Professor Pranab Das delivered a lecture entitled “Emergence in the Sciences and Humanities: a History of Ideas across Disciplines” on July 30 at Jawarharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.
Das explored issues in the philosophy and physics of the concept of ’emergence’ in a lecture to doctoral candidates and faculty from a variety of disciplines in the year’s inaugural meeting of a seminar series focused on questions of research methodology. Emergence, often summed up in the old adage “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” remains a profoundly challenging area of study which impacts many disciplines. Das is exploring this subject from the perspective of the physics of dynamical systems under a three-year grant supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
JNU is one of India’s flagship universities, ranked among the very best research institutions on the subcontinent. Das is currently in collaboration with Professor Makarand Paranjape there in an investigation of the connections between Western and Indic approaches to notions of emergence.
Paranjape, author or editor of more than 40 books, will visit Elon in the coming academic year. He will speak on Indic philosophical traditions and be available to work with students and faculty on issues related to modernization, Indian self-perception, and a wide variety of other topics.