An Introduction to Indian Philosophy : Perspectives on Reality, Knowledge, and Freedom book cover
2nd Edition

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

ISBN 9780367358990
Published April 26, 2021 by Routledge
496 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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

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