LAHORE: The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in collaboration with the Embassy of France in Pakistan organized a philosophical conversation titled ‘Pursuing Humanity: The Affinity in the Ideas of Bergson and Dr. Allama Iqbal and their Relevance in the 21st Century.
According to a press release, the virtual talk was part of France’s annual ‘Night of Ideas’, an international event to celebrate the free flow of ideas and to discuss the major issues of our time. More than 100 countries will participate in the 7th Night of Ideas which will take place throughout the first half of 2022. This year’s theme ‘(Re)building together’ explores the resilience and reconstruction of societies with singular challenges, the solidarities and cooperation between individuals, groups, and states, the mobilization of civil society, and the challenges of building and making our objects. Prof Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Director of the Institute of African Studies, and Professor of French and Philosophy at Columbia University participated as the main speaker. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Basit Koshul, Associate Prof at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences of LUMS. Both scholars highlighted the importance of the ideas of the French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) and Allama Iqbal (1877-1938) to respond to contemporary challenges in the world like the global rise of political populism, the polarisation between and within countries, or the global environmental crisis. Prof Diagne emphasized the influence both thinkers had on each other in creating their philosophical theories, particularly around the concepts of the individual, time, and creative evolution. Driven by the revolutionary developments in scientific thought and the socio-political changes at the beginning of the 20th century, Allama Iqbal and Henri Bergson were both rethinking what it means to be human in a non-human environment.