2nd Edition

An Introduction to Indian Philosophy Perspectives on Reality, Knowledge, and Freedom

By Bina Gupta Copyright 2021
    496 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    496 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    An Introduction to Indian Philosophy offers a profound yet accessible survey of the development of India’s philosophical tradition. Beginning with the formation of Brāhmaṇical, Jaina, Materialist, and Buddhist traditions, Bina Gupta guides the reader through the classical schools of Indian thought, culminating in a look at how these traditions inform Indian philosophy and society in modern times. Offering translations from source texts and clear explanations of philosophical terms, this text provides a rigorous overview of Indian philosophical contributions to epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and ethics. This is a must-read for anyone seeking a reliable and illuminating introduction to Indian philosophy.

    Key Updates in the Second Edition 

    • Reorganized into seven parts and fifteen chapters, making it easier for instructors to assign chapters for a semester-long course.
    • Continues to introduce systems historically, but focuses on new key questions and issues within each system.
    • Details new arguments, counter-arguments, objections, and their reformulations in the nine schools of Indian philosophy.
    • Offers expanded discussion of how various schools of Indian philosophy are engaged with each other.
    • Highlights key concepts and adds new grey boxes to explain selected key concepts.
    • Includes a new section that problematizes the Western notion of "philosophy."
    • New Suggested Readings sections are placed at the end of each chapter, which include recommended translations, a bibliography of important works, and pertinent recent scholarship for each school.
    • Adds a new part (Part III) that explains the difficulties involved in translating from Sanskrit into English, discusses fundamental concepts and conceptual distinctions often used to present Indian philosophy to Western students, and reviews important features and maxims that most darśanas follow.
    • Provides new examples of applications to illustrate more obscure concepts and principles.


    Part I: Introduction
    1. Introduction

    Part II: The Foundations
    2. The Beginnings of Indian Philosophy: The Vedas
    3. The Upaniṣads

    Part III: Darśanas: Preliminary Considerations
    4. Darśanas: Preliminary Considerations

    Part IV: Non-Vedic Darśanas
    5. Indian Materialism:The Lokāyata/Cārvāka Darśana and the Śramaṇas
    6. The Jaina Darśana
    7. The Bauddha Darśana

    Part V: The Ancient Darśanas
    8. The Mīmāṃsa Darśana
    9. The Sāṁkhya Darśana
    10. The Yoga Darśana
    11. The Vaiśeṣika Darśana
    12. The Nyāya Darśana

    Part VI: Systems with Global Impact
    13. The Buddhist Schools
    14. The Vedānta Darśana

    Part VII: The Bhagavad Gītā
    15. The Bhagavad Gītā

    Part VIII: Modern Indian Thought
    16. Modern Indian Thought

    Appendix: Translation of Selected Texts
    A: The Foundations
    B: Non-Vedic Darśanas
    C: Ancient Darśanas
    D: Systems with Global Impact


    Bina Gupta is Curators’ Research Professor Emerita at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Affiliated Faculty, South Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania.