Plans for Indian philosophy

Posted on ..

Ok folks, I now have some concrete plans to announce for Indian philosophy. As already mentioned, I will be tackling this tradition with the help of Jonardon Ganeri, author of several books in this area. He is writing the scripts with me but the plan is that I'll still do the recording and thus be the "voice" for these episodes. The series on Indian philosophy will, we hope, launch on SEPTEMBER 20 2015, following my usual month-long summer break. When I first consulted the audience about this via social media, many people encouraged me simply to continue on with European philosophy, while others really wanted me to tackle the Indian tradition. To make sure neither group is disappointed, these episodes on India will appear in ALTERNATING WEEKS with the continuing series on medieval (i.e. Sept 20 will see the first Indian episode, Sept 27 an episode on medieval European thought, October 4 the second Indian episode, October 11 a medieval episode, etc.). Hopefully this will be neither confusing nor annoying, but I think it is better than having the story of European philosophy grind to a halt, or deferring the Indian project for the foreseeable future.

If you access the podcast on a website you'll simply find them under a different drop-down menu. But (and this is the main thing to take away from the current announcement) if you follow it via an RSS feed you will need to SUBSCRIBE TO A NEW RSS FEED, since I think it would just be very confusing to mix the two stories in one feed. For the same reason the Indian episodes will have their own numbering (i.e. they will start with episode 01). Obviously this is not intended to suggest that Indian philosophy is somehow only a "spin off" or less a part of the history of philosophy, it's purely a way of keeping the episodes in a non-confusing order.

I will of course announce here and on a special announcement "episode" on the main feed when the second feed for Indian philosophy is ready, provide links, etc.

Two final points: the hope would be for these episodes on Indian philosophy to appear as a co-authored volume in the same series of books based on the podcast, with Oxford University Press. And, if this co-authoring idea goes well I might try to tackle Chinese philosophy and perhaps other areas of "world philosophy" in the future (and those episodes could be added to the new second feed). But you'll probably understand if for now, carrying on with medieval philosophy and starting a new series on Indian philosophy seems like enough to worry about.

Just comment here if you have any suggestions or questions! And as always, thanks for listening.

mehmet on 30 June 2015

As for indian philosophy

As for indian philosophy podcasts:

I had tried to learn indian philosophy by myself a few years before. I found most difficult to understand the tantric traditions. Actually, many books on the topic declare that "all indian traditions can be classified into vedic and tantric", without clearly defining the meaning of these terms. Some of them go on to to give long definitions of the term "tantric" without defining the term "vedic", assuming that the reader is already familiar with the term "vedic".  So, it would be great if these two terms are clearly defined in relation to each other..

Also, I assume that india is "foreign" to most listeners. So, it will be great if a little bit of background information will be provided at each episode, summarizing the political situation and main cultural events corresponding to that episode.

I failed to learn the indian philosophy from books. Let's see if I will succeed learning it from the podcast. :-)

Deep thanks for all of your very much appreciated efforts.

In reply to by mehmet

Peter Adamson on 2 July 2015

Hi - thanks for the

Hi - thanks for the encouragement! We will indeed try to contextualize the material as much as we can, in fact that is probably what I will be adding to the more expert philosophical analysis which is what Jonardon will bring to the project. Plus I'll add some jokes.

In reply to by mehmet

mehmet on 18 July 2015

A clarification: In my post

A clarification: In my post above I have mentioned that the scholars like goudriaan divide indic traditions into vedic and tantric branches.  I suspect that the term vedic here means much more than the vedas. Probably the term includes all the traditions that are evolved out of the vedas. The problem for me is: Tantras had also been influenced very much by the Vedas. So, what is meant by that division is very obscure to me. Where is the boundary?

If the podcast holds some light into this very ill-defined area I will be thankful.

In reply to by mehmet

Peter Adamson on 19 July 2015

Thanks for the clarification.

Thanks for the clarification. From my reading so far I believe that the "vedic" material includes not just the vedas but also the upanishads and other commentary literature; tantric material comes along considerably later. So to some extent the division is a chronological one. But anyway rest assured this should all be explained clearly as we go along (I am only just starting to learn about it myself!).

Chike on 13 July 2015

I somehow missed this

I somehow missed this announcement. Very happy to see it now. Hugely exciting! I can't wait for September!

On the topic of non-European, non-Asian traditions: I would be very happy to chat with you some time about the prospects, possibilities, challenges, etc., involved in charting the history of Africana philosophy. 

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.