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"), Purva Mīmāṃsā (or 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 physicalist Cārvākas. Given the diversity of views, theories, and systems espoused by Indian philosophers, there is no unifying thread or single characteristic that would be common to all. Although all the orthodox systems of thought 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 the Indian philosophical vocabulary are such notions 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 negation in Buddhism in the doctrine of anatta ("not-self"), and 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 Indian thought is concerned with establishing reliable modes of knowing (pramāṇas), such that metaphysical concerns about the nature of reality are seldom pursued apart 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 theories with Western philosophy, though Indian philosophers 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). Bu there are also problems central to Western philosophy like the question of whether knowledge arises from experience or from reason, and such distinctions as that between analytic and synthetic judgments that Indian philosophers did not pursue.  
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. Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita: The First Known Close and Critical Reading of the Brahmanical Sanskrit Epics.Alf Hiltebeitel - 2006 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 34 (3):229-286.
  2. Making It Nice: Kāvya in the Second Century.Andrew Ollett - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-19.
    Around the second century of our era, kāvya steps out from the shadows. What was kāvya at this early moment? What ties together the kāvya produced within the Kuṣāṇa empire in North India, in Sanskrit, with that produced within the Sātavāhana empire of the South, in Prakrit? What ties the Buddhist kāvya of Mātṛceṭa, Aśvaghoṣa, and Kumāralāta to the Jain kāvya of Pālitta and the secular kāvya found in the Seven Centuries? One answer involves the idea of ornamentation : the (...)
  3. What is Svabhāva-Vikalpa and with Which Consciousness is It Associated?Ching Keng - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-21.
  4. The Brahmins at the Turn of the Common Era: Rethinking Chronology, Motivations, and External Influences.Nathan McGovern - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):517-521.
  5. Introduction to Special Issue: Making a Hindu Saint.Dean Accardi - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):379-384.
  6. Orientalism and the Invention of Kashmiri Religion.Dean Accardi - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):411-430.
  7. Spiritual Heroes, Miracle Tales, and Rāmsnehī Foundations: Constructing Hagiographies of a Rajasthani Sant.Daniel Gold - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):497-515.
  8. From Neither/Nor to Both/And: Reconfiguring the Life and Legacy of Shirdi Sai Baba in Hagiography.Jonathan Loar - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):475-496.
  9. Vernacularizing Jñāndev: Hagiography and the Process of Vernacularization.Christian Lee Novetzke - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):385-409.
  10. Agradās and Rām Rasik Bhakti Community: The Politics of Remembrance and the Authority of the Hindu Saint.Patton Burchett - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):431-449.
  11. The Other Trinity: Saurashtra Histories of Carnatic Music.Archana Venkatesan - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (3):451-474.
  12. Aśvaghoṣa and His Canonical Sources : The Night of Awakening.Vincent Eltschinger - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-39.
    The present paper is the third in a series dedicated to uncovering the canonical sources of Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita and, to the extent possible, the monk-poet’s sectarian affiliation. Whereas parts I and II focused on Chapter 16’s indebtedness to sarvāstivāda Vinaya and/or Sūtra literature, this third part inquires into the sources of Aśvaghoṣa’s account of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Chapter 14. Detailed analysis reveals this chapter’s intimate relationship with T. 189, a sarvāstivāda biographical sūtra extant in Chinese translation only, but also (...)
  13. Prapatti-Yoga a Study in the Viśiṣṭādvaita Theology of the Sādhnas.Cassian R. Agera - 1979-1982 - Visva-Bharati Journal of Philosophy 16:1-11.
    I intend to discuss in this paper the yoga of self-surrender (prapatti), considered as the sādhana par excellence by the Viśiṣṭādvaitins. However, such an attempt to be worthwhile should begin with, briefly though, the various sādhanas and their interrelations accepted by the Vedāntins in general and by the Viśiṣṭādvaitins in particular. The paper is primarily expository without ceasing to be analytical. A combination of an exposition and an analysis is not always an easy task, specially when the subject-matter under consideration, (...)
  14. Dimensions of Candrakīrti’s Conventional Reality.Shenghai Li - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-24.
    Although Candrakīrti has been a focus in the recent scholarly attention on conventional reality in Buddhist philosophy, the complexity of his discussions of the status of phenomenal world on the surface or conventional level has not been adequately explored. In cataloging the wide-ranging interpretations that Candrakīrti has offered, this paper identifies several clusters of connected ideas that are delineated here as dimensions of Candrakīrti’s conventional reality. It will be shown that his thoughts on the subject have divergent orientations, ranging from (...)
  15. Priority Cosmopsychism and the Advaita Vedānta.Luca Gasparri - forthcoming - Philosophy East and West.
    The combination of panpsychism and priority monism leads to priority cosmopsychism, the view that the consciousness of individual sentient creatures is derivative of an underlying cosmic consciousness. It has been suggested that contemporary priority cosmopsychism parallels central ideas in the Advaita Vedānta tradition. The paper offers a critical evaluation of this claim. It argues that the Advaitic account of consciousness cannot be characterized as an instance of priority cosmopsychism, points out the differences between the two views, and suggests an alternative (...)
  16. Demystifying Kashmiri Rasa Ideology: Rāmacandra–Guṇacandra’s Theory of Aesthetics in Their Nāṭyadarpaṇa.Aleksandra Restifo - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-29.
    This paper presents a study of Rāmacandra–Guṇacandra’s theory of aesthetics in light of the Kashmiri rasa ideology and demonstrates that the Jain authors offer a new and original conceptualization of aesthetic experience, in which the spectator remains cognitively active in the course of watching the drama. In their model, the relationship between rasa and pleasure is mediated by a cognitive error, and the feeling of pleasure does not coincide with the savoring of rasa but emerges after the savoring of rasa (...)
  17. Dharmakīrti and His Commentators on the Process of Perceptual Activities.Jeson Woo - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-18.
    In the tradition of Dharmakīrti, perception is, by definition, free from conceptual construction. Insofar as perception is thus, it lacks the nature of determining its object. Without identifying its object, how does perception lead one to a successful action? Perception in isolation would not be pramāṇa unless it is supplemented by perceptual judgement. This paper looks at how Dharamkīrti and his commentators offer solutions to the contradiction between perception’s foundational role and its seeming dependence on conceptual construction. The key point (...)
  18. Khu Lo Tsā Ba’s Treatise: Distinguishing the Svātantrika/*Prāsaṅgika Difference in Early Twelfth Century Tibet.James B. Apple - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (5):935-981.
    The teachings of Madhyamaka have been the basis of Tibetan Buddhist thought and practice since the eighth century. After the twelfth century, Tibetan scholars distinguished two branches of Madhyamaka: Autonomist and Consequentialist. What distinctions in Madhyamaka thought and practice did twelfth century Tibetan scholars make to differentiate these two branches? This article focuses upon a newly identified twelfth century Tibetan manuscript on Madhyamaka from the Collected Works of the Kadampas: Khu lo tsā ba’s Treatise. Khu lo tsā ba, also known (...)
  19. Sa Skya Paṇḍita’s Classification of Arguments by Consequence Based on the Type of the Logical Reason: Editorial Conundrum and Mathematics for Commentators.Pascale Hugon - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (5):845-887.
    This paper examines a passage of the eleventh chapter of the Rigs gter of Sa skya Paṇḍita on the division of arguments by consequence of the form “Because S is P, it follows that it is Q” with respect to the type of relation between P and Q. This passage appears in quite different versions in several available recensions of the Rigs gter, all of which are problematic to some extent. The different interpretations of the commentators can be shown to (...)
  20. An Early Modern Account of the Views of the Miśras.Christopher Minkowski - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (5):889-933.
    In a doxography of views called the Ṣaṭtantrīsāra, a seventeenth century commentator and Advaitin, Nīlakaṇṭha Caturdhara, describes the doctrines of a group he calls the Miśras. Nīlakaṇṭha represents the doctrines of the Miśras as in most ways distinct from those of the canonical positions that usually appear in such doxographies, both āstika and nāstika. And indeed, some of the doctrines he describes resemble those of the Abrahamic faiths, concerning the creator, a permanent afterlife in heaven or hell, and the unique (...)
  21. An Early Indian Interpretive Puzzle: Vedic Etymologies as a Tool for Thinking.Paolo Visigalli - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (5):983-1007.
    Etymologies are often encountered in Vedic prose, in Brāhmaṇas and early Upaniṣads. Though they have received a fair amount of scholarly attention, Vedic etymologies still present a challenge to interpreters. To respond to it, I critically review previous interpretations, and focus on three case studies, Aitareya Brāhmaṇa 1.1.2, Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3, and Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.8. In my interpretation, I emphasize the need for a contextual reading, foreground Vedic etymologies’ complexity and sophistication, and call attention to the variety of purposes they (...)
  22. Advayavajra’s Tattvaratnāvalī : A Newly Revised Critical Edition.Torsten Gerloff - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (5):805-843.
    The following article presents a fully revised critical edition of Advayavajra’s Tattvaratnāvalī, one of the earliest and most influential texts that can be accredited to the genre of Buddhist siddhānta literature. In this text Advayavajra not only reveals his own overall perception of the Indian Buddhist schools of the eleventh century, but also supplies manifold insights into the various tenets of Buddhist philosophy, providing the first key for anyone interested in entering the vast spheres of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies. This newly (...)
  23. Processions, Seductions, Divine Battles: Aśvaghoṣa at the Foundations of Old Javanese Literature.Thomas M. Hunter - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-20.
    The influence of Aśvaghoṣa on the later tradition of kāvya was largely passed over in the South Asian tradition, even though the debt to his influence is clear in processional scenes developed by Kālidāsa and the attempted seduction of Arjuna developed by Bhāravi in his Kirātārjunīyam. We know from the testimony of the Chinese pilgrim Yijing that the Buddhacarita was a revered object of study in the Sumatran capital Śrībhoga near the close of the seventh century CE. It thus perhaps (...)
  24. A Bibliography of Aśvaghoṣa.Vincent Eltschinger & Nobuyoshi Yamabe - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-22.
    Though quite extensive in its coverage, the present bibliography does not claim to be exhaustive. Among the many works traditionally ascribed to Aśvaghoṣa, some, such as the *Mahāyānaśraddhotpādaśāstra or, to a lesser degree, the Kalpanāmaṇḍitikā alias Sūtrālaṅkāra, have lived their own lives in modern scholarship and received virtually as much attention as Aśvaghoṣa himself. An attempt has been made to list all the contributions that have proved decisive in questioning and finally rejecting the poet’s authorship of them. In much the (...)
  25. Gifting Knowledge for Long Life.Anthony Cerulli - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):235-255.
  26. Toward an Anthropology of Exchange in Tamil Nadu.Isabelle Clark-Decès - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):197-215.
  27. Gifts of Love and Friendship: On Changing Marriage Traditions, the Meaning of Gifts, and the Value of Women in the Garhwal Himalayas.Karin Polit - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):285-307.
  28. Money, Money, Money: Gift Exchange and Credit Giving in Coastal Kerala.Miriam Benteler - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):257-283.
  29. Introduction to Special Issue: The Gift in India in Theory and Practice.Anthony Cerulli & Miriam Benteler - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):191-196.
  30. A Time for Dharma, A Time for Bhakti: Buddhist and Brāhmaṇical Discourse in Ancient India.Tracy Coleman - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):343-349.
  31. Gift as Devotion, Lesson as Tuition: Transactions Among Temple and Dance-Drama Drummers in Kerala.Rolf Groesbeck - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):217-233.
  32. The Gift of Respect: Tourist Gift Giving and the Construction of Self-Respect Among Authorized Sightseeing Rickshaw Drivers in Bharatpur, India.Emera Bridger Wilson - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):309-333.
  33. Women, Ritual, Agency, and Recovery.Caleb Simmons - 2018 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 22 (2):335-341.
  34. Bhartṛhari'ssamaya / HELĀrĀJA'SSaṃketa. [REVIEW]J. E. M. Houben - 1992 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 20 (2):219-242.
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  35. Mādhyamikas Playing Bad Hands: The Case of Customary Truth.Tom J. F. Tillemans - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-10.
    This article looks at the Indian canonical sources for Mādhyamika Buddhist refusals to personally endorse truth claims, even about customary matters. These sources, on a natural reading, seem to suggest that customary truth is only widespread error and that the Buddhist should do little more than duplicate, or acquiesce in, what the common man recognizes about it. The combination of those Indian canonical themes probably contributed to frequent Indo-Tibetan Madhyamaka positions on truth, i.e., that the customary is no more than (...)
  36. The Three Natures and the Path to Liberation in Yogācāra-Vijñānavāda Thought.Joy Cecile Brennan - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (4):621-648.
    This paper provides a new interpretation of the three natures theory of Yogācāra-Vijñānavāda thought by means of an examination of the path theory associated with it, which has not been previously examined in scholarly literature. The paper first examines this path theory in a number of foundational texts to show that the widely accepted pivotal model is not in fact the three natures model that predominates in foundational Yogācāra-Vijñānavāda literature. Second, the paper offers a new interpretation of the three natures (...)
  37. Reciting, Chanting, and Singing: The Codification of Vocal Music in Buddhist Canon Law.Cuilan Liu - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (4):713-752.
    This article analyzes the treatment of music in Buddhist monastic life through the rules on music in Buddhist canon law within the six extant traditions, which are preserved in Chinese, Tibetan, Pāli, and fragmentary Sanskrit manuscripts. These texts distinguish and differentiate instrumental and vocal music, presenting song, dance, and instrumental music as a triad and further subdividing vocal music into reciting, chanting, and singing. The performance and consumption of singing is strictly prohibited. Regulations on chanting and recitation are mutually exclusive (...)
  38. Reformulating the Buddhist Free Will Problem: Why There Can Be No Definitive Solution.Katie Javanaud - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (4):773-803.
    In recent years, scholars have become increasingly interested in reconstructing a Buddhist stance on the free will problem. Since then, Buddhism has been variously described as implicitly hard determinist, paleo-compatibilist, neo-compatibilist and libertarian. Some scholars, however, question the legitimacy of Buddhist free will theorizing, arguing that Buddhism does not share sufficiently many presuppositions required to articulate the problem. This paper argues that, though Buddhist and Western versions of the free will problem are not perfectly isomorphic, a problem analogous to that (...)
  39. Mahāsukhavajra’s Padmāvatī Commentary on the Sixth Chapter of the Caṇḍamahāroṣaṇatantra: The Sexual Practices of a Tantric Buddhist Yogī and His Consort.Samuel Grimes & Péter-Dániel Szántó - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (4):649-693.
    A single Sanskrit commentary exists for the Caṇḍamahāroṣaṇatantra—the Padmāvatī of Mahāsukhavajra—the only palm-leaf witness of which is preserved in a late thirteenth-century manuscript in Kathmandu. The tantra is relatively late, unmentioned outside Nepal, and the only in-depth study to date examines only the first eight of its twenty five chapters. No study or edition of the Padmāvatī exists. Here we present the first edition and translation of a complete chapter, the sixth paṭala, a section dealing mainly with transgressive sexual practices. (...)
  40. Observations on the Term Bhavaṅga as Described in the Jié Tuō Dào Lùn : Its Proper English Translation and Understanding.Kyungrae Kim - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (4):753-771.
    The term bhavaṅga is regarded as a unique technical term of Theravāda abhidhamma tradition, and the text Jié tuō dào lùn, i.e. the Chinese translation of *Vimuttimagga, mentions yŏufēnxīn the Chinese counterpart of bhavaṅga eleven times. These occurrences are found in the section of the text on the cognitive process. The text is, however, too abstruse to understand the term easily, and the existing translations of it are imperfect. Subsequently, the term in the Jié tuō dào lùn has been considered (...)
  41. The Isomorphism of Space and Time in Debates Over Momentariness.David Nowakowski - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (4):695-712.
    In the course of his critique of the Buddhist doctrine of universal momentariness, Udayana argues for an isomorphism between our understandings of space and time, which is meant to undercut the Buddhists’ well-known “inference from existence.” The present paper examines these arguments from Udayana’s Ātmatattvaviveka, together with Ratnakīrti’s treatment of them in his Kṣaṇabhaṅgasiddhi Anvayātmikā. As an historical study, the paper aims to elucidate the connections between Udayana and Ratnakīrti, and the implications of those connections for the dependence of the (...)
  42. Aśvaghoṣa’s Viśeṣaka : The Saundarananda and Its Pāli “Equivalents”.Eviatar Shulman - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-22.
    When compared with the Pāli versions of the Nanda tale—the story of the ordainment and liberation of the Buddha’s half-brother—some of the peculiar features of Aśvaghoṣa’s telling in the Saundarananda come to the fore. These include the enticing love games that Nanda plays with his wife Sundarī before he follows Buddha out of the house, and the powerful, troubling scene in which Buddha forces Nanda to ordain. While the Pāli versions are aware of fantastic elements such as the flight to (...)
  43. Gadādharaṭṭācārya's Viṣayatāvāda. [REVIEW]Sibajiban Bhattacharyya - 1986 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 14 (3):217-302.
  44. Some Problems of Perception in Navya-Nyāya.Pradyot Kr Mandal - 1987 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 15 (2):125-148.
  45. Obituary.D. B. Sen Sharma - 1987 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 15 (2):111-114.
  46. Reason, Revelation and Idealism in Śan˙Kara's Vedānta.John Taber - 1981 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 9 (3).
  47. Some Remarks on Indian Theories of Truth.KisorKumar Chakrabarti - 1984 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 12 (4).
  48. Two Tibetan Texts on the “Neither One nor Many” Argument for Śūnyatā.Tom J. F. Tilemans - 1984 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 12 (4).
  49. Vamadhara's Works and His Textual Criticism of the Nyāyasūtras.Prabal Kumar Sen - 1980 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 8 (2):99-133.
  50. Bibliography of Indian Philosophies: First Supplement.KarlH Potter - 1973 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 2 (2).
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