The core work of the Philosophy department is developing the theory and practice of an entirely new discipline called ‘Evolutionary Mentology’ (EM). Evolutionary Mentology is a philosophical cum scientific inquiry into the origins, evolution, and functioning of both the human mind and the process of Nature as a whole, their future evolutionary direction and the relationship between them.
The purpose of this comprehensive inquiry is simply to enable a contemporary individual to reduce the contradictions and conflicts that he/she is facing today and increase his/her pleasures and happiness. How? Through discovering some new tools of understanding and doing, which he/she can use to intelligently restructure and upgrade his/her own mental processes and capabilities—emotional, intellectual, sensitivity and habit processes—and to make a new culture, politics, economics, in short, a new society.
Continuous work is being carried out on developing, chiseling, verifying and organizing the growing body of thought in all these areas, in the light of available knowledge from disciplines such as psychology, biology, quantum/particle physics, brain sciences, consciousness studies, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, genetics, evolution, astrophysics and sociology. Combined with a detailed analysis of perceptions and knowledge acquired from the works in philosophy, history, politics, sociology and religious history.
Raza’s journey of rejecting ugliness and pursuing human happiness, which got him involved with society, politics and the questions of his time, began in 1942, at the age of 12, when he became a part of the Indian Congress movement. After 1945 he moved away from the Congress movement and got involved with the Muslim League movement working for an independent Pakistan. In 1948, after disillusionment with the Pakistan movement he became a whole-time member of the Pakistan Communist Party. During the period he was engaged with Marxism he also became the General Secretary of Pakistan Trade Union Federation and the President of the Democratic Students Federation.
After doing his LLB in 1953 he began his law practice and from 1959 onwards became Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan. By 1965 he began to have serious doubts about the validity of the Marxist ideology but he persevered with it till 1970. In between, in 1962, he also designed the world’s first shrimp factory ship which was made by a team of Norwegian naval architects and engineers. After 1970 he began his quest of discovering a post-Marxist theory of social change, yet another attempt to address the issue of human happiness, in the light of the explosive progress in science and technology and developments in Brain Sciences, Astrophysics & Particle Physics.
In 1995, he set up ‘Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts’ (SIPA), as a laboratory for developing and testing this emerging theory, which he calls ‘Evolutionary Mentology’, and has been funding it from his Law practice ever since. In the same year he also started a parallel organization called Sanjan Nagar Public Education Trust (SNPET) which runs a free school for girls in a working class area of Lahore. Evolutionary Mentology is a product of Raza’s thirty seven year long quest to discover, understand and operationalise the process of change and evolution within an individual’s mind and consequently in society. His work in Music and photography is an off shoot of the work in Mentology. The ideas and concepts generated, chiseled and developed in Mentology are being concretely applied in Music and photography. In 2001, he entered into a ten year private public partnership with NCA for establishing and running a four year Musicology Degree program. This institutional affiliation provided him with an opportunity to set new standards for the theory and practice of music. To address the issues of musicality and effective communication in music, Raza also got involved with the phenomenon of sound reproduction and started philosophizing and developing new concepts and testing them experimentally for designing and constructing, what he calls ‘Bhulley’ High-End Audio Amplifiers and Speakers.
The designing and making of ‘Sagar Veena’, the first non-fretted stringed instrument for Indian Classical music with a completely original design and structure is another achievement of Raza. Since 1976 he has also been doing Audio recordings of various Pakistani and Indian artists and has also developed some important techniques of recording.
Whether it was Marxism in the past or his existing works in Mentology, Musicology, recording of music, designing of High End Audio Amplifiers and Speakers, the Sagar Veena or the making of symbolic Photographs, they have all been a means or tools for Raza to concretize his emotional and intellectual commitment towards changing life.
Iram Tauqir has been working as research assistant in the Philosophy department since 1995. She joined the Institute after doing MA in Economics from Punjab University in 1994. Currently she is doing research and writing in the area of the functioning and evolution of the macro process of Nature and its logic and the evolution of the human mind as an integral part of it.
Sadia Tariq has been working as Research Associate in the Philosophy department of Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, since 1997. She did her MA in Economics from University of Punjab, Lahore in 1994 and MSc. in Social Policy and Planning in developing countries from London School of Economics in 1996. She has been transcribing, editing and writing the core philosophical work of the department, which is a new body of interdisciplinary inquiry and knowledge called ‘Evolutionary Mentology’. She has written book chapters, papers and articles based on this work. In 2015, she also participated in an International Conference ‘Toward a Science of Consciousness’ (TSC) in Helsinki, Finland. In 2019, she authored a detailed research study on gender parity in Pakistan in which she tried to apply the philosophical insights from her work on 'Evolutionary Mentology' to this area in the Social Sciences. This study titled “A human-centered approach to understanding and assessing gender parity in Pakistan” was published in the Pakistan State of Future Index publication “The Future of Possibilities”. She started a new freelance writing project in 2020, on the future of Human Mind-Intellect and Artificial Intelligence, which is to be consolidated as a paper for submitting to an International Scopus Journal. This research study is supported by Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Center for Futuristic Studies, Saudia Arabia and the World Futures Studies Federation.