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Gandhi's Body, Gandhi's Truth: Nonviolence and the Biomoral Imperative of Public Health

  • Joseph S. Alter

Extract

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of scholarly works which have analyzed and reanalyzed Mohandas Karmachand Gandhi's epic life and work from numerous angles. In spite of this focused attention, or perhaps on account of it, the Mahatma remains something of an enigma: a genius, to be sure, and one inspired by a kind of transcendental moral conviction, but an enigma nevertheless on account of how he conceived of morality as a problem in which Truth and biology were equally implicated. As he put it, “morals are closely linked with health. A perfectly moral person alone can achieve perfect health” (CW 2:50). Following a statement such as this, my purpose in this essay is to work toward an analysis of Gandhi's genius by focusing on that which appears most enigmatic about his program of sociopolitical action: his somatic concerns and what I am calling his faith in the biomoral imperative of public health.

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Gandhi's Body, Gandhi's Truth: Nonviolence and the Biomoral Imperative of Public Health

  • Joseph S. Alter

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