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E-ISSN : 2249 - 4642 | P-ISSN: 2454 - 4671



Gandhi’s Compassionate Cosmopolitan Ethics and Global Poverty

Santosh Kumar

Volume: 13 Issue: 2 2023


In the post-Rawlsian world many liberal cosmopolitan philosopher and theorists have been trying to argue that love, emotion, sentiments and empathy are needed to ensure justice in this broken world. Some of them like Martha Nussbaum, Graham Long etc. have attempted to theorise on Emotion and sentiments within cosmopolitan traditions. I argue that empathy, love and sentiments are European ideas and sometimes become problematic for the reason that they do not get out of the problems of “binaries”----primarily the binary of the self and others. In my view, liberal cosmopolitans have failed to understand the ontological and metaphysical significance of the non-duality which was central to the Gandhi’s understanding of cosmopolitanism. In Gandhi’s theory of cosmology there is no difference between the self and other, they are not placed in tension with each other rather they complement each other and are essentially interdependent. This article humbly attempts to explore the possibilities of an alternative conception of cosmopolitanism based on universal morality through Gandhi’s idea of non-violence and compassion. It probes into the possibility of universal morality of Ahimsa (non- violence) and Karuna (compassion) and argues that it is not plausible to think of it without any metaphysical supposition that we all have the same Atman. It also examines and criticizes the Western notion of cosmopolitan morality based on human fellowship without any metaphysical principle. Unlike moral cosmopolitanism, compassionate cosmopolitanism does not focus primarily on the duty rather it goes deeply into understanding the human nature and virtue--what kind of person we are and how we feel about other fellow human? It enquires into the kind of emotional attachment exists or required between fellow humans.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.37648/ijrssh.v13i02.008

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