62. Kit Patrick on Philosophy and Indian History

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The host of the History of India podcast joins us for the final episode on India.



Further Reading


Karl Young on 27 March 2018

Book planned for history of philosophy in India


Just curious re. whether there are any plans on turning the History of Philosophy in India into book form similar to the other series. I’m currently trying to make it through the great content in both series simultaneously (and perhaps damaging my feeble brain in the process !). I know I’m only retaining some minimal fraction of the content and would love to have some good old fashioned brain augmenting ink, similar to the other excellent transcriptions, available to refer to. Gratefully,

— KY

Deep Bhatnagar on 28 July 2018


I am interested in exploring this topic further & i would like to know your perspective. Can you do a podcast explaining the historicity about it ?


I created the above thread make sometime to look into it.

In reply to by Deep Bhatnagar

Peter Adamson on 28 July 2018


Well, we do touch on this in the early episodes of this series. We wrapped up the India series with this episode so I am not expecting to add any more on India for quite a while, though at some point we might return to do later Indian philosophy.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Deep Bhatnagar on 25 August 2018

Yes i know that India series

Yes i know that India series is wrapped up but i just wanted to share the post about Caste since i hope that there would be a whole subject about it using the mention of terms from different religious texts {Hindu, Buddhist & Jains} by various authors & the divergent ideas which were merged to create idea of caste.

Thanks for the fantastic work for creating this treasure of a site.

dukeofethereal on 25 February 2019

Congrats for concluding Ancient India

Congrats Professor for completing Ancient India, do you mind completing the timeline of its section by hyperlinking it with their episodes such as Dignaga, Umāsvati, Buddhaghosa such as what you did with Medieval, Late Antiquity  and Islamic Philosophers?

In reply to by dukeofethereal

Peter Adamson on 25 February 2019


Oh yes, thanks - I have just added links to the ones who I think are discussed at length but let me know if anyone seems to be missing.

Aditya on 8 October 2021


 I guess there were certain inaccuracies in the issues regarding caste abd woman. The caste and gender inequality was a reality in the mauryan and guptan era, but it was certainly not same as that in 18th century, i suppose the explaination comes from the assumption that indian socirty is stagnant for about 2 millenia. I think there were some inaccuracy when it comes to philosophy too but anyway overall the 62 episodes were really great, i guess this is the first time i have ever seen someone creating extensive content on indian philosophy, i hope you also make a series on medivial india. Overall the podcast is worth a million dollar which is given as free to audience.

In reply to by Aditya

Peter Adamson on 8 October 2021

Caste etc

Glad you liked the series in general - I'm surprised by what you say about caste and gender, because I don't think we even touched on these issues and how they developed after the ancient period of Indian history - so, having said nothing about it at all, I don't know how we could have said anything inaccurate. (Or maybe I am forgetting a comment made by a guest in an interview?) Of course there were complex developments after that but we didn't get into these; I mean, just to start, the impact of the coming of Islam to India would have been massive. I also would like to cover the rest of the story of Indian philosophy in a future series!

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Aditya on 8 October 2021


Well overall caste was a just a passing reference where it was used in any episode (i was referring to that when i talked about caste), e.g there was comment made on the education topic in different universities like in nalanda, vikramshila etc. I guess the guest was not sure himself he said buddhist universities would have allowed education to other castes, maybe the hindu universities wouldn't have (not the exact quote), this was my point. Nothing much. And ofcourse the bigger topic was philosophy on the podcast which i really enjoyed 

mehmet on 28 June 2023

Do anybody know what…

Do anybody know what happened to history of india podcast?

The last episode available was dated jan 13, 2021.

Last year, I have seen one more episode published.. I dont remember its topic.. But it was quickly removed, without me getting a chance to listen or download it.. 

One month before, one more episode is published. It was on Rashtrakutas, and I managed to listen half of it.. I was very busy at that time, and I postponed listening the other half to a further date. When I returned back to listen the second half, that episode was also erased.. Or, more correctly, evaporated without a trace...

If anybody can give some info about the current state of the podcast, I will be thankful.. I really like listening to it and I'd be very happy if it resumes. 



In reply to by mehmet

Peter Adamson on 28 June 2023

Kit Patrick's podcast

I have been wondering the same thing. As he says in his own podcast he has a teaching position in India so maybe the podcast just proved too time consuming (if so, I empathize!).

Nedim on 20 March 2024


I just finished the book and it was a really rewarding read. 

That said, unlike, for instance, Islamic or medieval series, where some thought there was too much religion, here I was struck that there wasn't enough. I had some vague thougt that Hindus were politeists, but now I'm not sure. Then I read that some Hindu schools didn't even believe in god (Jamini/Mimamsa)?! Also, what did Buddhists believe? Was Budha a god for them? Is it a religion? At one place you write they also believed in gods, but which ones (Hindu gods, or some other gods, if first how are they not Hindus etc). All in all, I have no idea what is the Indian concept of god or religion, and this strikes me as a clearly philosophical question. I'll have to look into this more - any suggestions?

P.s. any ideas when the paperback of Byzantine philosophy is coming out

In reply to by Nedim

Peter Adamson on 20 March 2024


Yes, that might be to some extent a function of my co-author, since Jonardon has a very philosophical approach, but also in the text we were looking at god and the gods really didn't come up that much, unless you want to think of as the brahman as (a) god. But we did touch on theism at certain points, e.g. in the episode on Tantra. I think if one were to go on into the later period of both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, divinity might come up more. 

I'm not an expert on Indian religion but I would guess that this book might be a good start:


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