In this last section of the podcasts on ancient Indian thought, we move on to consider the development of Buddhist thought, focusing on Nāgārjuna, the second century founder of Mādhyamaka Buddhism, the great Yogacārā Buddhist thinker Dignāga, and the reaction to his thought in Dharmakīrti. We also cover Jain philosophy, focusing especially on Umāsvāti. Major philosophical themes in this sub-series include epistemology, with the brilliant skeptical methods of Nāgārjuna and the perspectivism of the Jains, as well as critique of Vedic ideas about the self. Our treatment of Indian philosophy (for now at least: we may return to cover later Indian thought in a future series of episodes) will conclude with a look at cultural interchanges between Indian thought and other cultures.
Look out for interviews with Amber Carpenter, Marie-Helene Gorisse, Graham Priest, and Jan Westerhoff, with a surprise appearance by a special guest to round off the whole series.
• L.A. Babb, Understanding Jainism (Edinburgh: 2015).
• P. Balcerowicz, Essays in Jaina Philosophy and Religion (Delhi: 2003).
• P. Balcerowicz, Early Asceticism in India: Ājīvikism and Jainism (London: 2016).
• S.C. Berkwitz, South Asian Buddhism: a Survey (London: 2010).
• A.D. Carpenter, Indian Buddhist Philosophy (Durham: 2014).
• E. Conze, Buddhist Thought in India (Ann Arbor: 1967).
• E. Conze, Buddhism: a Short History (Oxford: 2008).
• P. Dundas, The Jains (London: 2002).
• W. Edelglass and J.L. Garfield (eds), Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings (Oxford: 2009).
• W. Edelglass, P.-J. Harter, and S. McClintock, The Routledge Handbook of Indian Buddhist Philosophy (London: 2022).
• P. Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (Cambridge: 2013).
• A. Hirakawa, A History of Indian Buddhism, trans. P. Groner (Honolulu: 1990).
• P.S. Jaini, The Jaina Path of Purification (New Delhi: 1998).
• J.L. Jaini, Outlines of Jainism (Cambridge: 2013).
• B.K. Matilal, The Central Philosophy of Jainism (Ahmedabad: 1977).
• M. Siderits, Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford: 2016).
• J. Westerhoff, The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford: 2018).
• P. Williams and A. Tribe, Buddhist Thought: a Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition (London: 2000).
Posted on 28 May 2017
An introduction to philosophical developments in Buddhism and Jainism up to the time of Dignāga in the sixth century AD.10 comments
Posted on 11 June 2017
Nāgārjuna founds the Mādhyamaka (“middle way”) Buddhist tradition by “relinquishing all views” and arguing that everything is “empty.”2 comments
Posted on 23 July 2017
A discussion with Jan Westerhoff, an expert on the great Buddhist thinker Nāgārjuna, dealing with the notion of emptiness, the tetralemma, and Nāgārjuna's reception in India and Tibet.4 comments
Posted on 29 October 2017
The great Buddhist thinker Dignāga argues that general concepts and language are mere constructions superimposed on perception.3 comments
Posted on 24 December 2017
Buddhaghosa, a major figure in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, argues against the need for a self to control and coordinate mental activities.2 comments
Posted on 18 February 2018
The impact of ancient Indian thought upon the Muslim scholar al-Bīrūnī and upon European thinkers like Hume, Hegel, and Schopenhauer.4 comments
Posted on 4 March 2018
A whirlwind tour of developments in Indian philosophy after Dignāga and a few words about the contemporary relevance of the tradition.
See the India timeline here on the site for the various names mentioned in this episode.19 comments