K. Narayanan

K. Narayanan

Sr. System Programmer/Manager

  • Email
    knraj@cc.iitd.ac.in
  • Web
    http://web.iitd.ac.in/~knraj/
  • Phone
    +91 11 2659 1469

Maneesh Agrawala is the Forest Baskett Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Stanford University. He works on computer graphics, human computer interaction and visualization. His focus is on investigating how cognitive design principles can be used to improve the effectiveness of audio/visual media. The goals of this work are to discover the design principles and then instantiate them in both interactive and automated design tools. He received an Okawa Foundation Research Grant (2006), an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2007), an NSF CAREER Award (2007), a SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award (2008), a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2009), and an Allen Distinguished Investigator Award (2014).

Full CV

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Employment

2012-present: Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Delhi
2012: Visiting Associate Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)
2010-12: Postdoctoral Fellow, Program in Law and Philosophy at UCLA.


Education

2011: PhD (Philosophy), Princeton University
2007: JD, Yale Law School
2000: BA (Mathematics, Computer Science, Philosophy), Brandeis University


Recent publications

  • "Civil Liberties in the Early Constitution: the CrossRoads and Organiser cases," forthcoming in Human Rights in India, edited by Satvinder Juss (Cambridge University Press).
  • "Free Speech in the Early Constitution: A Study of the Constitution (First Amendment) Bill, 1951," in Deliberations on Democracy: The Indian Constituent Assembly Debates, edited by Udit Bhatia (Routledge, 2018).
  • "Freedom of Speech and Constitutional Nostalgia," Seminar 697: Founding Legacy (September 2017)
  • “Another Look at the Revisionist Challenge to Liberty.” Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 14:1 (December 2016)
  • "What is “Colonial” About Colonial Laws?” American University International Law Review 31:2 (2016).

Research

Prof. Arudra Burra's current research attempts to elaborate various aspects of the liberal tradition in moral, political, and legal thought. Some of these elaborations are primarily historical in nature, concerning civil liberties in the Indian constitutional tradition, and the continuity of laws and legal institutions.

Other work, on coercion, deception, and consent, is more philosophical in character. I am also interested in questions in the philosophy of criminal law, on philosophical methodology, and in the philosophy of science.

Please email me for copies of the papers listed below, since not all of them are easily available online. Some of this research has also found its way into more popular writing.


Civil liberties and the Indian constitutional tradition

Civil liberties advocacy in India has sometimes been alleged to have an excessively partisan character: the zeal with which groups protect the civil liberties of their own political comrades, it is claimed, is often not extended to the protection of civil liberties of political or ideological opponents. My research in this area has centered so far on the early 1950s, when ideologically opposed forces such as the communists and the Hindu right-wing made common cause on issues relating to freedom of speech and preventive detention.

In future research, I hope to trace legal invocations of individual liberty in the colonial era, and to understand the historical origins of thinking about civil liberties in the Indian tradition. I am particularly interested in the ways in which thinking about civil liberties diverged from prominent strands of the Indian nationalist movement, both before and after Independence, and so to understand the complex relationship between concerns for individual liberty on the one hand, and for political freedom on the other.

Publications

  • "Civil Liberties in the Early Constitution: the CrossRoads and Organiser cases," forthcoming in Human Rights in India, edited by Satvinder Juss (Cambridge University Press).
  • "Freedom of Speech in the Early Constitution: A Study of the Constitution (First Amendment) Bill, 1951," in Deliberations on Democracy: The Indian Constituent Assembly Debates, edited by Udit Bhatia (Routledge, 2018).
  • "Freedom of Speech and Constitutional Nostalgia," Seminar 697: Founding Legacy (September 2017)

Continuity of law and legal institutions

Laws and institutions such as the bureaucracy are able to survive drastic changes in the political regimes that support them. In the Indian context the existence of "colonial continuities" between British rule and the post-Independence regime has been regarded as both puzzling as well as lamentable, a betrayal of the aims of the anti-colonial movement. I argue that to some extent the existence of such continuities points to something deep about the nature of law and such institutions -- that they are in some respects "neutral" with respect to politics.

Publications

  • "What is “Colonial” About Colonial Laws?” American University International Law Review (2016), 31(2), 137-69.
  • The Indian Civil Service and the nationalist movement: neutrality, politics and continuity, Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 48:4 (November 2010), special issue of essays in honour of David Potter
  • The cobwebs of imperial rule, Seminar 615 (November 2010), special issue on the Constitution of India after 60 years, 1950-2010

Other drafts

  • Arguments from Colonial Continuity: The Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951 (December 2008)
  • The Indian Civil Service and the Raj: 1919-1950 (February 2007)

Coercion, deception, consent

It is a central tenet of liberalism that agreements between consenting parties should be respected absent coercion, deception, and adverse effects on third parties. In my PhD dissertation, Coercion, Deception, Consent: Essays in Moral Explanation, I examined these three concepts and raised some problems in understanding their role in our moral and legal thought. While it seems natural to regard certain actions as wrong 'because' coercive or non-consensual, I argued that they should not be thought of unified moral kinds which explain why particular actions are wrong. I also suggested that there were interesting connections between the explanatory role of these concepts and more abstract questions regarding the structure and interpretation of moral principles more generally.

Publications

  • “Another Look at the Revisionist Challenge to Liberty,” Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 14:1 (December 2016)

Working drafts

  • "Coercion and Moral Explanation" (October 2014)
  • "Deception and the Structure of Moral Principles" (June 2014)
  • "The Significance of Consent" (October 2011)

Other philosophical interests

Philosophy of criminal law: I am interested in several questions in the area -- the nature of attempts, questions about causation and responsibility, issues in the definition of substantive crimes, ethical questions around criminal procedure, empirical issues concerned with punishment, to name a few.

Philosophy of science and social science: I think there are interesting connections between moral philosophy and the philosophy of science, which I'd like to pursue further, for instance to understand the nature of ceteris paribus clauses in moral principles and scientific laws, and to understand the nature of explanation more generally. I'm also very interested in some issues in the philosophy of economics, particularly those having to do with idealization and explanation.

Philosophical methodology: Having been trained in a "Western" intellectual tradition but teaching and working in an Indian context, I find myself often preoccupied by questions of translation. Why do some philosophical questions seem salient in some contexts but not others? Are there conceptual categories which travel well across cultures? What constitutes an intellectual tradition anyway?

Publications

  • The Folk Concepts of Intention and Intentional Action: A Cross-Cultural Study, with Joshua Knobe. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:1-2 (2006), special issue on Folk Conceptions of Mind, Agency and Morality
  • Experimental Philosophy and Folk Concepts: Methodological Considerations, with Joshua Knobe. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:1-2 (2006)

IInd Semester 2017-18

HUL 258: Social and Political Philosophy

An introductory undergraduate class on various topics in social and political philosophy: syllabus. Please sign up for the course piazza site using access code hul258.

HUL 360: Special Topics in Philosophy

A seminar course on criminal justice, with a focus on the philosophy of punishment: syllabus. Please sign up for the course piazza site using access code hul360.


Past courses: IITD

Graduate seminars

HSL 754: The Philosophy of Plato

Syllabus | List of readings
A graduate seminar on some of Plato's key ethical texts (Ist semester 2017-18).

HUL 841: Philosophy of Science

A seminar on contemporary debates in epistemology and the philosophy of science, taught on different topics over the years. See the course page for details.


Undergraduate courses

HUL 360: Special Topics in Philosophy

A seminar course on criminal justice, with a focus on the philosophy of punishment. See here for course content in previous iterations of this course.

HUL 258: Social and Political Philosophy

An introductory undergraduate class on various topics in social and political philosophy, with a focus in recent years on the idea of freedom. See here for course content in previous iterations of this course.

HUL 256: Critical Thinking

Syllabus
Introductory undergraduate class in philosophy, with a focus on the philosophy of artificial intelligence, and the problem of free will (IInd semester 2013-14).

HUL 253: Moral Literacy and Moral Choices

Syllabus
A course on philosophical issues around the freedom of speech, with special reference to India (Ist semester 2013-14).

HUL 281: Minds, Machines, and Language

Syllabus
An introductory undergraduate course covering philosophical issues at the intersection of philosophy of mind and computation (IInd semester 2012-13).


Past courses: UCLA

Exceptions and Explanations in Ethics (and Elsewhere)

Syllabus
A graduate seminar on how to think about exceptions to generalizations in a range of different cases, from ethics to the philosophy of science; with some application to issues in applied ethics (Spring 2012).

LAW M217A/PHILOS 166: Introduction to legal philosophy

Syllabus
An introductory course on legal philosophy for undergraduate students and law students, covering topics such as the freedom of speech, the right to property, and criminal responsibility (Fall 2011).

LAW M524: Philosophical issues in contract law

Syllabus
A seminar on philosophical issues in contract law, with a focus on understanding the nature of the limitations to freedom of contract in a market economy (Spring 2011).