An Introduction to Indian Philosophy: Perspectives on Reality, Knowledge, and Freedom, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Introduction to Indian Philosophy

Perspectives on Reality, Knowledge, and Freedom, 1st Edition

By Bina Gupta


346 pages

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An Introduction to Indian Philosophy offers a profound yet accessible survey of the development of India’s philosophical tradition. Beginning with the formation of Brahmanical, 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.


'Bina Gupta’s book is superb and a very welcome contribution to literature introducing Indian philosophy to students. The lucidity and thoroughness with which Indian philosophical periods and textual traditions are treated are masterful. Especially helpful to the student will be the Appendices where selections of primary texts have been skillfully chosen and translated. . . . It will become a standard textbook in Indian philosophy.' Douglas Berger, Southern Illinois University, USA

'We need more textbooks like Bina Gupta’s An Introduction to Indian Philosophy, but few people can provide them. Bina Gupta is familiar with the Western philosophical tradition and she also provides her own clearly rendered translations of the classic texts of the Indian tradition. Philosophy majors will especially appreciate her instructive comparisons, like her detailed discussion of the similarities and differences between the five-termed Nyaya 'syllogistic' form of reasoning and the three-termed Aristotelian syllogism.' Lou Reich, California State University, Long Beach, USA

'[Gupta’s] book will no doubt be widely used and will give many students access to a field of study that otherwise would have been closed to them.' – John Taber, University of New Mexico, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

'Gupta’s work is an intricate and penetrating overview of the Indian darshanas… With its incredible detail and crystalline analysis, it is a veritable goldmine for graduate students and established scholars looking to further their knowledge of Indian philosophical systems. Not only is this Introduction to Indian Philosophy an illuminating and absorbing work, it is also a breath of fresh air for the field of philosophy, as well as other disciplines (e.g., religious studies and history). Bina Gupta should be highly commended for accomplishing so much… I would unequivocally recommend this book not only to those of her target audience, but also to anyone interested in the often-ignored philosophies of India.'Adam T. Miller, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA in Religion

Table of Contents

Preface. Abbreviations Part 1 1. Introduction Part 2: The Foundations 2. The Vedas 3. The Upanisads. Appendix I Translations of Selected Texts Part 3: Non-Vedic Systems 4. The Cāvāka Darśana and the Śramanas 5. The Jaina Darśana 6. The Bauddha Darśana. Appendix II Translations of Selected Texts from Non-Vedic Systems Part 4: The Ancient Systems 7. The Mīmāmsā Darśana 8. The Sāmkhya Darśana 9. The Yoga Darśana 10. The Vaiśesika Darśana 11. The Nyāya Darśana. Appendix III Translations of Selected Texts from the Ancient Systems Part 5: Systems with Global Impact 12. The Buddhist Schools 13. The Vedānta Darśana. Appendix IV Translations of Selected Texts from the Buddhist Schools and the Vedānta Darśana Part 6: The Teachings of the Bhagavad Gītā 14. The Bhagavad Gītā Part 7: Modern Indian Thought 15. Modern Indian Thought. Endnotes. Glossary. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Bina Gupta is Curators' Distinguished Research Professor, Professor of Philosophy, and Director of South Asian Studies at the University of Missouri.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical