Jaysankar Lal Shaw, had his education at Calcutta University and received his PhD at Rice University, Houston, Texas, in 1969. He taught at Jadavpur University, Calcutta, at the University of Alabama, USA, and was an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii.
His publications include 11 books and 90 papers on topics, such as meaning, subject and predicate, negation, consciousness, belief, knowledge, higher order cognition, number, existence, causality, perception, inference, verbal testimony, freedom and harmony, in international journals and anthologies.
He has presented some 160 papers on Western philosophy, Indian philosophy and comparative philosophy at conferences and seminars in New Zealand, Australia, India, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Canada and the United States. He has also directed orientation courses on comparative philosophy in several countries. His academic achievements and lectures have been published more than 150 times in various leading newspapers and magazines in different languages throughout several countries.
In New Zealand newspaper articles, Dr Shaw has been described as "a versatile scholar of rare abilities", "an analytical philosopher of outstanding competence" and "doing God’s work". As a teacher, he has been described as second to none as he has received perfect evaluations from his students both in Hawaii and in Wellington as many as five times.
Dr Shaw was honoured with a Festschrift entitled Contemporary Philosophy and J L Shaw. This book includes essays by leading philosophers and logicians from all over the world honouring Dr Shaw’s philosophy and his academic contribution.
Another Festschrift entitled Comparative Philosophy and J L Shaw is currently being published by Springer. This volume also includes articles by leading philosophers and logicians around the world.
International Seminar on the Philosopy of J L Shaw
A 2-day international seminar on the Philosophy of J L Shaw was held in Calcutta, India on 19-20 December 2008.
Aim of his Research
The primary aim of his research is to integrate the classical Indian analytical philosophy, including Indian philosophy of language, logic and epistemology, with contemporary Western philosophy and to discuss some of the problems of contemporary Western philosophy from the perspective of classical Indian philosophy so that new solutions may be suggested from the Indian tradition.
Phil 409: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy
Phil 314: Contemporary Philosophy
Phil 307/407: Theories of Existence in Western Philosophy
Phil 205: Indian Philosophy
Phil 208/308: Non-Western Philosophy
Phil 105: The Big Questions
He taught a range of courses at Victoria University, University of Hawaii, University of Alabama and Jadavpur University, such as Philosophical Logic, Symbolic Logic, Analytical Philosophy, Argument and Analysis, Theory of Knowledge, Ethics, Philosophy of Language, Contemporary Philosophy, Metaphysics, Wittgenstein, History of Western Philosophy, and Indian Philosophy.
- 'Meaning and Identity: An Interdisciplinary Perspective', co-edited volume, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2014.
- 'Human Beings and Freedom: An Interdisciplinary Perspective', co-edited volume, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2011.
- ‘Knowledge, Belief and Doubt: Some Contemporary Problems and their Solutions from the Nyāya Perspective’, Asian Studies Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2007.
- 'Causality and Its Application: Sāmkhya, Bauddha and Nyāya', Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2005
- 'Swami Vivekananda as a Philosopher', The R K Mission Institute Of Culture, Calcutta, 2004.
- 'Some Logical Problems Concerning Existence', Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2003.
- 'The Nyāya on Meaning: A Commentary on Pandit Visvabandhu', Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2003.
- 'Concepts of Knowledge: East and West', edited volume, The R K Mission Institute of Culture, 2000.
- 'Vedānta: Concepts and Application', edited volume, The R K Mission Institute of Culture, 2000.
- 'Cognition of Cognition: A Commentary on Pandit Visvabandhu', The R K Mission Institute of Culture, Calcutta,1998.
- 'Analytical Philosophy in Comparative Perspective', edited by J L Shaw and B K Matilal, D Reidel Publishing Company, Holland, 1985.
- 'Vivekananda and Bertrand Russell on conception and development of human Being', International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 13 Issue 3, pp.231-241, UK.
- 'Levels of Meaning', Meaning and Identity: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, co-edited volume, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2014, pp. 193-227.
- 'The Nature of Human Beings: East and West', Human Beings and Freedom: An Interdisciplinary Approach, co-edited volume, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2011.
- 'Freedom: East and West', Sophia, Springer Publisher, Holland, April 2011, pp.1-17.
- 'Navya-Nyāya on Subject-Predicate and Related Pairs', Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 38, December 2010, pp.625-642, Springer Publisher, Holland.
- 'The Nyāya on Sources of Knowledge', Materialism and Immaterialism in India and the West: Varying Vistas, Volume XII, Part 5, edited by P. Ghose, Centre for Studies in Civilization, Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India, New Delhi, 2010, pp.117-152.
- 'Knowledge, Belief and Doubt: Some Contemporary problems and their Solutions from the Nyāya Perspective', Essays in Epistemology,, Edited by Roma Chakraborty, UGC programme, Calcutta university, Dasgupta and Company, Calcutta, 2009, pp.20-49.
- 'The Nyāya on Number', Journal of Indian philosophy and Religion, Vol. 13, October 2008, Elkins, USA, pp.11-130.
- Freedom: K C Bhattacharya in Comparative perspective', The Journal of Indian academy of Philosophy, 2007, pp.106-119.
- 'The Relevance of Indian Philosophy of Language to Contemporary Western Philosophy', in Contemporary Philosophy and J L Shaw, edited by P.Bilimoria, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2006, pp.175-221.
- ‘Causality: Samkhya, Bauddha, and Nyāya', Journal of Indian Philosophy, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Holland, June 2002, pp.213-270.
- 'Conditions for Understanding the Meaning of a Sentence: the Nyāya and the Advaita Vedanta', Journal of Indian Philosophy, pp.273-293, June 2000
- 'Knowledge: Some Contemporary Problems and Their Solutions from the Nyāya Perspective', in the edited volume Concepts of Knowledge: East and West, 2000, The R K Institute of Culture, Calcutta, pp.244-261.
- 'Man and Freedom', Part 1, Bulletin of the RK Mission Institute of Culture, August 2000, pp.353-360; Part 2, Bulletin of the R K Mission Institute of Culture, September 2000, pp.407-414. This article has also been published in the volume Man and Freedom: A Collection of Essays, edited by S K Sen Indian Academy of Philosophy, 2001, pp 67-90.
- 'Universal Sentences: Russell, Wittgenstein, Prior and the Nyāya', Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol 18, 1991, pp.103-119.
- 'Descriptions: Contemporary Philosophy and the Nyāya', Logique et Analyse, Belgium, Vol. 31, 1991, pp. 153-187.
- 'Saturated' and 'Unsaturated': Frege and the Nyāya', Synthese, 1989, pp.373-394.
- 'The Nyāya on Double Negation', Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 1988, pp.139-154.
- 'Proper Names: Contemporary Philosophy and the Nyāya', Analytical Philosophy in Comparative Perspective, edited by J L Shaw and B K Matilal, D Reidel Publishing Co, 1985, pp.327-372.
- 'Number: From Nyāya to Frege-Russell', Studia Logica, Poland, Vol XLI, 2/3, 1982, pp.283-291.
- 'Some Reflections on Kripke', Logique et Analyse, Belgium, 1980, pp.153-187.
- 'Subject and Predicate', Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol 4, 1976, pp.155-179.
He has presented approximately 160 invited papers at universities or institutions, such as King’s College London, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Nottingham University, University of Liverpool, University of Vienna, University of Uppsala, University of Stockholm, University of Amsterdam, University of Liege, Belgium Academy of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Brussels Open University, University of Hong Kong, The Science University of Tokyo, The Logico-Linguistic Society of Japan, Fujitsu Company of Tokyo, The University of Sydney, Calcutta University, Jadavpur University, Netaji Subhas Open University, Presidency College, Bethune College, Krishnagar Government College, Presidency University, Banaras Hindu University, Magadh University, University of Hyderabad, The IIT Bombay, Jawaharlal Nehru University, The Indian Council of Philosophical Research, and The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, McMaster University, LaGuardia College, City University of New York.
He has received Gold and Silver Medals from Calcutta University, and approximately 20 mementos from several institutions.
Wider Academic and Community Service
- He was one of the organisers and staff members of the Institute to train American professors in comparative philosophy. This institute for comparative philosophy in Hawaii was funded by the Federal Government of the United States with a sum of US $200,000 in 1984.
- In September 1993, he was fully funded to represent New Zealand at the World Parliament of Religions, Calcutta.
- On several occasions, he was one of the staff members of the Institute for the Eastern Zone of India to train college and university teachers of philosophy.
- He was the Educational officer for the East-West Philosophers' Conference, which was held for the first time in New Zealand at Massey University in August 1994.
- He was a keynote or guest speaker at several international conferences or seminars in different countries, including England, USA, Canada and India.
- He reviewed the articles of others for international journals of philosophy and logic.
- He is a founder of more than half a dozen societies for the promotion of philosophy and culture.
- In 1998, he coordinated the administration for a seminar on Indian philosophy and religion, India Day, New Zealand. This was inaugurated by the Governor-General of New Zealand.
- He has organised and coordinated the administration for several international seminars.
- He was a Guest Speaker on Hinduism and Harmony at Wesley Church to commemorate the opening of the 45th UN General Assembly.
- Prepared prospectuses for some of the institutes of philosophy.
- Supported several visiting scholars from overseas at Victoria University.
- Organised several meetings or seminars in Wellington for visiting scholars or monks from India, Fiji, USA, Germany, and Australia.
- Participated in several multicultural activities or ceremonies, and recited his poems.
- Several overseas scholars in his field have been working with him for the last 30 years.
- Coordinated the World Peace Summit 2008, which was held in Wellington.
Seminar on Contemporary Philosophy and Jaysankar
In January 2001, The Society for Comparative Philosophy organised a 2-day International Seminar solely on the philosophy of Dr Shaw in Calcutta.
His research in the field of Indian and Comparative Philosophy is considered to be pioneering. His aim is to suggest some new solutions, which involve both scholarship and creativity. His publications include eleven books and ninety papers, some of which are monograph-length. His papers have been the first of their kinds in many Western journals of philosophy and logic. The seminars he organised were also the first of their kinds.
He has presented some 160 papers at conferences or seminars in several countries. He has received around 130 funded invitations from institutions or universities around the world.
His papers were greatly appreciated by his peers as he used the techniques of classical Indian philosophers for solving some of the philosophical problems of Western philosophy. Some of his papers are also related to the works of classical Indian scholars or Pandits.
He has directed orientation courses on comparative philosophy in several countries. He is also a founder of several Societies in different countries for the promotion of comparative philosophy.
Profiles of his academic achievements and lectures have been published more than 150 times in various leading newspapers and magazines in different languages in several countries. A poem has also been published in his honour in Bengali.
His teaching programme encompasses both Western and Indian philosophy, which is a rarity.
His unique contribution to the field of comparative philosophy has taken on the form of a global movement. His research in the field of comparative philosophy will promote better intercultural understanding among different communities and nations at large.
Jaysankar Lal Shaw full curriculum vitae (PDF 295KB).