Akeel Bilgrami

Akeel Bilgrami is the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Global Thought at Columbia University.  He got his first degree from Bombay University in English Literature and then went as a Rhodes Scholar to read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford University. He is the author of Belief and Meaning (Blackwell 1992), Self-Knowledge and Resentment (Harvard University Press 2006), and Politics and the Moral Psychology of Identity (Harvard University Press 2013).  His two short books Gandhi’s Integrity (Columbia University Press) and What is a Muslim? (Princeton University Press) are forthcoming soon.  His current large project is on: Practical Reason and Its Relevance to Politics. More information


The View from the South

Said’s remarkable work Orientalism cleared a certain ground and set a challenge. It cleared the ground by exposing the prejudices that come from the intellectual and civilisational surround of power, colonial power; and it set a challenge to us to construct an alternative lens for understanding the civilisations distant from the metropole. But to meet this challenge, one has to have a sense of what the intellectual surround of the metropole looks like from the perspective of the civilisations distant from the metropole, from –to use a current word — the ‘South’. This lecture will make an attempt to do so and then to take some very preliminary steps towards constructing an alternative philosophical framework for a politics of our time.