Indian Philosophy (Hindu and Buddhist Thought) - RSST6240

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


This module will explore classic philosophical debates and texts (in translation) of the main currents of classical Indian philosophical thought, focusing on Hindu and Buddhist thought but with some reference to traditions such as Jainism. The module explores classic Indian approaches to key philosophical themes such as the nature of truth, the relationship of language and reality, cosmology and theories of causality, the nature of perception, karma and rebirth, debates about the self, the relationship of consciousness and the body, the nature of liberation and valid sources of knowledge.


Method of assessment

100% Coursework:

Essay 1 (2,500 words) – 50%
Essay 2 (2,500 words) – 50%

Indicative reading

Indicative reading:

Bartley, C, (2011) An Introduction to Indian Philosophy, London: Continuum
Hamilton, S, (2001) Indian Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford Paperbacks
King, R, (2000) Indian Philosophy. An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
King, R, (1995) Early Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. The Mahayana Context of the Gaudapadiya-karika, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press
Larson, G. and Deutsch, E., (1988) Interpreting Across Boundaries. New Essays in Comparative Philosophy, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press
Sarma, D, (2011) Classical Indian Philosophy. A Reader, New York: Columbia University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:

- Outline and examine key philosophical themes and debates within the various Hindu and Buddhist schools of Indian thought.

- Understand ways in which the various schools mutually influenced and contested each other's philosophical positions.

- Examine key philosophical questions such as the nature of the self, truth, cosmology, ontology and epistemology as they are debated in a classical Indian intellectual context.

- Consider the contribution of Hindu and Buddhist thought to the history of philosophy as a global enterprise.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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