Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought

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Edinburgh University Press, 1999 - Buddhism - 263 pages
2 Reviews
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What is Indian Philosophy? Why has India been excluded from the history of philosophy? Richard King provides an introduction to the main schools of Hindu and Buddhist thought, emphasising the living history of interaction and debate between the various traditions. The book outlines the broad spectrum of Indian philosophical schools and questions prevailing assumptions about the 'mythical' ahistorical and 'theological' nature of Indian thought. Central philosophical questions are addressed: what really exists? How do we know what we know? Can we trust our perceptions of reality? What are we and where do we come from? Early chapters discuss the nature of philosophy in general, examning the shifting usage of the term throughout history. The author argues that a single definition or characterisation of the subject matter is impossible and that histories of philosophy remain tied to an ethnocentric and colonial perspective so long as they ignore the possibility of philosophical thought 'East of the Suez'. This highlights the need for a post-colonial and global approach to philosophy.

Key Features

  • Thematic approach rather than separate chapters on various schools
  • Emphasis on history of interaction/debate between the various trends
  • Introductory and concluding chapters on exclusion of 'India' from history of philosophy

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User Review  - ossicones - LibraryThing

King may be a decent interpreter of Indian philosophy, but I found that his own commentary either belabored fairly obvious, accepted points (e.g., that ideas come about within a cultural context) or ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Richard King is Professor of Asian Philosophy and Comparative Religion at the University of Derby.

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