of the intellect. They altogether miss the cognitive or knowledge-function of the mind. . . . Knowledge is analytical; it seizes upon the components of the object and never constructs it. . . . It is merely an awareness of the world. While a construction is really an addition or change in the world, and not a knowledge of the world. . . . ‘To create an object implies to know the object’ is the universal presupposition of the Neoplatonism enshrined in polylogism and logical positivism. But knowledge is a sui generis fact in the universe; similarly, constructivity is also an unanalysable fact.


Knowledge is the grasp of an object in its constitution, an apprehension of a presentation in its components. Knowledge is a fact such that it is not a doing. Any sort of activity is besides the fact of knowledge.

Rationalists, from Plato and the Vedantists to the Logical Positivists of our own day, are imbued with the false principle that the distinctions brought forth by our mind are the very distinctions that obtain in reality. They objectify the dualism of appearance and reality and destroy the unity of the human person. Whereas we obviously know the person as an integral subsistent, a unity of mind and body, of reality and the activities and states that express it, it is for them a reality separate from its expression, a mind imprisoned in matter, a ghost engaged in a machine.

In that case, knowledge of other minds becomes a matter of induction, speculation, and pure guessing. And if this is right, "then there is no solid support for mutual confidence, no sure guarantee behind the system of credit and no process of justice, for it is not secure in its principles of evidence."


To me it appears that the people must not reject this line of thought because it is dangerous, but because it rests on the slippery ground of the bifurcation of reality into cause-effects, motive-expressions, appearancereality groups.


Happiness, wonder, etc., are the processes of the life of the mind. The distinct segments (motive, goal, action) into which our analysis breaks them are undivided in the unity of the person. Apprehended in their totality, those states are "public facts."

The apprehension of the total configuration of a state enables a man to mark off some of its portions as a motive. This is a mere selection and there is no real problem. But not content with this, he declares it more real and substantial and relegates all other parts to the status of subordinate and shadowy existents. The motive sector is elevated to the status of the ‘really’ real . . .; the rest of the configuration of the state is reduced to be considered as its vehicle of expression. . . . The Reality is independent of its manifestation.


If this opinion is true, other minds are for ever unknowable. But it is obvious that they are not. Hence we must get rid of this "reality-expression" model of approach.


All the factors peculiar to a form contribute to the existence of that form. If some of the components are dissociated from it, and combined with some other elements, then a new form emerges. . . . The study of a mind is a study of the emerging, developing, continuing, and disintegrating forms of its existence. The knowledge of the other mind consists in the awareness of the elements found in its field, their associations and combinations, their dissociations and reorganizations. . . . Some of the elements of a specific form attract the attention; they are ‘preferred’ by the self or the observers. But this fact . . . does not place them in a privileged position; their selection does not assign them a different ontological status. . . . The form itself is meaning and its elements are the elements of meaning.


We do not go ‘inside’ the elements. We merely observe their correlations. Grasping them as elements, i.e., as integral parts of the reality presented to us, we immediately understand that they all share the one Is-ness of that reality.


Cognitive comprehension . . . cognises the order of Is-ness without analysis; and apprehends it as an unanalysed given datum universally pervading all the orders that are formed in its context. It is the final definitive essence of every entity that is formed in its field, but itself does not admit of definition. We are simply acquainted with it. . . . It follows that . . . we are able to cognise the facts of mind because we know mind, and we directly know it, we know it as a given datum, an unanalysable Is-ness.


Relations do not have physical signs as parts of their nature, yet they are known to us. Their presence in a field organizes that field according to various configurations. Therefore we are able to recognize the love configuration in such diverse things as poetry, religious experience, mother-child relation, etc.


Love, competition, pride, hatred, etc., are visible not because the ‘physical’ elements are parts of their reality, but because they are directly known and recognized in every configuration.


Minds manifest themselves through their inherent states. Sign is a role which is played by some of their parts when some observer is present. Their sign-function is essentially a communicative function.


A mind at a particular instant of its being is an order of signs. The sign system present constitutes the entire life of its being at that particular instant. Consequently, although we know other minds, we know them in their different moments of life; and never know them in their entire formations. This difficulty is not only in knowing others, but also in knowing ourselves.


To remove this difficulty and to be able to predict future behaviour we develop and follow the ethos and norms of formations. The totality of these formations is called the culture. All of us know the culture, at least to some extent. "It provides a comprehensive mapping of the behaviour field of the entire society, fixing the roles of the individuals and their respective positions in their movements." Our mind knows the laws of operations it sets for itself, the styles, manners, and programmes of its life. In mutual communion the minds do the same and know each other through the medium of the rules, constitutions, and modes of their culture.

There remains the ultimate question: What is communicated to us in the knowledge of other minds independent of all constructions and determinations ?


A bare Is-ness, unanalyzable and indivisible. . . . It is direct acquaintance with this Is-ness, indistinct and unspecified, that is presupposed in every context of its recognition. Its knowledge, as Professor Aslam remarks may be a miracle as every other knowledge is (59.145-68).




It was especially around 1956 that the notion of purpose in nature and history was the object of several important contributions.

Diwan M. AZRAF reminds us that the notion of finality, which enjoyed a peaceful reign in ancient and medieval philosophy, was seriously criticized by Bacon and especially by Kant before receiving the same treatment from Darwin. However, H. Driesch, Windelband, Whitehead, Eddington and other notable philosophers have tried to restore a truly scientific status to finality. Russell accuses finality of irremediable anthropomorphism. However, the question is whether or not our scientific knowledge must or even can entirely rid itself of all anthropomorphism. Purpose is not an object; we cannot discover it as a fact among the other facts, but it is a postulate of thought, without which we cannot progress in either science or philosophy (56.97-102).

Dr. M. HAMID-UD-DIN first of all clarified the notions of nature and purpose. There is purpose, he affirms, wherever there is an entirely immanent principle of activity. As far as the concept of nature is concerned, it appears to him that for science the word ‘nature’ has come to mean "a passive mass of phenomena," which are simply there, waiting to be discovered, since observing and experimenting can only come about with regard to a perfectly inactive entity. If it is so, it is impossible to speak of finality with regard to nature. Absolute idealism, on the contrary, which only knows a totally active Real, could without ado attribute to this Real an internal purpose, but this is ruled out by the fact that it conceives its absolute as so perfect that it is inaccessible to human knowledge and, consequently, its purpose is also inaccessible.

Dr. Hamid-ud-din is convinced that Nature and Absolute are two human creations, on which man projects his own image. He should, on the contrary, recognize these projections for what they are, and be aware that purpose belongs to man alone and has meaning in him only. Only this recognition would deliver man from the sense of sin which has been weighing him down since the remotest ages, and would reinstate him in his true freedom (56.103-106).

The symposium of 1954 on the philosophical interpretation of history likewise brings us back to man, but to man in society. Moreover, the three philosophers who took up the question avoided the excess of Dr. Hamid-ud-din’s conclusion. Prof. M. M. SHARIF tells us that


history consists in the moral, intellectual and aesthetic achievements based on resolute choices using causation -- a Divine gift -- as a tool, now obeying, now revolting against divine will working within them and in the world around them, now co-operating and now fighting with one another, now falling, now rising, and thus carving their own destinies (54.68).


Therefore, it is not true, although Danilevsky, Spengler, and Toynbee may have thought so, that human society is exactly like an organism, that the phases of its development are not repeatable, and that the blossoming of a culture cannot but be followed by its decline (54.63-64). We must reject the determinism of such assertions as much as pure indeterminism. Neither Hegel nor Marx are good teachers of interpretation of history. The a priori views, the exceedingly narrow viewpoints (European or Western, for example), the excessively synthetic interpretations, are declared false by reality which authorizes neither the theory of linear progress, nor the one of a well-determined pattern, nor catastrophic dialectics. We must rather recognize in history a dialectic purposiveness. There are real men and there are also ideals, final causes, that are real in the divine will and realized by men who can discover them, desire them, and strive to realize them in their own lives. Real men and ideal values are opposed by relation rather than by contrariety. The law of history is therefore not a law of war, of a struggle among contraries, but a law of love, of the attraction of men by these values which can perfect them. The law of history supposes freedom which introduces purposeful movement. This law of history does not eliminate all struggle, but rather tends to direct this struggle which is not waged against the values or the persons but against the limitations which hinder the attainment of these values.

Understood in this sense, dialectic purpose respects all the complexity of the historic real, but safeguards the idea of a master plan, the fulfillment of which is not imposed by God, but proposed to the effort of man (54.70-71). Such a theory suggests that we are truly moving towards a synthesis of Eastern and Western values. As far as we can judge, there are hardly more than three centers where such a synthesis could become operative: America, the Indo-Pakistan peninsula, and perhaps Western Europe (54.72-73).

Following these very noble views of the president of the Philosophical Congress, the more down to earth remarks of Dr. M. AJMAL may yet command interest. Insisting upon the fact that cultures are no more static than individuals but, on the contrary, changing, he sees in history the interplay of their multiple interrelations, which activates humanity as a great organism. Does this complex activity follow any laws? It seems exaggerated to speak about laws in this regard, since we hardly have set laws, but more or less statistic constants, regularities to which numerous "accidents" are exceptions. These accidents are profoundly decisive events, but cannot be explained by these very "laws," although they may be explained in terms of other sciences (catastrophic epidemics, vast geological accidents, the birth of a Marx or a Stalin, etc.) (54.73-77).

As far as Mr. M. Abdul HAMID is concerned, he willingly accepts the existence of historical laws as a necessary postulate of every philosophy of history and considers that life, not only of the individual man, but even of the species, must have a meaning, irreducible, however, to a completely predetermined and determining design. This history resumes itself into the complex effort of men to satisfy their different types of needs, and not only a certain number of them as, for example, the Marxist interpretation would have it. This effort is dynamic but not constantly progressive. It tends, however, towards progress, that is, towards an ever more complete domination of all natural forces, governed by the principles of morality (54.77-82). Let us note once more Iqbal’s inspiration in this view of history.

Mr. B. A.

has also exposed his reflexions on the dynamics of human societies. He rejects the narrow conceptions which subject this organic process to the exclusive determinism of physical factors (Hegel, Marx, Darwin), or of a reality as illusory as the concept of race, or, in general, make society follow the path of a linear evolution (interpretations inspired by Hegel, Marx, Darwin). He strongly insists on the importance of strictly human factors:


It is the psychological urge within, the will to do and strive, the impulse to create, that rises out of the depth of individuals that form and constitute societies, that is responsible for the change in the socio-cultural patterns


As the Quran says: "Verily God will not change the condition of men till they change it themselves."


It is the inward push of life and the urge for creativity that is the main, if not the sole, factor.

There is no limit to the moral and spiritual creativity of man and the true nature of social dialectic is therefore to incorporate as many divine attributes as possible within the space-time context (57.93).


Being a psychologist, Mr. S. M. Hafeez ZAIDI has recourse to the dynamic, no longer associationistic, concepts of recent social psychology. Human life consists of processes in which diverse forces or drives exercise themselves following intentionalities that must be discovered. Human groups are not simple constellations of individuals, but associations of persons dynamically bound to each other by a fundamental intention and the activities of these associations are processes of adjustment to this intention. These activities constitute a field which can be studied by experimental methods. The field of a group is not constituted by its present alone, but includes its psychological past and future. The diverse groups form a hierarchy whose basic units are integrated into higher, vaster groups. Each group must be studied in its proper field in relationship with the superior fields to which it belongs and according to a multiplicity of viewpoints. The error of many is to restrict themselves to a limited number of viewpoints or even to only one, such as Freud’s ‘unconscious-motivation,’ MacDougall’s ‘parental instinct,’ Sheriff’s ‘social perception,’ etc., viewpoint.

Two series of factors have generally been studied: the factors of integration and disintegration. The integration factors are essentially the felt needs of the individual on one hand, and on the other the manifested resources of the group to satisfy these needs. This very satisfaction is the factor which retains the individual within the group. Do these factors suffice to explain the modalities of social integration? They do not appear to, and many investigators underline the social importance of the often deeply marked individuality of the members of groups.

Leighton has reduced the factors of disintegration to three, namely, persistent frustrations, persistent conflicts, and the confusion or uncertainty which obscures a clear perception of the satisfaction resources of the group. Every incident of disintegration is itself the source of a more serious disintegration, unless adjusting processes are put to work (for example, the change of leaders, of the form of government, or the change of religious beliefs). Social disintegration also favors the interior disintegration of individuals (57.71-79).

The reader will have noticed that Dr. S. M. Hafeez Zaidi’s exposé is but a sketch, adorned with brief critical remarks, of group psychology as developed by the late Kurt Lewin (at that Research Center of Group Dynamics, first established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, later transferred to the University of Michigan), who died in 1947.

Dr. S. M. Hafeez Zaidi has also sketched a socio-psychological program of research to pursue in Pakistan:


1) Analysis of the stereotyped, emotional concepts (based on beliefs, myths and legends) of the groups of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.

2) The socio-psychological implications (adjustment, maladjustment) of its industrialization.

3) The socio-psychological consequences of group dislocation due to migrations that have followed its partition.

4) The resistance reactions due to the encounter of both the old and new groups.

5) Th internal psychological reactions of each of the groups and their motivations.

6) The incidence of criminal behaviour, especially adolescent, in the wake of such a dislocation (57.241-245).


Prof. Qazi M. ASLAM has given a similar expose and has emphasized Lewin’s positive contributions: his vocabulary and original concepts, his study of real situations instead of laboratory cases, his substitution of practical concepts and well-determined dimensions for the vague or insufficiently technical concepts of preceding psychology. However, he says, we should moderate our enthusiasm. The movement inaugurated by Lewin doubtlessly cannot realize all the hopes it has given rise to. This movement should now apply itself to re-translate its discoveries into concrete language. It does not consider sufficiently the history of groups and of their social conflicts and limits itself almost exclusively to research in the present (where observation and experimentation can be immediate). It seems to be imbued with that type of rationalism which is convinced that virtue automatically follows true knowledge (57.65-69).

Mr. Khan BADRUDDOZA examined more in detail the subject of one of Dr. Zaidi’s remarks, namely, the necessity of examining all the diverse instincts (sexual, gregarious, imitative, preservative, aggressive, sympathetic, etc.) at work in the individuals of human groups, and of integrating these analyses, if we want to arrive at an adequate social psychology (57.247-251).

Prof. M.M. SHARlF has indicated five conditions for the growth of a nation:


1) its capacity to meet with success the challenges which its geographic situation poses as well as the competition and other various pressures exercised against her by other nations (he wisely notes that it is not necessarily a drawback that a nation have powerful neighbors);

2) its creativity; concerning this he remarks that be it in the sphere of science and culture or in that of administration, creative individuals are necessarily limited in number -- an aristocracy; it is therefore necessary that national conditions allow their inspiration to infuse confidence in the masses;

3) the quantity of scientific knowledge possessed by the creative elite and disseminated into the masses;

4) the moral quality of the character of this elite group’s members, and of the laws and customs which rule the nation (the qualities of an elevated national character are unity, solidarity, stability, freedom, equality, opportunity, and security);

5) the existence of plans for not only material but also spiritual national development (55.13-29).


Let us note that this was proposed before, and therefore independently of, the new political experiment directed by General Ayub Khan. Under the auspices of the new regime a report has just been published which proposes far-reaching innovations for a thorough reorganization of education in Pakistan.12




Prof. M. TIMUR gave a good exposé of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, December 10th, 1948) in which he insists on their derivation from the nature and dignity of the human person, and indicates the historical importance of this Declaration (54.82-87).

The maintenance of peace is a human duty the conditions of which the philosopher should analyze. We must not, Dr. I. LATIF tells us, rid ourselves of this responsibility by shrugging it off upon God. The existence of a lived religion favors peace but is not, however, the sufficient condition. In fact, religion does not of itself destroy all the factors which threaten peace: it can coexist with anarchic economy, rivalries within groups, racial pride, despotic and ambitious imperialism, etc. To favor peace, it is necessary, on the one hand, intelligently to organize society, its economy, its health services, etc., and on the other, to act on the individual self of men in order to weaken the aggressive instincts and strengthen the altruistic This must be done indirectly by improving the human environment and directly by an education conforming itself to the findings of scientific psychology, including preventive, re-educational, orientation treatment, etc., and extended to all children -- and, in necessary measure, to their parents (54.27-44).

In this effort to transform men into patriots and citizens of the world, Mr. Ahmad KAMAL wants to assign a primordial role to religion. For, he says, the natural sciences are insufficient to assure this development and metaphysics is without authority since the different systems of metaphysics nullify each other. However, religion itself can be adulterated or turned to particular ends by those who represent or propagate it. It is therefore necessary to supervise its activities and evaluate them by their results (58.398-399).

Mr. Badruddin M. UMAR proclaims the necessity of a liberal attitude. On the basis of a rather extensive historic expose of the rise of civilization along with a critique of the present situation of Pakistan, he points out "the necessity of freeing our minds from prejudice and superstition which are absolutely inconsistent with the rationalist temper." It is up to the Pakistan philosophers to create this liberal climate which is so greatly lacking, he thinks, in their nation (58.237-245).

Dealing with the foundations of peace among nations, Prof. Qazi M. ASLAM recalls that during the past five hundred years, thirty major wars have afflicted mankind, and that philosophers such as Emeric Cruce (in The New Cyneas, 1623), Rousseau, Bentham, Kant, proposed peace plans that were unfortunately followed very little. Our century has seen the establishment of international institutions to preserve peace and to foster among men and women of all nations the growing awareness of a certain sense of responsibility in this matter. Therefore a general good will for peace exists; peace plans exist, but they are often of narrow conception; morality finally penetrates into the sphere of international relations, where, however the fait accompli still too often prevails; the politicians cannot escape this moralizing movement, but their acquiescence is still too often encumbered with numerous mental reservations (56.15-21).

Islam can greatly help us to establish peace. For whatever eminent but informed men may have said on the subject, Islam propounds a coherent ethics of war and peace. It proposes as basic principles of conduct brotherhood of all men under one God, respect for treaties and other conventions among political groups, active protection of the oppressed, resistance to aggression which it banishes as an instrument of power, the choice of peace as soon as possible and even at the risk of being deceived by the enemy, humane treatment of war prisoners, moderation even during operations of defensive wars, respect for the laws, customs, and religion of conquered aggressors. Islam sanctions these principles on the authority of God Himself. It is by developing these Islamic principles that the Pakistani philosophers will efficaciously contribute to the establishment of peace (56.22-31)

Concerning the morality of war in our own times, Dr. HAMID-UD-DIN maintains that due to their excessively destructive power, which places them entirely outside the category of conventional weapons, any military use of atomic weapons is immoral. The question about their usage exceeds the bounds of political or military strategy. The efforts made and the plans proposed at the United Nations have unfortunately failed until now. The problem thus remains formidable and its solution uncertain. However, the discussions that have taken place were not futile and new attempts, the accomplishment of which we can hope to see finally, are now being prepared. The United Nations Organization should, accordingly, continue to receive our confidence (55.50-68).

Mr. S. Karamat HUSAIN considers that the greatest danger to peace comes from the persistent influence of pragmatic philosophy and especially from the pragmatic outlook which characterizes Marxism as well as Deweyism. The morality of pragmatism is logically a morality of power and success, which excludes every idea of an eternal justice founded in God. We can hope that the wisdom born from fear will deter men in their race to mutual extermination. Nevertheless, what we must promote beyond fear is a change of heart by a return to a religious view of existence. Man can save himself even at the eleventh hour provided he turns towards God with a broken heart and a contrite spirit (57.41-50).

Prof. Fazlur RAHMAN abounds in the same opinion and criticizes pragmatism and allied philosophies, humanism, behaviorism, Freudianism, with Moslem ideology as his vantage point. These philosophies, he states, neglect important aspects of human existence and excessively accentuate others. By exalting exclusively the empiric method of the sciences and the search for material progress, they neglect the transcendental values, ignore the spirituality of man, and brutalize conscience. By rejecting religion, they nip in the bud morality, which should sustain and direct man’s admirable effort, and set lust for power in the place of humble obedience. Even when these philosophies avoid directly opposing religious conviction, they do so for pragmatic reasons. But the necessity of belief in God is neither pragmatics nor biological; it is implied in the very nature of reason (57.149-171).

Mrs. Hosna ARA BEGUM, on the contrary, along with Mr. S. HUSAIN, considers pragmatism with sympathy and thinks that it can serve as the philosophy not only of scientists but equally of educators (57.350).

Finally, taking up more profoundly the question of the rights of man introduced, as we saw above, by Prof. M. Timur, Mr. Hamidullah SIDDIQI makes a distinction between a simple recognition, perhaps totally pragmatic and opportunist, of the rights of man and the conviction, bound to a philosophy, that these rights are universal and inalienable. The question is what is the philosophy which upholds this conviction? Many agree in thinking that it is a question of a philosophy of the natural law, emanating from God and totally transcending the contingencies of human situations. Mr. Siddiqi esteems that such a philosophy implies between the natural law and those whom it governs a relationship that is too external. Such a philosophy leads us to consider men as individual atoms closed within themselves, and endowed with absolute rights and duties, independent of the condition of men as members of a society. The myth of the Social Contract and the philosophy of liberalism derive from such a philosophy, which doubtlessly has its origin in Platonic dualism.

As a reaction against this absolutist theory, another theory has been proposed according to which man’s rights and liberties derive their legitimacy and sanction from his role in the historic evolution of the community of which he is a member. This relativist theory depersonalizes man and is related to pantheism which depersonalizes God by rendering Him purely immanent to the world.

Between these two exclusive poles of transcendence and immanence Islam, precisely because of its creational and personalistic theology, maintains a valid doctrine of the rights of man. The transcendence of the Creator guarantees the absolute character of certain rights, for example of the right to life, and the objective solidarity of values. His immanence guarantees the reality of our concrete existence and the variability of our conditions and situations. His unity permits us to conceive all men as a brotherhood and their rights as extending to all. His personality guarantees ours and allows us to say that the aristocratic democracy conceived by Islam is the best political regime because it offers the greatest scope to our creative freedoms to which God has entrusted the care of fulfilling his will. It is thus within this creational doctrine that we must reconsider the rights of man and integrate the doctrine of the natural law (54.87-97).

Mr. Chaudhri M. ALI also wants to avoid two extremes, namely, the absolute sovereignty of the state and asocial individualism, and likewise finds in Islam the balanced doctrine which synthesizes the individual and social values. Islam subordinates the state to the individuals but grants to the state the degree of control required for national security, international peace, and the administration of public justice. According to Islam, all regimentation of thought is condemned and religious freedom along with freedom of expression must be granted to all. The only authority which Islam recognizes as binding in conscience is reason, and reason is subjected to experience, to induction, and to internal coherence. Faith itself, which is legitimate wherever experience cannot be direct, must confirm its titles to credibility with regard to the testimony which revelation proposes. Islam also grants every individual the right to express his disagreement or his complaints against the established order. In order to avoid anarchy, Islam refuses the individual the right to employ force to make his own opinion prevail, but it permits him to withdraw from the religious or political community to which he belongs and to emigrate elsewhere. As a political regime, it upholds the Khalif democracy system, in which each one has the right to express his opinion and where the judges are completely independent, even from the chief of state who himself falls under their jurisdiction (54.98-108).

We can join to these views those of Mr. Mazher-ud-din SIDDIQI on the individual and social aspects of morality. Starting from Dewey who taught that reflective thought has as its function the resolution of situational problems, he affirms that moral reflexion is also a response to the needs of social adjustment. It is only in a society and in virtue of his connection with his kin that the individual becomes a moral being. However, once this is granted, we must recognize that individuals alone are the source of progress in morality. The individual is the lever of moral and social change, whereas group morality is always static, conservative and intolerant of progress, as Henri Bergson exposed at great length.

However, be it individual or social, morality fails to satisfy the deepest moral aspirations of the religious man. Only the belief in a God, Himself moral, can save human morality from relativism. Nevertheless, this belief in God is maintained and transmitted by society when the latter is permeated by the individual action of the great prophets. And this shows us that we cannot disintegrate the individual and social aspects of morality (58.29-36).

This is confirmed by Mr. Shafi M. MEMON who proposes that children should be educated into world-citizens. Life, he says, is a great cooperative spiritual adventure. We must therefore inculcate in our children’s minds the idea of one humanity, the ideal of true service and a higher consciousness of their manifold relations with God and the universe (61).




Mr. Abdul Hamid KAMALI has tackled the problem of the methods employed in the social sciences. He elucidates their fluid state and the present effort of sociologists to reformulate their viewpoints and norms. Having sprung from a more or less Newtonian conception which is static and deterministic, these sciences have little by little assimilated the notion of time, of history, of emergent evolution, and are at present involved in a search for dynamic meanings. Axiology and the philosophy of values have rendered these sciences attentive to the relation of means to ends and to the continuity of thought and action, and sociologists are now endeavoring to discover in the various cultures the differing hierarchies of values which mankind has given itself (55.239-246), whereas in philosophy, especially British, there is a theoretical lag in morals, which contributes to the crisis of our time (60.274-295)

According to several, the importance of positive psychology has not up to the present been sufficiently recognized in the university institutions of Pakistan, even though the University of Lahore, for example, had created a chair of psychology as early as 1923, and Dr. Ghulam Jilani has recently begun the Pakistan Institute of Social Psychology having especially in view the study of the tensions between East and West Pakistan.

There is therefore a reason why Mr. M. K. FAZLI and Dr. S. M. MOGHNI should plead for scientific psychology. The former deplores the fact that in Pakistan scientific psychology is often confused with psychiatry, psychoanalysis or even with palmistry, physiognomy, or simply with magic. Philosophers only accept it to be an integral part of their discipline, and men of science refuse to recognize its scientific nature. Quacks have exploited it without shame and novelists have filled their books with Freudian jargon. Therefore, the time has come to show that psychology has outgrown the age of James, Kulpe, Freud, and MacDougall, and that pioneers such as Pavlov, Watson, Hull, Lewin, Tolman, and Allport represent the actual currents of scientific psychology. Beyond doubt its status as a science is still imperfect; it is in its infancy, but it deserves from the present moment a place among the scientific disciplines (56.213-218).

Dr. S. M. MOGHNI gives to his defence a national emergency slant. "All Our plans and programmes," he tells us, ". . . must be psychologically sound. . . . For these reasons I strongly feel that psychologists . . . must have a hand in formulating the objectives of our social living, as also implementing the policy decisions related to these objectives." Psychology actually is sufficiently equipped for this task by its comparative approach, its field theory, its operational definitions, etc. There are problems in Pakistan with which it alone can deal effectively: the problem of the reduction of tension among groups, problems of the psychology of education and of professional orientation, industrial problems concerning the adjustment of workers to their machines and fellow-workers, etc. (58.17-26).

Mr. Mofassil-ud-din AHMAD has suggested that the various techniques used so advantageously during World War II, group intelligence tests, audio-visual aids, techniques of psychological warfare, etc., should now be adapted to the peaceful purpose of reconstructing the Pakistan nation (60.40-50).

Dr. M. RAFI-UD-DIN has attempted to determine which one among man’s many human appetites is the highest motive power of our activity. He classes these appetites into two categories: first, the category of biological desires or instincts (of sensation, sex, aggressiveness, etc.), which are necessary for the preservation of the individual and of the race, produce strong compulsion, give pleasure and are common to man and the other animals; and secondly, the category of strictly human desires, the desire for an ideal, for moral action, for knowledge and for aesthetic creation. These strictly human desires flow from intellectual consciousness, imply a freedom that transcends biological compulsion, and their satisfaction is qualitatively superior to pleasure, since it consists in attaining ends in the strict sense, and such ends can all be reduced to the contemplative value of beauty.

The dynamic unity of the human being forces us to think that there must be among these desires a dominant one which controls all the others. In fact, we have seen Freud exalt the sexual instinct; Adler, the self-assertion instinct; Marx, the desire for material security; MacDougall, the gamut of biological instincts, etc. Nevertheless, the only acceptable answer appears to be that the desire for the ideal is our dominant appetite. This answer evidently provokes a certain number of further questions concerning the ultimate meaning of this very desire, but these pertain to the field of metaphysics (58.261-265).

Dr. M. AJMAL also utilizes the notion of the ideal to evaluate both individuals and cultures. There is no man who does not realize in some way the human ideal. We can in some way conceive of the "normal" man, but it is impossible for us to conceive of a perfectly abnormal man. In psychotherapy we must with Jung recenter man on effective love and creativity rather than on social adjustment as proposed by others who deify the social group. True love is that which constitutes objective relations and integrates the individual.

Cultures should be evaluated in the light of their "ideal-limit" and according to the human quality of the individuals they produce. These ideals are manifested by the symbols that these cultures employ to re-enforce their institutions. If we consider for example the Muslim culture, we see that it unfortunately does not employ such symbols as the "child" and the cross. We have no feast to commemorate the birth of the Prophet and, on the other hand, what characterizes individuals of Muslim culture, at least in Pakistan, is what Kierkegaard has called the "aesthetic attitude" as opposed to the "moral attitude" of the real person. We do not feel committed, called to become eminently personal individuals, heroes. The cross, the symbol of universal love, remains foreign to us. The courage to envisage as possible setback, failure, crucifixion does not constitute an element of our spiritual resources. We remain immature, morbidly attached to the love of our mothers and to our very culture as to a great mother. This is why even our intellectuals are satisfied with theoretically assimilating liberal values from the West but are afraid to put them to the test in this country. The time has come to bring masculinity to our culture by turning towards those activities which require courage and creativeness (58.123-130).

Dr. Randolph C. SAILER has treated with competence the relationships between persons and technological culture. He defines the person as:


. . . a being in control of his own destiny, who can choose goals intelligently for himself and can work towards their fulfillment (58.111).

The real person is in touch with inner resources that well out in productive expression. Since his feeling of self-worth is firm he does not fear to face himself in solitude; he need not seek the tonic of constant approval from those around him. Yet he is far from being isolated. He is responsible to himself and to others. He finds life full of meaning, and its deepest significance in relatedness. He is not confined to an individualistic self, but contributes his individuality to the group (58.112).


The freedom which characterizes the person is not self-indulgence, but the power to find real significance in life through the development of one’s own best powers.

As far as technological culture is concerned, its very rapidity, and the significance and novelty of the strides by which it progresses, call for not only a generalized primary, but also for a more extended secondary and superior education. Indeed, the need for specialists is becoming more and more urgent. Technological progress offers even to women more and more opportunities. It introduces lives regulated by a clock, constant competition, rapid communication, information made general among the masses, and possibilities of rapid individual development which divest age of its traditional prestige.

The technological revolution brings with it dangers for individuals because it renders them strangers to their traditional culture. They feel their values are threatened. Being submitted to the discipline of industrial life, their freedom threatens to turn into individualism or is ready to abdicate in favor of economic or political dictatorship. However, their personality can also find scope for development in the technological revolution. In the first place, since this revolution is after all but a cultural one, it cannot change biological heredity, nor can it change radically at least the natural institutions of marriage and the family. Secondly, technological revolution can even improve these two natural institutions, since the independence and economic security along with the variety of employment which it affords to industrial workers enables them to contract marriages based upon love rather than upon an agreement between the families to which the betrothed belong. As soon as such marriages become frequent, the perverse distinction according to which there is a double standard of morality, one for men and the other for women, soon loses its binding force. (In this regard, it is interesting to note that as I write these lines the new Pakistani regime is promulgating a marriage code essentially based on monogamy.) Finally the facility of transportation in an industrialized country improves social life by permitting parents and friends to meet at will.

As this revolution is now in progress, it is in a technologically developed society that the Pakistani philosophers are called upon to work. Let them remember that before being manipulators of men or adjustors of individuals to their environment, psychologists should be promoters of human personality (58.109-121).

Dr. M. HAMID-UD-DIN is equally insistent that we direct our attention to the individual and always keep in mind his culture. We know very little about cultures and the knowledge we do have of them is often vitiated by biases which come to us from the West, for example, the bias that technological changes are the essential determinants of cultural changes, or that technological development cannot experience a stalemate without corresponding stalemates in cultural development. This, he says, is not true of Asia or Africa. In the Orient, at least, religious have greater import than economic factors. Here they are the cause more than a product of culture. Now religion is of itself unrealistic and likewise produces an unrealistic culture, which devaluates technological factors. Hence, the East is more dogmatic, more unchanging, than the West. The East concerns itself more with the other world, with eternal realities. In the East those who determine the changes in culture are not scientists but religious men.

The non-technological cultures can be described as follows: their political structure is generally monarchic; the spiritual power is developed but is subjected to the political power; they do not educate the masses except in their religious duties whereas the intellectual elite of such cultures engage themselves in pedantic hairsplitting theological disquisitions? their economy is primitive and their social system is static; they propose as the only end the glory of the next world while during this life such cultures obviate affective isolation and neurotic anxiety by promoting a spiritual fraternity, limited however to the adherents of one religion.

In these civilizations, individual acculturation is profound; there are few mutants, rebellious deviators. The type of super-ego which they magnify molds individuals who are often unconscious of the process. These civilizations favor conformity, discourage eccentricity, reduce the variety of unpredictable types of conduct and limit the role of adaptation. Centered on few needs, such civilizations are highly integrated and this very cohesion is the cause of emotional tensions among those few of their members who are not suited to conformity. But if such societies happen to disintegrate, then the rebellious mutants have their opportunity, whereas unhappiness spreads over the masses.

It is only by taking all this into account that the Pakistani psychologists will be able to help advance the human person in their country (58.91107).

Speaking about frustrations caused by the rigidity of cultures, and more generally, about the conflicts arising out of the complexity of life, Mr. Syed Matiur RAHMAN draws attention to their necessary function, since man cannot progress unless he encounters obstacles he must overcome. A well-adjusted individual is one whose frustration tolerance is such that he withstands frustrations without resorting to abnormal or neurotic modes of conduct. Psychologists have studied and classified conflicts as well as the various kinds of sane or neurotic responses by which man can meet such conflicts. Mental hygiene has thus developed and it is comforting to note that it has courageously and optimistically accorded a positive value to conflicts (58.267-272).

Mr. Mofassil-ud-din AHMAD has shown what type of collaboration must exist between mental hygiene and education. Education tends to develop well-adjusted personalities, mental hygiene strives to correct maladjustments and to provide individuals with that interior equilibrium which will enable them to assimilate with profit the lessons and example of their educators (58.247-254).

In the domain of mental hygiene proper an excellent and quite original communication of Dr. Muhammad AJMAL presented the concept of acceptance in the light of the American school of counselling, but on the basis of personal case-work. Acceptance "involves the operation of: (a) imaginative reversal with the client, (b) reflection or interpretation by an original mythical or poetic image, (c) regarding the client every time he comes for analysis as a new, unfamiliar person, and (d) having the capacity to play his role" (59.28-35).

Concerning education itself, several other members insisted on the necessity of anchoring it in a sane philosophy. for Mr. Ihsanullah KHAN this philosophy cannot but be a religious one, for religion alone integrates all values (57.271-288). For Mr. Abdul QAYYUM, on the contrary, the scientific vision of the world must replace entirely the religious ideology based on faith (55.179-185). As for Mr. S.Z. CHOUDHURI, he also wants an entirely secular education, but based on the idea of the spiritual unity of the human race and on a humanistic metaphysics (56.61-69).

Finally, a rather fashionable educational philosophy, that of Sir Percy Nunn, has been sharply criticized by Dr. Muhammed RAFIUDDIN (59.236-242).

For Dr. G. JILANI philosophy is:

. . . wisdom concerned with human values. It is a reflection on the conflict of values to discover which values are more desirable . . . . Two points emerge out of this view of philosophy: as a form of criticism of human values or ends, it must concern itself with the world of men, with the great and momentous issues of life and death; secondly, it should not feel shy of dealing with the passions and conflicts of humanity living today, of bringing about understanding and order in its affairs. To do this, it is not necessary to decipher the secrets of eternity, with which philosophy is usually identified. It is, therefore, neither the spirit nor the aim, but the subject-matter in which philosophy differs from science.


It should therefore be based upon experience. But:


It is not to be inferred from this that philosophy is a slave to the existing conditions of the time. On the contrary, philosophy is an active reflection on the existing conditions with reference to the past with a view to moulding the future. . . . The role of philosophy is additive and transforming in the history of civilization (59.1-2).


It is with this view of philosophy in mind that Dr. Jilani has attached himself to a socio psychological enquiry about the complex and complicated problems facing men today in Pakistan:


What are, for instance, the basic values that we Pakistanis in the modern would of today are expected to cultivate? What is the end to which our educational system should be directed? What are the immediate and intermediate goals that we should put before the nation so that achievement of the final goal may be facilitated? And the like. (59.3-4).


His survey of the mentality of students of the Dacca University revealed to him that over 70% of them feel dissatisfied with the prevailing academic atmosphere, or are otherwise frustrated. Poverty, non-availability of books, wrong choice of subjects, inadequacy of teaching methods, sterility of teacher-student relationship, and exploitation of students by the politicians stood out as the most important causes of frustration in the minds of the students. Individual interviews led him to suspect that most students have no moorings in life and that teachers seem to have no hold on them. His next enquiry related to religion. It revealed that only 55% feel attracted to Islam and this in proportion to their having read the Quran usually in childhood and generally in Arabic only, a language which they hardly understand. Even among these, many were disturbed by all sorts of doubts concerning the truth of Islam and its capacity for helping them solve their problems.

Summing up his findings, Dr. Jilani drew up the following outline:


1) Students start their career as Pakistanis with no positive traits of personality.

2) Their immediate environmental conditions are highly unsatisfactory and frustrating.

3) The turnings and twistings of political parties and the character displayed by the majority of the political leaders have created disgust and bewilderment among the youth.

4) Their education has not helped them to develop any idealism in life.

5) Nor have they moulded their daily life according to the concrete ideal presented in the person of the Holy Prophet,

6) Nor in the person of the Quaid-e-Azam.

7) They feel no sense of attachment and security in relation to their teachers and therefore do not look up to them for guidance in their dayto-day lives.

8) They have no respect for and, therefore, expect no guidance from the religious leaders either.

9) Of religion they admit they do not know much and many feel no attraction towards it.

10) They have been greatly shocked by the actual secularism of those very leaders who outwardly professed that they were taking Islam as their practical guide even in polities. However, the attitude of the leaders of the present regime, who believe in doing things rather than making big pronouncements, seems to have already restored to some extent the lost prestige and dignity of Islam in the young wavering minds.


Further enquiry showed that buried under heavy debris of suspicions, jealousies, prejudices, frustrations, ignorance, anti-religious temptations, deep down in the innermost recesses of those young minds, there is still something basically stable, the lingering hope and a wish that religion will guide them one day.

This situation needs sympathy rather than hatred, appreciation rather than condemnation, repentance on the part of those who have been responsible for this state of affairs in the minds of the youth, and serious thinking by those in whose hands the reformation of the youth now lies. Favorable conditions have been created by the present regime to make the proper approach to the minds of the youth. It is up to the thinkers and human engineers to start immediate work on the ground already provided and to prepare new ground for the future as a long-term policy. A vast field for persistent and cooperative effort is open (59.8-20).

Dr. Jilani’s important presidential address which I have just summarized can be supplemented by his report of further findings on the same subject (60.330) and by Mr. Alauddin AKHTAR’S Study of the "Causes of Indiscipline in Educational Institutions" (59.198-204). It has also been discussed and criticized by Mr. F. RAHMAN (60.330).

Other valuable papers in Psychology should at least be mentioned: on "Intelligence Testing," by Mrs. Zahida BIRJIS (59.219-221); on "Methodological Variables in the Study of Perceptual Thresholds," by Prof M. U. AHMAD (59.205-218); on the "Influence of the Cultural Element in the Perception of Time," by Miss Aziz M. HUSAIN (59.222-226); on "Phobias," by Mr. Munir QURESHI (59.230-235); and on the "Attitude of Undergraduate Girls towards Their Future Husbands," by Miss Iftikhar-un-nisa HASAN (59.227-229).

In the matter of rational psychology, Mrs. Nayyar MANSOOR has contributed a thoughtful paper on "Life After Death" (59.279-284). She first vindicates Plato’s main argument based on the ‘simplicity of the soul’ by restating in a refreshing way the genuine nature of human consciousness. Then she revives Kant’s argument in his Critique of Practical Reason. Mr. Shafi M. MEMON also treated the same subject (60.302-309).




To complete our survey of the philosophical activity in Pakistan, we must likewise turn to the philosophical authors and doctrines which have been the subject of more or less critical exposés during the sessions of the Congress. In Western philosophy, the authors who were the preferred object of historical study were Hume, Berkeley, Kant, Nietzsche, Bergson, Dewey, Dawes, Hicks, the Logical Positivists, and the Existentialists. We omit any detailed analysis of these contributions, since they afford less scope for the expression of the personal philosophy of their authors, in which we are primarily interested.

The history of Islamic philosophy has been the object of a few general or particular studies. The general studies comprise the paper of Mr. M. S. HASAN AL-MA’SUMI on the theory of prophecy according to Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi and Ibn-Sina (58.345-349) as well as Ibn-Bajjah (Avempace) (61), and Mr. B. H. SIDDIQI’S brief survey of the development of the teaching of Ethics (Ilm al-Akhlaq) in the Muslim world (59.243-251).

The more particular studies are the following:


Mr. M. S. HASAN AL-MA’SUMI has revealed to his colleagues the contents of a manuscript of Al-Farabi, which is a synopsis of the works of Aristotle and of which Dr. R. Walzer was in 1956 preparing a critical edition in Oxford (56.143-150). He has also given them a short but excellent expose of Al-Farabi’s political philosophy (57.333-339).

Mr. Abdul KHALIQ has presented the fundamentals of Al-Ghazali’s ethics (60.51-67). Since we recalled earlier the arguments of the Mu’tazilites against the possibility of seeing God, their refutation by Al-Ghazali may be mentioned here, as recorded by Mr. Khaliq (ib., 66). It may also please the reader to find here Al-Ghazali’s charming allegory of the purification of the heart:


Once the Chinese and the Greeks held a contest in the art of drawing and painting. One part of a big room was given to the Chinese and the other to the Greeks. In between was hung a curtain so that they might not see the work of each other. The Greeks decorated the wall with many rare colors; but the Chinese proceeded to brighten their side and polish it. When the curtain was raised, the beautiful art of the former was reflected on the latter’s wall in its original beauty and charm. Such is the way of the saints who strive for the purification of their heart to make it worthy of the knowledge of God Most High (ib., 55).


Mr. B. H. SIDDIQI has sketched the plot of the famous philosophical romance, Hai Ibn Yaqzan. He still attributes it to the Andalusian philosopher, Abu Bakr Ibn Tufail, who died in Maghrab in 1185 or 1188. But in a book published in 1959, Le recit de Hayy Ibn Yaqzan, commenté par les textes d’Avicenne (Desclée de Brouwer, Paris), Mlle A. M. Goichon attributes it definitely to Ibn Sina. The author leads his hero, Hai, a prefiguration of Crusoe, from mere sense experience right to the mystical heights of the vision of the One, following as a guide the Quran and borrowing from such other sources as Aristotle, Galienus, Ptolemy, Al-Farabi, etc. (58.327-333).

Dr. K. M. JAMIL has supplied us with an elementary study on the immortality of the self in Jalal-ud-din Rumi (55.141-148) and another on the nature of intellect in 13th century Sufism (60.296-301). The term ‘intellect’ stands here for what Rumi calls partial reason or false intelligence which is the source of imagination (khayâl) and illusory suggestion (waswasah).

Dr. Serajul HAQUE turned to an anti-Sufi of the 14th century, Ibn Taimiyya, and expounded his two degrees of truth: natural truth (haqiqat al-kaunitya) and truth of faith (haqiqat al-diniya), both of which are required for salvation (60.212-217).

Dr. Abdul Wahid HALEPOTA showed the superiority of the conception of society by Shah Waliullah (1703-1762) over that of Spencer and Comte. Shah Waliullah presents a very organic theory of society, based on the unity of mankind as inculcated by the Quran (57.341-346). Dr. Halepota also developed his own concept of a synthetic philosophy of religion according to the method of Shah Waliullah (60.68-75).

Mr. B. A. DAR presented an outline of the thought of the late Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, a dominating figure and one of the first Muslim modernists of the nineteenth century (died in 1893). Sayyid Ahmad Khan wanted to revivify the Quran’s teaching by reconciling it with the context of modern, naturalist, and rationalist civilization. He therefore attempted to show the conformity between the teachings of the Quran on the one hand, and common sense and empirical reason on the other, along with the conformity existing between the Quran’s teachings and nature, a nature which he conceived, however, after the manner of the nineteenth century. Being inspired especially by Ghazali and ruled by a sort of anti-mystic scepticism, he succeeded only in depriving Islam of its religious sense of mystery, and reducing it to a kind of natural, extremely impoverished theodicy (56.139-142).

A History of Islamic Philosophy is being compiled by about 300 scholars under the editorship of Prof. M. M. Sharif. Two volumes, comprising over 1400 pages, are ready for the press. We may also mention Prof. M. M. Sharif’s article on "Islamic View of Being and Sense," contributed to the large symposium edited by Prof. F. J. von Rintelen (Sinn und Sein: Ein philosophisches Symposion, Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen, 1960, 860 pages).




To compensate for the disadvantage of the problem-by-problem presentation which I have adopted so far, I shall now offer to the reader a brief glimpse of the thought of Prof. M. M. Sharif, a philosopher of international renown, to whose initiative the Pakistan Philosophical Congress owes its existence. He himself has recounted the evolution of his thought in the collective volume entitled Contemporary Indian Philosophy,13 first published in 1936, and republished in a revised and enlarged edition in 1952. In spite of its date of publication, this exposé continues to represent Prof. Sharif’s thought.

From empirical idealism stemming from his years of study in India, Prof. Sharif shifted to realism under the influence of his Cambridge professors, G. E. Moore and B. Russell, and during his later years, to what he calls a dialectical monadism. He has studied with interest the Arab and Indian philosophers, but feels more attuned to modern Western thought.

Philosophy, he says, must find a place for the sciences in the systematic whole of knowledge. We must even say that philosophy cannot take its departure from anything but experience. Experience docs not only consist in our apprehension of objects, but includes those objects themselves. However, the ultimate foundation of experience lies perhaps beyond experience itself. If it is true that the sciences consider what is, history what was, prediction what will be, philosophy as synoptic knowledge must consider all that and, furthermore, place man in intimate relationship with the ground of every form of existence, and this gives a religious outlook to philosophy.

By his immediate reflection, man directly knows his experience as an experience. He recognizes its dynamic character as orientated towards the future. What is directly experienced has an immediate evidence which establishes the conviction of its reality. Certain realities without being directly apprehended in experience are, however, indirectly connected with it in such a way that they participate in its evidence. Prof. Sharif calls ‘existent’ those realities which are known as temporal or spatial; those known only in time he calls ‘temporal’; and those which are known as transcending time and space he calls ‘subsistent.’

To be truly known is not the essence of reality, it is but an external mark of the essence. Reality is generally knowable and known, but whether or not ultimate reality is, not to say known, but simply knowable, is another question.

We know our perceptions as well as our sensations as responses to the action of another. This other one, different from us, is the basis of our sensation, whereas the knowing subject is but the base. However, he is the base for sensations only in so far as he is attentively conscious. Sensation is therefore bi-polar. It results from an a priori (mind) and an a posteriori (object). Both transcend in some fashion the individual subject and, consequently their ground or ultimate root is equally transcendent and supraindividual.

The body, which is transcended by the mind, is itself different from the world. As far as the mind is concerned, since it knows by consciousness, it cannot be more unknowable than objective reality; it is indeed known at least as the knowing subject. We must therefore reject the (characteristically Indian) distinction between the empirical and the transcendental subject. I know myself and can assert many facts concerning myself, and similarly I know the things in themselves notwithstanding objections to the contrary.

By means of an analogy developed from the self as the starting point, I know other base-entities of knowledge, that is, minds or monads which are not existent, but subsistent (transcending space and time). The higher monads are immanent to, yet transcending, the lower ones.

The things-in-themselves are the ground of phenomena and they can be known by analogy with the monad which I am. The phenomena are relative to their context, and yet retain self-identity, although these phenomena are not totally discrete.

By direct apprehension we are informed about the existence of objects, but not yet explicitly about their nature. It is only by the judgment that this explicit knowledge is given to us. The judgment presupposes four functions which condition it: (a) the function of reproducing the object in the mind, (b) the recognition which renders it familiar, (c) identification in the light of previous experiences, and (d) the ideation or abstraction which forms from it a universal concept. It is in this way that we obtain our empirical ideas which are known as such. It is also by a similar process that we obtain the clear view of the a priori ideas. Our judgments can indeed be either a posteriori, synthetic, or a priori and analytic.

Each judgment is selective and therefore partial, but it is possible to form systems of judgments either by immediate inference, by deduction, or by induction. Universal a posteriori premises are but probable; analogical conclusions also lack certainty, but there exist universal, necessary principles that are a priori and hence absolutely certain. If these principles are wrongly enunciated, they evidently lose their certitude along with their truth. For example, the principle of causality can be enunciated in terms of the succession of cause and effect, which is nonsense, since the series of converging forces which we call the cause must evidently be present simultaneously will the effect at the very instant of causation.

Every judgment supplies us with fresh ideas, for an idea is nothing but condensed judgment. The objects have manifold meanings along with manifold qualities or values. Value concepts are as a priori as the categories.

Truth consists in a correspondence between the mind and the object. But since every judgment is relative to its context and therefore partial, the ultimate truth cannot be obtained but through systems of judgments. The concrete and not only logical coherence of these systems has degrees, and ultimate truth thus remains an ideal.

Knowing is an activity. Monadic activity is dialectical, not in the Hegelian or Marxist sense, but in so far as it is a correlated movement of beings essentially like my self. This movement goes from the self through the complementary not-self to a more developed self which is a synthesis of the former self and the not-self. In man this dialectical movement is explicitly teleological, in animals it is incipiently so, and among other beings it is simply de facto teleological. The total dialectical movement of all the monads, which integrates the movement of each monad, is an endless process. Manifold monadic organizations appear at the different stages of this dialectic. At times some monads repel others and conflicts arise, but more commonly they attract each other and the totality of these attractions and repulsions produces the rhythms of world history.

The ends to which the monads tend by their dialectical movement must be distinguished from objects and monads, and constitute a tertiary species of reality. Indeed, they consist in syntheses of subject and object. Values are the characteristic qualities of those ends. Everything which opposes their realization is called disvalue.

In a more recent paper (59.56-66), Prof. Sharif has taken up again the question of values and developed his thought about them. Granting to the subjectivists that "all values do not arise in human consciousness at the same time or at one time in the same degree," and to the sociologists that "again at some period of history certain values are specially emphasized because in the preceding periods they have been more or less ignored or because they have only recently entered in their fullness in social consciousness (as reason in Greek society, self-control in Buddhism, love in Christianity, justice in Islam and power over Nature in the modern West)," he admits that "these facts give the fair impression that ultimate ends are different in different circumstances for the same individual as well as for different individuals, lending the appearance of plausibility" to the subjectivist and the sociologist theory of values.

However, borrowing Professor Macbeath’s distinction between formal ideals and operative ideals, he shows that such theories keep in view only the operative ideals of either individuals or societies and both completely ignore the formal ideals. But this does not prevent those formal ideals from being "the standards by which the operative ideals and the means to them are to be tested." The formal ideals are "rooted in human nature and are the same for the whole of humanity." The operative ideals are ‘the same ideals as actually apprehended and pursued by different societies and different individuals.’

The most important of the formal ideals is life itself which forms the basis for all other values. Others are goodwill or devotion of the self to other goods in themselves, exemplary conduct and character, duty, self-regulation, social service, love of benevolence in its different forms, justice, social liberty, beauty, truth, happiness, freedom in the various fields of human life, strength and power, health, and lastly unity expressing itself internally, in the harmony of thought, passion, and action, of action and profession and in the integration of the self as a whole, and, externally, in social organization and group solidarity. "These values in themselves are consciously, half consciously or even unconsciously desired and, in right ways or wrong, pursued by most individuals in every society. They are the ethical heritage of mankind. "


There are certain instrumental values which are generally desired as means to the ends in themselves. These are food, clothes, and shelter hospitality, honesty, efficiency and mutual trust; private property, Social security and public services in the fields of health, education, communication, defence, etc.


Some of those second-level means-values appear in different social groups owing to their cultural differences either as special features or with special emphasis.

For example, the peculiar means-values of the Western culture of today are wealth, industrialization, mechanization, free enterprise, high standard of living, recreation, material comfort, equality of sexes and pragmatic adjustments. The Asians, on the other hand, emphasize the family, the home, simplicity of life, contentment and sex morality.

The goods-in-themselves are so closely interrelated and interdependent that each can become a means for the realization of others. The value of means is determined solely by the end they serve, but when the goods-in --themselves are used as means, they draw light from the ends they serve and also shine in their own glory.


Values and particularly duties sometimes seem to conflict in particular situations. But where they do so, "the lesser of them have to be sacrificed for the sake of the greater of them" (59.59-62).

Prof. Sharif’s conclusion in Contemporary Indian Philosophy treats of the source of values. The source of a priori values and categories must be supra-spiritual, non-dialectical, and absolute. Such is the Being we call God. We have a concept of Him, but it is less certain that we have proved His existence. We must doubtlessly hold with Kant that His actual existence is at best a plausible hypothesis. But faith can bind us to Him as to the ultimate real, not only on the plane of thought, but on the plane of being. In fact,


The testimony of the whole of our soul -- the criteria of the intellect, clarity and consistency; the criterion of emotion, satisfaction or rasa; the criteria of our will, our highest hopes -- all lead not to the knowledge (for the finite cannot know the infinite), but to the faith that such an infinite Absolute which is Perfect Knowledge, Perfect Beauty and Perfect Good, does exist i.e., does subsist as the Ultimate and Absolute monad immanent in and yet transcending all finite monads and the phenomenal world that comes into existence as a result of their interaction.




As much by the seriousness of their reflections as by the nature of the problems they are dealing with, Pakistani philosophers occupy a respectable place in the world society of philosophers. Those who know the economic difficulties of every description which they must face in a country which is but emerging when compared to the nations that are technologically more developed, and the illiteracy which is still prevalent in spite of the efforts already being made to raise the level of the intellectual culture among the Pakistani masses, will appreciate so much the more the quality of the teaching and of the publications of this courageous elite.

We find among some of them a type of moderate skepticism with regard to the traditional pretensions of metaphysics, for example, in the case of Mr. Kazem-ud-din AHMAD who, retaining the conclusions of the Critique of Pure Reason, doubts that metaphysics has a real content, but remains faithful, however, to the conclusions of the second Critique when he exalts what he calls the philosophical attitude tending entirely towards a synthetic vision of the future, based on science and common sense, and committed to satisfy our needs (58.7-15). We find among others a sectarian submission to the method of linguistic analysis and to the anti-metaphysical trend which became fashionable with a number of English philosophers between the years 1930 and 1950, but is now waning. Among still others, the will to revivify philosophy results in various types of eclecticism without much depth but inspired with a common sense which avoids extremes, and which is animated by the hope that some genius, whose coming they long for, will complete or even surpass their attempts.

More generally, however, we find, in spite of the marginal doubts about the validity of the philosophical endeavor, a thought that is firm, lively, with wide interest, and a profound confidence in the supreme enterprise of reason, which confidence takes root in the ever vivifying soil of religious faith. This is, I think, the attitude of the majority of Pakistani philosophers. It continues to be inspired by the stimulating message of Muhammad Iqbal who never ceased proclaiming the supremacy of God and the vicegerency of man who is entrusted by God to continue His creation.

I deem it fitting to conclude by summarizing a few pages of Prof. Bahadur ALI whose views are remarkable for their balance, although exception could be taken to some of them.

Philosophy, he tells us, is a systematic study of the ultimate nature of reality. This is what distinguishes it from science on the one hand and from art and religion on the other

The sciences study restricted aspects of reality only. They fall, Iqbal would say, on the lifeless body of nature like so many vultures which then disperse, each carrying away a morsel of its flesh. The sciences treat facts from the purely objective point of view. Philosophy, on the contrary~ treats them as items of experience in relation to the interest and aspirations of the thinking subject. The sciences do not concern themselves with the question of the ultimate origin and of the ultimate purpose of the realties which they observe. But philosophy does just that and this is why it can judge the sciences and their conclusions in the fight of the ultimate criterion, God, the Highest Good. By defending in ethics the relative freedom of mm philosophy delimits the principle of mechanical necessity which is too widely generated by the sciences. Philosophy also critically inquires into the postulates of science in order to scrutinize their nature and establish their validity. Contrary to the sciences, philosophy is entirely critical since it justifies even the very first principles of all knowledge.

Though Prof. Ali maintains, I think erroneously, that the philosophical method is precisely the scientific method, still he holds that philosophy differs from science due to its material object, which is the whole of expedience.

Moreover, philosophy differs from religion although both have the same material object. They differ as to their respective ends and methods. The end of religion is the salvation of the soul; that of philosophy is the discovery of truth. The method of religion is dogmatic; that of philosophy is the method of critical inquiry. One is governed by faith, the other by logic; while the philosopher reasons and disputes, the religious man believes, acts, lives, and loves. The religious feeling must be tested in the fire of metaphysical thought, which is pitiless and wants only truth. But religion is not simply a branch of philosophy for, unlike philosophy which is nothing but thought, religion is an expression of the whole man. Philosophy should therefore, while it evaluates religion, realize the central position of religion.

Science only tries to penetrate that portion of total experience which comprises the physical facts, but it cannot validly deny the rest of reality. Reciprocally, religion cannot deny the physical facts but it rightfully considers the subjective facts, the spiritual aspirations and emotions, as more immediate, real, and concrete. Philosophy, on the other hand, is basically empirical since it considers the whole of experience, including science and religion. In the final analysis, we can therefore say that religion depends on philosophy, for it is a necessary application of metaphysics to life. It is necessary to elevate man above the sub-human level and to establish his moral life in God, the first source of every value. Religion should become as philosophical as possible, and likewise to find its truth philosophy should become fully religious.

Science by its conquests has forced nature to minister to our material welfare. But it belongs to philosophy to nourish and refine the spirit which lives in us, and to religion to establish within us that interior peace without which we cannot realize the reign of Law and Justice in this world. Man as a thinking being has the duty to doubt, scrutinize, philosophize, and his quest for wisdom must turn into the prayer of the Prophet: "O God! increase my knowledge" (56.175-179).




1. A less extensive version of this survey was published in French in Archives de philosophie, XXIII (1960), 403-52. I am indebted to Mr. L. Abello, S.J., for his assistance in preparing the English translation of this enlarged version, which has been brought up to date to 1961.

2. We shall use the following abbreviations throughout the article:

54.12 for First Session Pakistan Philosophical Congress, Labore, April 4-6, 1954, page 12.

55.25 for Second Session Pakistan Philosophical Congress, Karachi, February 20-22, 1955, page 25.

56.36 for Third Session . . ., Peshawar, April 10-12, 1956, page 36.

57.23 for Fourth Session . . ., Dacca, February 15-17, 1957, page 23.

58.79 for Fifth Session . . ., Hyderabad (Sind), March 15-18, 1958, page 79.

59.67 for Sixth Session . . ., Lahore, March 7-10, 1959, page 67.

60.51 for Seventh Session . . ., Dacca, January 9-12, 1960, page 51.

61 for Eighth Session . . ., Karachi, January 11-14, 1961, No page numbers will be given for this session, since the Proceedings have not appeared.

3. Al-Ghazali’s Tahafut Al-Falasifah (Incoherence of the Philosophers), Eng. trans. by Sabih Ahmad Kamali (Pakistan Philosophical Congress, Publication no.3, distributed by M. A. Darr, 8 McLeod Road Lahore, 1958).

4. M. Iqbal, The Secrets of the Self, trans, R. A. Nicholson (Lahore, 1944), Introduction, p. xxvii.

5. Ibid., pp. 79-80.

6. M. Iqbal, Persian Psalms, trans. Prof. Arberry (Lahore, 1948), p. 25.

7. A. Fernandes, Man’s Divine Quest: An Appreciation of the Philosophy of the Ego according to Sir Mohammed Iqbal, reprint from Annali Lateranensi, XX (rome, 1956), 265-334.

8. G. C. Dev., Idealism and Progress (Das Gupta & Co., Ltd., 54/3 College St., Calcutta-12, 1952); Idealism: A New Defence and a New Application (Dacca University 1958; distributor: Pakistan Cooperative Book Society, Dacca).

9. H. Bergson, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, trans. R. A. Audra and C. Brereton (New York: Holt, 1949), p. 210.

10. Abdus Salam Khan, The Essence of the Teaching of the Quran, p. 185.

11. B. Russell, The Scientific Outlook, p. 275.

12. Report of the Commission on National Education, Pakistan Ministry of Education (Karachi: Government of Pakistan Press, 1960).

13. Contemporary Indian Philosophy, ed. S. Radhakrishnan and J. H. Muirhead (2nd rev. and enlarged ed.; London: Allen & Unwin, 1952), pp. 565-90.





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AHMAD, Mofassil-ud-din (Dacca).

AHMAD, Muhammad M. (Karachi).

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AJMAL, Muhammad (Lahore).

AKHTAR, Alauddin (Lahore).

ALI, Bahadur (Gujranwala).

ALl, Chaudhri M. (Rabwah).

ARA BEGUM, Mrs. Hosna (Dacca).

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AZRAF, Diwan M. (Dacca).

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CHOUDHURI, S.Z. (Dacca).

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DATTA, A. SI. (Chittagong).

DEV, Govinda Chandra (Dacca).

FAZLI, M. K. (Karachi).

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HAKIM, Khalifa Abdul.

HALEPOTAS Abdul Wahid (Hyderabad-Sind).

HANIID, Muhammad Abdul (Gujranwala).

HAMID-UD-DlN, Muhammad (Lahore).

HAQUE, Serajul (Dacca).


HASAN, Miss Iftikhar-un-nisa (Rawalpindi).

HUSAlN, Khwaja Ashkar (Karachi).

HUSAlN, Miss Aziz M. (Lahore).

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QADIR, Ch. Abdul (Lahore).

QAYYUM, Abdul (Peshawar).

QURESHI, Munir (Rawalpindi).

QURESHI, T.A. (Hyderabad-Sind).

RAFI-UD-DIN, Muhammad (Karachi).

RAHMAN, Fazlur (Sylhet).

RAHMAN, Fazlur (Karachi).

RAHMAN, Hafizur (Rajshahi).

RAHMAN, Justiee Hamoodur (Dacca).

RAHMAN, Syed Matiur (Rajshahi).

RASHID, Athar (Karachi).

RASHID, Mian Abdul (Karachi).

RUB, Muhammad A. (Dacca).

RUDER, R.C. (Lahore).

SADIQ, Kwaja Ghulam (Lahore).

SAEED, Ahmad (Lahore).

SAILER, Randolph C. (Lahore).

SHARIF, Justice Muhammad.

SHARIF, Muhammad Mian (Lahore).

SHEIKH, Muhammad Saeed (Lahore).

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SUBHAN, Abdus (Dacca).

TAQI, S. M. (Karachi).

TIMUR, Muhammad (Sialkot).

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ZAIDI, S. M. Hafeez (Dacca).