About this topic
Summary Indian Philosophy encompasses the systems of thought and reflection that developed on the Indian subcontinent. They include philosophical systems generally classified as orthodox (astika, from the Sanskrit asti "there is") such as Nyāya ("Rule" or "Method"), Vaiśeṣika ("Particular"), Saṃkhya ("Enumeration" or "Number"), Yoga ("Union"), Mīmāṃsā ("Reflection" or "Critical Investigation") and Vedanta ("conclusion of the Veda"). They are classified as orthodox because they rely on the authority of the Vedas (an ancient collection of hymns of religio-philosophical nature). In contrast, the heterodox (nāstika) systems of thought reject the authority of the Vedas and the superiority of Brahmins in matters of philosophical reflection. Besides Buddhism, the other heterodox schools include the Jainas ("Followers of Conquerors", from the Sanskrit verb ji "to conquer"), the ascetic Ājīvikas, and the Cārvākas materialists. Given the diversity of views, theories, and doctrines espoused by philosophers on the Indian subcontinent, there is no unifying thread or single characteristic that would be common to all. Although all the orthodox systems profess some allegiance to the Vedas, they range widely in their interpretations of Vedic statements and pursue their speculative ventures unhindered by tradition (the acceptance of the Vedas is often just a convenient device for a philosopher to gain acceptance in orthodox circles). Among the key concepts of Indian Philosophy are those of karma ("action," which addresses the moral efficiency of human actions), atman ("self," which stands for the sense of an absolute or transcendental spirit or self) and its countervailing notion of anatman ("not-self") in Buddhism, mokṣa ("liberation," conceived as the highest ideal of moral and spiritual cultivation), and the similarly formed ideal of nirvāṇa ("cessation") in Buddhism. A great deal of philosophical speculation in India is concerned with establishing reliable sources of knowing (pramāṇas) such that metaphysical concerns about the nature of reality are seldom pursued in isolation from logical and epistemological concerns about the nature of knowledge and its sources. Indian philosophy is comparable in the range and scope of its metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical concerns with Western philosophy, although philosophers in India have also pursued problems that their Western counterparts never did. Examples include such matters as the source (utpatti) and apprehension (jñapti) of reliable cognitions (prāmāṇya). Likewise, there are problems central to Western philosophy (e.g., whether knowledge arises from experience or from reason) that philosophers in India did not pursue, and important distinctions (such as that between analytic and synthetic judgments) they did not make.  
Key works Refer to the subcategories
Introductions The vast and broad scope of Indian philosophy defies an easy introduction. However, a broad surveys of key concepts, figures, and areas of Indian philosophy can be found in Potter 1970.
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  1. The Forgotten Consort: The Goddess and Kāmadeva in the Early Worship of Tripurasundarī.Anna A. Golovkova - 2020 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (1):87-106.
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  2. Rāmakṛṣṇa and Religious Pluralism Revisited.Amiya P. Sen - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  3. Dasakathāvatthu: An Alternative Path of Practice Leading to Liberation.Ven Sajal Barua - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy.
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  4. The Paraconsistent Brahman? Saguṇatva, Nirguṇatva, and the Principle of Non-Contradiction.Michael S. Allen - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  5. On Śālikanātha’s Critique of Īśvara and the Notions of God.Alfred X. Ye - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy.
    The arguments against the existence of Īśvara that are advanced by Śālikanātha’s Prakaraṇapañcikā are quite peculiar and cryptic, due to both the idiosyncratic nature and opaque style of Śālikanātha’s writing. This has contributed to the difficulty in identifying the actual nature of the views that Śālikanātha opposes. This article analyses the framework by which Śālikanātha interrogates the concept of Īśvara and discusses the possible sources of his arguments. It shows, contrary to the conclusions of past scholarship, that considerations of both (...)
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  6. Continuing the Philosophical Conversation on Śrī Rāmakṛṣṇa: A Response.Swami Medhananda - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  7. Nothing but Gold: Complexities in terms of Non-difference and Identity. Part 2. Contrasting Equivalence, Equality, Identity, and Non-difference.Alberto Anrò - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-34.
    The present paper is a continuation of a previous one by the same title, the content of which faced the issue concerning the relations of coreference and qualification in compliance with the Navya-Nyāya theoretical framework, although prompted by the Advaita-Vedānta enquiry regarding non-difference. In a complementary manner, by means of a formal analysis of equivalence, equality, and identity, this section closes the loop by assessing the extent to which non-difference, the main issue here, cannot be reduced to any of the (...)
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  8. The Revival of Tantrism: Tibetan Buddhism and Modern China.Martino Dibeltulo Concu - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    This dissertation considers how Tantrism, a ritual tradition vanished in India and in China, but preserved in modern Japan and Tibet, became a component of the revival of Chinese Buddhism between the two World Wars. Tantrism became appealing to revivalists who, in China’s time of internal war and foreign invasion, sought to recover this lost tradition, writing about its rituals, initiations, and teachings in a nostalgic mode. In Republican China (1912-1949), Tantrism would generate an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, which would (...)
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  9. Correction To: Gaṅgeśa on Epistemic Luck.Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-2.
    In the original publication of the article, on page 20, the section heading should be “Gaṅgeśa on Testimony and Epistemic Luck” instead of “Testimony and Epistemic Luck”.
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  10. Rāmakṛṣṇa’s Tantric Background.C. J. Bartley - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  11. Beyond the Implicit Materialism of Mere Description.Jeffery D. Long - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  12. Rāmakṛṣṇa: Saint, Mystic—Philosopher?Julius Lipner - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  13. Pluralisms and the Issue of the Third.Perry Schmidt-Leukel - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  14. Perennialism Naturalized: Three Friendly Objections.Ethan Mills - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  15. A Critique of Some Aspects of Karma, Evil, and God.Arvind Sharma - forthcoming - International Journal of Hindu Studies.
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  16. The Identity That Doesn’T Deny Difference: A Non-Dualist Argument.Nirmalya Guha - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-33.
    Brahmānanda Sarasvatī has written an elaborate comment on the following inference cited in Advaitasiddhi: attribute etc. are identical to and different from attributee etc. since they are co-referential. There he wants to prove that every significant case of attribution is a case of identity that coexists with a difference between two demarcators. The identity that coexists with difference is called ‘equality’. This paper will argue that in each case of equality, the realist ontology chooses either identity over difference or the (...)
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  17. Killing Gently by Means of the Śyena: The Navya-Nyāya Analysis of Vedic and Secular Injunctions (Vidhi) and Prohibitions (Niṣedha) From the Perspective of Dynamic Deontic Logic.Eberhard Guhe - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-29.
    In the present paper we model the Navya-Nyāya analysis of Vedic and secular injunctions and prohibitions by means of Giordani’s and Canavotto’s system ADL of dynamic deontic logic. Navya-Naiyāyikas analyze the meaning of injunctions and prohibitions by reducing them to plain indicative statements about certain properties whose presence or absence in the enjoined or prohibited action serves as a criterion for the truth or falsity of the “inducing” or “restraining knowledge”, a kind of qualificative cognition instilled in the recipient of (...)
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  18. Expansion, Compilation, Abbreviation: Some Thoughts on the Construction of Buddhist Texts.Richard Salomon - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-21.
    Studies of the form and textual history of various Buddhist texts show that they tend to undergo three types of developmental processes. First, some texts, especially verse compilations, are expanded by the insertion of pattern variants, sometimes at great length. Second, shorter texts such as sūtras are prone to be absorbed into larger compilations and thus lose their status as independent texts. Third, voluminous texts sometimes come to be represented in manuscripts in abbreviated forms, for example containing only the first (...)
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  19. What To Do with the Past?: Sanskrit Literary Criticism in Postcolonial Space.V. S. Sreenath - 2021 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 49 (1):129-144.
    Throughout its history of almost a millennium and a half, Sanskrit kāvyaśāstra was resolutely obsessed with the task of unravelling the ontology kāvya. Literary theoreticians in Sanskrit, irrespective of their spatio-temporal locations, unanimously agreed upon the fact that kāvya was a special mode of expression characterized by the presence of certain unique linguistic elements. Nonetheless, this did not imply that kāvyaśāstra was an intellectual tradition unmarked by disagreements. The real point of contention among the practitioners of Sanskrit literary theory was (...)
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  20. The Song of Vāsudeva: Some Remarks on a Recently Rediscovered Manuscript of Vāsudēvappāṭṭu, a Devotional Work Ascribed to Pūntānam.G. Sudev Krishna Sharman & Maciej Karasinski-Sroka - 2021 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 49 (1):105-128.
    The main aim of this paper is to discuss a recently discovered manuscript of Vāsudēvappāṭṭu and to comment on the characteristic features of the text: its devotional content, language and philosophy. Vāsudēvappāṭṭu is a bhakti song written in the Tamil-Maṇipravāḷa language and attributed to Pūntānam, one of the prominent devotional poets of Kerala, who is often praised as a talented and prolific writer and an ardent devotee of Kṛṣṇa. The first section of the paper investigates the linguistic features of the (...)
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  21. How a Philosopher Reads Kālidāsa: Vedāntadeśika’s Art of Devotion.Shiv Subramaniam - 2021 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 49 (1):45-80.
    Vedāntadeśika is one of many Sanskrit intellectuals who wrote prolifically in both poetic and philosophical genres. This essay considers how his poetry is related to his philosophical concerns. Scholars have understood the relationship between his poetry and philosophy in a number of ways, some arguing that his poetry permitted a freer exploration of his philosophical ideas, others wishing to discuss his poems independently of his philosophy. My paper will propose a distinct way of understanding this relationship by focusing specifically on (...)
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  22. The Householder as Support and Source of the Āśramas in the Mānava Dharmaśāstra.Christopher G. Framarin - 2021 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 49 (1):1-22.
    Medhātithi reduces Manu’s descriptions of the householder as support and source of the āśramas to his performance of the five great sacrifices. Patrick Olivelle characterizes Medhātithi’s interpretation as “radical,” but a strong preliminary case might be made in its favor. Nonetheless, there are a number of reasons to resist Medhātithi’s interpretation. The more plausible interpretation of these passages is also the most straightforward. The householder is the support of the other three āśramas because he is economically productive. He is the (...)
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  23. Nothing But Gold. Complexities in Terms of Non-Difference and Identity.Alberto Anrò - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-26.
    Beginning from some passages by Vācaspati Miśra and Bhāskararāya Makhin discussing the relationship between a crown and the gold of which it is made, this paper investigates the complex underlying connections among difference, non-difference, coreferentiality, and qualification qua relations. Methodologically, philological care is paired with formal logical analysis on the basis of ‘Navya-Nyāya Formal Language’ premises and an axiomatic set theory-based approach. This study is intended as the first step of a broader investigation dedicated to analysing causation and transformation in (...)
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  24. Impermanence of Things - A Gurbani Perspective.Devinder Pal Singh - 2012 - Understanding Sikhism - The Research Journal 14 (1-2):67-69.
    Everything is subject to change and alteration in the world. There is nothing that is fixed and permanent. Existence is a flux and a continuous becoming. In Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS), the holy Sikh scripture, the concept of impermanence of things is enunciated to make us aware of the ephemeral nature of life and the material world. It articulates that the awareness and understanding of the impermanent nature of things lead to liberation from the sorrows of human life.
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  25. The Role of Prāṇa in Sāṃkhya Discipline for Freedom.Ana Laura Funes Maderey - 2021 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 49 (1):81-103.
    Classical Sāṃkhya has usually been interpreted as an intellectualist school. Its presumed method for the attainment of liberation is essentially characterized by rational inquiry into reality, which involves the intellectual understanding of the distinction between two principles: the conscious and the material. Some have argued that this liberating process is not only theoretical, but that it entails yogic practice, or that it is the natural outcome of existential forces that tend toward freedom. However, recent studies in Sāṃkhya involving detailed analysis (...)
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  26. Rāmānuja’s Nityagrantham (“Manual of Daily Worship”): A Translation.Francis X. Clooney - 2020 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (3):345-380.
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  27. Global Hindu Communities: Constructing a World Religion in the South Asian Diaspora.Michael Baltutis - 2020 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (3):381-394.
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  28. Four New Works on the Mahābhārata.Christopher Key Chapple - 2020 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (3):403-406.
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  29. Interpretation of Baladeva and Yamunā at Harivaṃśa 83.Simon Brodbeck - 2021 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (3):313-343.
    In Harivaṃśa chapter 83, Kṛṣṇa’s brother Baladeva changes the course of the river Yamunā, using his plough. This article reviews previous interpretations of Baladeva’s deed by André Couture and Lavanya Vemsani and develops in detail an interpretation briefly proposed by A. Whitney Sanford, whereby the deed is viewed, among many superimposed views, as at some level a sexual assault. This angle is explored in the article in various ways, with close reference to the Sanskrit text. The article includes discussion of (...)
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  30. The Three Modes of the Buddha’s Dharma.Giuseppe Ferraro - 2021 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 49 (1):23-44.
    With regards the crucial issue of the existence of the self, within canonical texts of the Buddhist Abhidharma schools we find passages that are frequently at odds with one another. Sometimes the Buddha defends or respects the belief in the self and in personal continuity; at other times he seems to deny that beyond the psycho-physical factors to which our existential experience can be reduced there is an ātman that contains, owns or controls these same factors; in further cases still, (...)
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  31. Kāma, Preman, and Bhakti in Śrīdhara’s Commentary on Kṛṣṇa and the Gopīs in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa.Tracy Coleman - 2020 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (3):283-312.
    Although the Bhāgavata Purāṇa presents an innovative soteriology of emotion that explicitly identifies kāma as the gopīs’ path to union with Kṛṣṇa, a close reading of his commentary on the rāsalīlā reveals how Śrīdhara introduces preman into the narrative, sharply distinguishing kāma and preman. Śrīdhara also states that Bhāgavata 10.29–33 portrays Kṛṣṇa’s “victory over kāma” and that devotees who hear and recite the rāsalīlā likewise attain victory over kāma as the reward for their Kṛṣṇa-bhakti. This article shows that such claims (...)
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  32. One Goddess, Two Goddesses, Three Goddesses More: Recent Studies of Hindu Feminine Divinities. [REVIEW]Frank J. Korom - 2020 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (3):395-402.
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  33. किम् तत् ब्रह्म (KIM TAT BRAHMA - WHAT IS GOD)?Shankar Santhamoorthy - forthcoming - Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India:
    This research is roughly around 3000+ pages (split across 8 volumes) is honestly speaking, a humble yet sincere attempt on an unbiased holistic inter-disciplinary research involving traditional schools of philosophies (oriental and occidental) and modern science in unravelling the mysteries of nature and discovering the परब्रह्म (parabrahma – supreme divinity) which is the अनेकविमा शुद्धकेवलाद्वैत एकत्व (anekavimā śuddhakevalādvaita ekatva –infinite dimensional pure absolute non-dualstic singularity) that underlies the infinite varieties observed not only in the phenomenal world, but is also the (...)
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  34. Four Mīmāṃsā Views Concerning the Self’s Perception of Itself.Alex Watson - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):889-914.
    The article concerns a mediaeval Indian debate over whether, and if so how, we can know that a self exists, understood here as a subject of cognition that outlives individual cognitions, being their common substrate. A passage that has not yet been translated from Sanskrit into a European language, from Jayanta Bhaṭṭa’s Nyāyamañjarī, ‘Blossoms of Reasoning’, is examined. This rich passage reveals something not yet noted in secondary literature, namely that Mīmāṃsakas advanced four different models of what happens when the (...)
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  35. Light as an Analogy for Cognition in the Vijñānavāda.King Chung Lo - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):1005-1018.
    Light is the most important analogy for the Vijñānavādin in proving self-awareness, namely the cognition that cognizes itself. Recent studies show that two opponents of the doctrine of self-awareness, Kumārila and Bhaṭṭa Jayanta alleged that the Vijñānavādin has also used light as an analogy for the view that cognition must be perceived before the object is perceived. However, this is a modification of the actual view of the Vijñānavāda that cognition must be perceived in order for it to perceive its (...)
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  36. Sarvāstivāda Buddhist Theories of Temporality and the Pātañjala Yoga Theory of Transformation.Philipp A. Maas - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):963-1003.
    This article discusses a peculiar Sā$$\dot {\text{n}}$$ n ˙ khya-Yoga theory of transformation that the author of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra created by drawing upon Sarvāstivāda Buddhist theories of temporality. In developing his theory, Patañjali adaptively reused the wording in which the Sarvāstivāda theories were formulated, the specific objections against these theories, and their refutations to win the philosophical debate about temporality against Sarvāstivāda Buddhism. Patañjali’s approach towards the Sarvāstivāda Buddhist theories was possible, even though his system of Yoga is based on (...)
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  37. Gerald James Larson (2018): Classical Yoga Philosophy and the Legacy of Sāṃkhya: With Sanskrit Text and English Translation of Pātañjala Yogasūtras, Vyāsabhāṣya and Tattvavaiśāradī of Vācaspatimiśra: Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 2018, 1040 Pp., ISBN: 9-788-12084-201-4.T. S. Rukmani - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):1023-1028.
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  38. Wada, T. (2020) Navya-Nyāya Philosophy of Language, New Delhi: D.K. Printworld. ISBN: 978-81-246-1013-8.Alfred Xuanyu Ye - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):1019-1021.
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  39. Correcting the Text of the Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha.Johannes Bronkhorst - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):945-961.
    Attempts have been made to correct the text of the Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha on the basis of the texts that its author used—and sometimes refers to by name—while composing his work. This procedure is promising in texts like the Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha, which makes abundant use of other works, and might in principle give results that are independent of, and prior to, the detailed study of its manuscripts. A closer investigation shows that this procedure is not without risks, and may occasionally give rise to (...)
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  40. An Anachronistic Analogy: Rereading the Dàshèng Qǐxìn Lùn in the Light of Ratnākaraśānti’s Prajñāpāramitopadeśa.Hong Luo - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):845-888.
    This paper is a comparative study of two texts separated by a considerable temporal-spatial gap. The methodological approach is, as we would like to define it, a-philological. Five central concepts drawn from the Dàshèng qǐxìn lùn, traditionally associated with Aśvaghoṣa, Paramārtha, and Śikṣānanda, shall be examined against the related ideas found in Ratnākaraśānti’s Prajñāpāramitopadeśa. Our observations are the following: 1) The two dimensions of the single mind advocated in the QXL are doctrinally identical to the two forms of the dependent (...)
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  41. Is the Pramāṇavārttika a Madhyamaka Treatise?Tsering Nurboo - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):827-844.
    This paper deals with the problem of the Pramāṇavārttika’s tenet affiliation and the related question of its final philosophical view within the framework of Buddhist philosophical schools. There are contrasting views and positions on this issue in Tibetan interpretations of the text. Some claim that the Pramāṇavārttika is a text advocating the other-emptiness doctrine, while other scholars argue that it is a Sautrāntika–Vijñānavāda or Vijñānavāda treatise. By contrast, Padma dkar po holds view that it is a Svātantrika-Madhyamaka text, while believing (...)
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  42. Mīmāṃsāsūtra 6.5.54 on bādha in Maṇḍanamiśra’s Brahmasiddhi.Akane Saito - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):915-944.
    This paper will show how the philosopher Maṇḍanamiśra discusses in his Brahmasiddhi the cancellation of a former element by a latter, which is prescribed in Mīmāṃsāsūtra 6.5.54. We do not have yet a clear idea of what the value of this text holds for him. I would emphasize that probably more than we had expected, it forms an essential part of Maṇḍana’s philosophy. Its authority is sometimes stated explicitly and sometimes not; and we easily overlook the fact that his argument (...)
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  43. Equanimity in Relationship: Responding to Moral Ugliness.Emily McRae - 2017 - In A Mirror is For Reflection: Contemporary Perspectives of Buddhist Ethics. New York, NY, USA:
    In the Buddhist ethical traditions, equanimity along with love, compassion, and sympathetic joy form what are called the four boundless qualities, which are affective states one cultivates for moral and spiritual development. But there is a sense in which equanimity seems very unlike the three others: love, compassion, and sympathetic joy all imply an emotional investment in others, whereas equanimity seems to imply an absence of such investment. This observation has provoked debate as to how to properly understand the relationship (...)
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  44. White Delusion and Avidyā: A Buddhist Approach to Understanding and Deconstructing White Ignorance.Emily McRae - 2019 - In Buddhism and Whiteness: Critical Reflections.
    In Buddhist contexts, avidyā refers not only to a lack of knowledge but also (and primarily) to an active misapprehension of reality, a warped projection onto reality that reinforces our own dysfunction and vice. Ignorance is rarely innocent; it is not an isolated phenomenon of just-not-happening-to-know-something. It is maintained and reinforced through personal and social habits, including practices of personal and collective false projection, strategic ignoring, and convenient “forgetting.” This view of avidyā has striking similarities to philosophical analyses of white (...)
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  45. Introduction.Oren Hanner - 2020 - In Buddhism and Scepticism: Historical, Philosophical, and Comparative Perspectives. Freiburg/Bochum: pp. 15-20.
  46. The Evident and the Non-Evident: Buddhism Through the Lens of Pyrrhonism.Adrian Kuzminski - 2020 - In Oren Hanner (ed.), Buddhism and Scepticism: Historical, Philosophical, and Comparative Perspectives. Freiburg/Bochum: pp. 109-19.
  47. Yavanayāna: Buddhist Soteriology in the Aristocles Passage.Georgios Halkias - 2020 - In Oren Hanner (ed.), Buddhism and Scepticism: Historical, Philosophical, and Comparative Perspectives. Freiburg/Bochum: pp. 83-108.
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  48. Some Sceptical Doubts About “Buddhist Scepticism”.Mark Siderits - 2020 - In Oren Hanner (ed.), Buddhism and Scepticism: Historical, Philosophical, and Comparative Perspectives. Freiburg/Bochum: pp. 21-35.
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  49. Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla on the Jain Theory of Self.James Duerlinger, Siddarth Singh & Landon D. C. Elkind - 2015 - Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies 16:63-89.
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  50. The Impact of Navya-Nyāya on Mādhva Vedānta: Vyāsatīrtha and the Problem of Empty Terms.Michael Thomas Williams - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-28.
    In this article, I explore the encounter of the Mādhva philosopher Vyāsatīrtha with the works of the Navya-Naiyāyika Gaṅgeśa Upādhyāya. The article is based on original translations of passages from Vyāsatīrtha’s Nyāyāmr̥ta and Tarkatāṇḍava. Philosophically, the article focuses on the issue of empty-terms/nonexistent entities, particularly in the context of the theory of inference. I begin by outlining the origin of the Mādhva and Nyāya positions about these issues in their respective analyses of perceptual illusion. I then contrast the role of (...)
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