About Malik Ajani


My name is Malik Ajani. I am a student of philosophy, cultures and society. The term 'philosophy' means the love of wisdom. The Greek word 'philia' (φιλία) means love and 'sofia' (σοφία) means knowledge/wisdom. However, one does not have to be Greek to love wisdom or study philosophy. The ancient Greeks inherited this beautiful tradition from ancient Ionia (present day Asia Minor), and Ionia from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Also, philosophy is in no way limited even to this ancient Near-eastern context. If one is interested, on can even find philosophical discourses originating from east of the near-east, e.g. - the ancient Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan) going as far back as 3300BCE. This area is today is known as northern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Here ancient Vedic literature, such as the Upanishads (~700 BCE) offer a fountain of wisdom for contemporary humanity. That said, one of the most influential philosophers of the ancient world was a man named Socrates (469 – 399 BCE). Socrates believed that he was the citizen of Athens, but he also saw himself as the citizen of the cosmos (universe). For him, this meant living a life dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, understanding and contributing to the welfare of oneself, his fellow citizens, humanity, and ultimately the cosmos as a whole. Philosophy in the Socratic sense is a much wider enterprise, including ethics, anthropology, human development, political and social science. Thus for Socrates, Philosophy is a way of life or a journey. This journey begins with a question. Some questions that inspire me are:

  • Who am I?
  • What does it mean to be a human being?
  • What kind of person am I becoming?
  • What kind of world do we wish to live in?
  • What does a just society look like?
  • Is justice essentially about punishment or is it about reform?
  • What social and political institutions/practices empower all human beings to improve the quality of their lives?
  • How do our actions affect future generations?
  • Within the rich diversity of the world, how can we find common ground?