I am an assistant professor in philosophy in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi. My primary research interests are in moral, political, and legal philosophy on the one hand, and in Indian constitutional history on the other.

My current work centres around four broad themes:

I. Continuity of law

Legal regimes can survive great changes of the political regimes which support them. For instance, some aspects of the legal edifice of the British Raj have continued well past the end of colonial rule. Should we be troubled by this fact? What can it tell us about the nature of law and its relation to politics?

II. Individual liberty in the Indian tradition

Indian nationalism is sometimes seen as the fountainhead of Indian liberalism, but it was concerned more with questions of political self-rule and social reform than with questions of individual liberty. Where then within the landscape of Indian moral and political thought (and practice) should one look for a defence of the liberty of the individual?


III. The morality of influence

Some ways of getting others to do things are morally problematic. One may not coerce another, though one might drive hard bargains. Persuasion is permissible, but manipulation and brainwashing are not. Fraud vitiates consent, but not all deception involves fraud. How should we understand these notions, and what gives them moral force?

IV. Moral explanation

Moral philosophy should tell us not just which acts are right and wrong, but also help explain the features in virtue of which these properties obtain. What is the nature of the moral 'because'? Must explanations of particular moral facts always refer to underlying moral principles?


I blog at Out of Context.

© 2019 Arudra Burra
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