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Roy's humanist philosophy stresses that the study of history is imperative for a proper understanding of society, deriving his principles from modern science, which is progressive and self-correcting and wears a human face. During World War II, Roy was the only Indian philosopher who saw nationalism as an antiquated cult, and he condemned communism and fascism as twin forms of irrationalism. Roy advocated a cooperative commonwealth with human values as a better alternative to the prevalent thought of the time, particularly in India.
Roy's most famous work, REASON, ROMANTICISM, AND REVOLUTION, published in 1952, named the basic urges of humans--the search for truth and the quest for freedom. Through the former, Roy argued, humans could achieve the latter. In M.N. ROY, Narisetti reproduces two important chapters, "The Way Out" and "New Humanism." Erich Fromm, author of SANE SOCIETY, admired Roy's volume so much that he paid tribute to it in his own book--albeit a year after Roy's death.
Also included in this compilation are two chapters from NEW HUMANISM, "The Failure of Philosophy" and "A New Political Philosophy," which answer the question of whether politics has a rational foundation. Many of Roy's humanist writings were published posthumously by his second wife, Ellen, and are contained in this text.
Roy's famous "Principles of Radical Democracy--Twenty-Two Theses," which concludes this collection, describes a person's place in the universe and in society. He avoids a supernatural element--a problem plaguing countries like India--denying its role in dictating moral behavior.
Although Roy developed his humanist thought in an Indian context, his writings nonetheless have broad appeal and implications. Narisetti furnishes a map to Roy's New Humanism, providing readers with an indispensable guide to a philosophy that has received little attention in the United States.