LAHORE -  The Government College University Lahore Philosophy Department and Brett Philosophical Society yesterday organised a panel discussion on “Self-Actualisation and Authenticity” in connection with the World Philosophy Day.

Prof Dr Mirza Ather Baig, eminent philosopher and writer of famous novel Ghulam Bagh (The Garden of Slaves), chaired the panel discussion which was also addressed by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah and philosopher poet Dr Alwin Vincent Murad.

Speakers at the panel discussion said that the ideals of self-actualisation and authenticity could not be achieved without hard-work and struggle.

GCU Philosophy Department Chairperson Dr Sobia Tahir said self-actualisation and authenticity had remained the long standing ideals and goals of human life, and man had been perusing these since immemorial times using numerous means i.e. religion, spirituality, philosophy, art or literature.

However, Dr Sobia believed that these ideals were not only unachievable without hard-work and struggle but also empty and insignificant. “Self-actualisation and authenticity may not be sought in utter meaninglessness or vacuum; some value must be assigned to them which one may strive with conviction, dedication and pleasure,” she added.

The Philosophy Department Chairperson stressed that self-actualisation and authenticity should never be separated from praxis.

In his key note address, Prof Dr Mirza Ather Baig conceptually grounded the topic in multiple perspectives and opened up various dimensions for the development of the discussion. He pointed out how the movement towards and away from the “Self” has impacted various vistas of thought in the western philosophy from René Descartes (1596-1650) to post modernism. He also shared with the participants his experiences as fiction writer, and paradoxes of the identity of the ‘Self’ in his novels.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah agreed with the philosophers that without hard-work, dedication, determination and perseverance, the Being is never authentic no matter how intellectual and scholarly he/she is.

Dr Alwin Murad told the participants about the different theories of self-actualisation and authenticity, and significance of the World Philosophy Day. The GCU faculty members, Sadaf Munir, Zaigham Ali, Abdul Mannan and Sobia Jamil, also participated in the panel discussion which was attended by a large number of students from various departments.