• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Identity Politics in India and Europe combines qualitative methods (20 interviews) with historical and philosophical analysis. The first part of the book discusses the history of perceptions between the Europe of Latin Christianity and the so-called Muslim world, starting from the 7th century onwards. The second part is devoted to a discussion on the emergence of modernity and how it changed the identity politics of earlier times. The third part explores the role that intellectual elites have to play. It comprises interviews of eminent scholars and thinkers in India such as Imtiaz Ahmad and Ashis Nandy. These make for an insightful read, especially as subtle ideological differences surface in their responses to a set of common questions.

Scientific Rationality
Scientific rationality

One of the main sources of legitimacy for principal and agent in the modern reference frame is science and its particular rationality. This includes, first and foremost, a methodological scepticism with regard to all non-observable entities or forces (that is, entities and forces whose postulation cannot be falsified as a matter of principle) like ancestral spirits, demons, angels, devils, Gods and esoteric forces (zodiac constellations, crystals, chakras, witchcraft, and so on). It is a matter of decoupling, as explained earlier, that most modern individuals hold true a mixture of scientific and non-scientific beliefs. This is not derogating the normative force of scientific precepts in public rationality.1 As Meyer and Jepperson observe, such private belief systems do not form an adequate basis for ...

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