This book, a Festschrift for Professor S.A.Shaida and dealing with matters close to his heart, brings together a wide spectrum of essays written by scholars from philosophy, social sciences, feminism, literature and religion; and engages with some of the most fundamental themes in the domains of existence, experience and ethics. The first section represents different interrogations of the autonomous individual existence postulated by modernity. Each of the essays here attempt to broaden the ground of existence by highlighting aspects of its 'underside': the mental, the 'insane' aspects of mind, the experience of pre-selfconscious self, the history of autonomous individual before its invention in modern Europe, and such other forms of existence as 'you' and 'we.' The essays in the second section discuss experience, more specifically artistic experience, which constitutes an important facet of human existence. The discussion centres on aspects of the debate between purists and realists in aesthetics, and articulates the need to go beyond these polarities. From an aesthetics that is concerned with the heightened level of experience, the next section deals with issues of ethics and moral philosophy and engages questions of universalism, liberalism, objectivism, fact-value dichotomy, phenomenology of values and so on. The last section traverses the ground of inter-religious interaction and dialogue.
The uniqueness of this volume lies in its multidisciplinary space of articulation and would be of considerable interest to teachers and students in the history of philosophy, religion, social sciences, aesthetics and literature. The methodological ground leared by most of the papers could lend a further critical edge to contemporary studies of the modern disciplines.