Learn the History of Indian Philosophy in a 62 Episode Series from The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: The Buddha, Bhagavad-Gita, Non Violence & More

The belief in a sin­gu­lar, coher­ent “West­ern tra­di­tion” in phi­los­o­phy has led to a very insu­lar, Euro­cen­tric view in phi­los­o­phy depart­ments, as Jay L. Garfield and Bryan W. Van Nor­den write in a New York Times op-ed. “No oth­er human­i­ties dis­ci­pline demon­strates this sys­temic neglect of most of the civ­i­liza­tions in its domain,” they argue, “The present sit­u­a­tion is hard to jus­ti­fy moral­ly, polit­i­cal­ly, epis­tem­i­cal­ly or as good edu­ca­tion­al and research train­ing prac­tice.” In his fol­low-up book Tak­ing Back Phi­los­o­phy Van Nor­den argues that edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions should “live up to their cos­mopoli­tan ideals” by expand­ing the canon and teach­ing non-West­ern philo­soph­i­cal tra­di­tions.

One phi­los­o­phy edu­ca­tor, Peter Adam­son, pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy at the LMU in Munich and King’s Col­lege Lon­don, has tak­en up the chal­lenge of teach­ing glob­al philo­soph­i­cal tra­di­tions through his pop­u­lar pod­cast The His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy With­out Any Gaps, with series on the Islam­ic World, Africana, and India. With expert co-authors and guests, Adamson’s pod­casts help us nav­i­gate cul­tur­al and his­tor­i­cal dif­fer­ences with­out water­ing down the sub­stance of diverse bod­ies of thought.

These sur­veys of non-West­ern tra­di­tions aim to be as exhaus­tive as the pod­cast’s cov­er­age of Clas­si­cal, Lat­er Antiq­ui­ty, and Medieval peri­ods in Europe. We’ve fea­tured Adamson’s pod­casts on Islam­ic and Indi­an phi­los­o­phy in an ear­li­er post. Now we revis­it his series on Indi­an phi­los­o­phy, which has grown sub­stan­tial­ly in the inter­val, from thir­ty-two to six­ty-two episodes, divid­ed into three categories—“Origins,” “Age of the Sutra,” and “Bud­dhists and Jains.”

Indi­an Philosophy—Origins

Indi­an Philosophy—Age of the Sutra

Indi­an Philosophy—Buddhists and Jains

Very broad­ly, much Indi­an phi­los­o­phy can be under­stood as a cen­turies-long con­flict between the six ortho­dox Vedic schools (asti­ka) and the het­ero­dox (nas­ti­ka) schools, includ­ing Bud­dhism, Jain­ism, and Car­va­ka, a mate­ri­al­ist phi­los­o­phy that denied all meta­phys­i­cal doc­trines. While some strains among these schools of thought can be asso­ci­at­ed with indi­vid­ual names, like Kana­da, Patañ­jali, or Nagar­ju­na, much ancient Indi­an phi­los­o­phy “is rep­re­sent­ed by a mass of texts,” as Luke Muehlhauser writes in his short guide, “for which the authors and dates of com­po­si­tion are most­ly unknown.”

Adamson’s free pod­cast sur­vey of Indi­an phi­los­o­phy makes for enter­tain­ing, infor­ma­tive lis­ten­ing. You can down­load every episode in .zip form at the links above. Or find links to the indi­vid­ual episodes right below. To keep up with trends in the study of Indi­an phi­los­o­phy in Eng­lish, be sure to fol­low the Indi­an Phi­los­o­phy Blog. And for an excel­lent list of “Read­ings on the Less Com­mon­ly Taught Philoso­phies (LCTP),” see this post by Bryan Van Nor­den here.


Relat­ed Con­tent:

Learn Islam­ic & Indi­an Phi­los­o­phy with 107 Episodes of the His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy With­out Any Gaps Pod­cast

The His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy, from 600 B.C.E. to 1935, Visu­al­ized in Two Mas­sive, 44-Foot High Dia­grams

The Philo­soph­i­cal Appre­ci­a­tion of Rocks in Chi­na & Japan: A Short Intro­duc­tion to an Ancient Tra­di­tion

Free Online Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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