ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

A Positivist History of Knowledge

History and Theory of Knowledge Production: An Introductory Outline by Rajan Gurukkal, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp x + 308, `995.

The book under review, History and Theory of Knowledge Production: An Introductory Outline, gives an overview of the history and the theory of knowledge production and briefly discusses the knowledge produced in various cultures or civilisations like Indian, Chinese, Arab, and Greek during the various phases of their historical development. This book also elaborates on the pre-scientific contributions in various fields. Rajan Gurukkal attempts to theorise the history of knowledge production and talks about the limitations of the existing “metho­dology of intellectual history.” He says that even philosophers who discuss the “history of knowledge as historical epistemology” have not contributed to its methodology (p 4).

Gurukkal argues that knowledge is socially produced, and the history of knowledge is closely linked with the various phases of human history—primitive, slave-based, feudal, and capitalist. Since the nature of social relations at a particular phase of history impacts the knowledge produced in that period, the author argues that Karl Marx’s historical/dialectical materialism is the proper theoretical framework for approaching a complex subject like the history of knowledge. Gurukkal argues that European epistemology is unique because European intellectual history treats “knowledge itself as an object of knowledge and develop[s] specialized knowledge about knowledge into a separate branch of philosophy called epistemology” (p 6). He says that though there are epistemological insights in other cultures, like Indian knowledge systems, these cultures have no “specialized branch of knowledge” called epistemology.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 50.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 6.00

(Readers outside India)

Updated On : 29th May, 2023
Back to Top