Gandhi and Non-Violence

By William Borman

Subjects: Transpersonal Psychology
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780887063312, 287 pages, September 1986
Hardcover : 9780887063305, 287 pages, October 1986

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"The issues of South Africa and the nuclear bomb and theologies of liberation have for some time spotlighted the question of violence and non-violence. The strength or weakness of Gandhian non-violence often comes up in discussions on the subject. This manuscript analyzes Gandhian non-violence. The analysis is able, thorough and—this is what I most respond to—marked both by rigorous Western-style scrutiny and a familiarity with Gandhi's philosophical and religious roots. He provides a strong theoretical basis for the instinctive reactions of many of Gandhi's non-violence, for the widespread and commonsense belief that in general non-violence is sound and beneficial but that non-violent extremism may not be. His treatment of Gandhian non-violence in the context of Indian philosophy and metaphysics is of high calibre. His approach is both fresh and successful. " — Rajmohan Gandhi

"Borman shows in great detail where Gandhi's thought arises from the Upanisads, The Bhagavad Gita, and a few other ancient documents. He also shows clearly where Gandhi deviates from his sources. As to argument, Borman uses a close-grained approach characteristic of analytic philosophy. Borman claims that Gandhi's principles are extreme and unsupportable, and eventually lead to contradiction. It is not an intellectual biography, and it does not deal with the development of Gandhi's thought. Rather it analyzes the logic of his position, and shows how he came to defend it from new angles in different circumstances. The text is well related to historical events, but does not pretend to history. " — Robert C. Neville

"The manuscript is not, and does not pretend to be, a historical analysis of Mahatma Gandhi's experience. Its notable strength lies in its unique and commendable examination of Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence, and in this particular respect it is the best study of the subject that I have read among the hundreds of books that deal with aspects of Gandhi's contribution to our understanding of non-violence. " — Dennis Dalton

"It is refreshing to read an author who has a basis for understanding Gandhi since so many writers fail to understand or appreciate the spiritual essentials that form the core of Gandhi's life and message. This book rings with clear, accurate, insightful understandings of Gandhi. It explores fully Gandhi's philosophy of action and brings in scriptural sources for concepts that Gandhi practiced in his everyday affairs. I think the Western reader will gain a much needed clarification of Gandhian philosophy, methods, and actions, and especially of the source of his inspiration and intentions. " — Jean B. Mann