Indian Philosophy! And the book and collage.

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I just posted an announcement on the podcast feed. Here is the text in case you missed it:


I have some exciting announcements concerning the podcast. Actually, these are probably the two most exciting things that have happened in the history of the History of Philosophy podcast. One is that you can now buy the first of a series of books entitled A History of Philosophy Without any Gaps, which will I hope be appearing at regular intervals – once per year, with any luck. The first one is called Classical Philosophy, and is based on episodes 1 through 51 – so it covers Presocratic philosophy, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It is mostly a revised version of the scripted episodes on those topics, but I did write two new chapters for it, one on Plato’s Sophist and one on women in ancient philosophy. Also the chapters have added references to primary texts, to help you follow up on what I’m saying in the original sources, and extensive suggestions for secondary reading. It’s available from Oxford University Press – one easy way to get it is to go to the podcast website,, and click on the link at the top of the page. It is great for any gift-giving occasion and will look rather handsome next to your bed, on a coffee table, or propping up that window that would otherwise keep falling shut.

So that’s my suggestion in case you need to get anyone a present. My second announcement, by contrast, concerns the future. Listeners have often asked me whether I will ever do Indian and Chinese philosophy – after all, I do claim to be doing the history of philosophy “without any gaps.” I’d now like to reveal that the answer is yes. I will be doing a spin-off podcast on the history of classical Indian philosophy, with the help of one of the world’s leading scholars of the topic, Jonardon Ganeri. He and I are now working on the scripts for a series of episodes that will launch in late 2014 or early 2015, if all goes to plan. I’ll put up another announcement when that series begins. Since many listeners have said I shouldn’t take a long break from covering the European tradition, my plan is to keep going with developments in medieval and Renaissance philosophy in parallel to the episodes on the Indian tradition – and there will be two separate podcast feeds to keep the stories from getting jumbled together. I will hopefully tackle the Chinese tradition too at some point, though at the moment I only have concrete plans for India.

Finally, let me remind you about the History Podcasters collage project, which has now produced collaborative podcasts on three topics. For the most recent collage, on the topic of “Terrible Rulers,” I contributed a clip on Machiavelli and the question of whether he really advised rulers to be terrible, as his reputation would suggest. The next collage, which may already be up depending on when you listen to this, will be devoted to the theme of “Great Women in History,” and in that installment I’ll be discussing the pioneering feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft. I’m enjoying contributing to these collage episodes since they give me a chance to look at topics that are still far in the future for my main podcast. I’ve also enjoyed listening to the other contributors, and I hope you will too – it’s a good chance to discover other podcasts you might be interested in following. You can find it at, under “our podcast.”

Danko on 13 June 2014

That's great! I'm actually

That's great! I'm actually looking forward more to the Chinese philosophy, though I've read about some Indian philosophy as well.

Jeremy Pierce on 15 June 2014

It looks like the book isn't

It looks like the book isn't released yet in the United States. Amazon says Sept 1.

Chike Jeffers on 14 July 2014

Kudos on the coming Indian

Kudos on the coming Indian Philosophy podcast!!! And I think the resolution to the timeline issue is a very good one, especially on the assumption that the title of the new podcast is something like "History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: Indian Philosophy" (as opposed to, say, "History of Indian Philosophy Without Any Gaps," which would create a troubling contrast between a podcast about philosophy unmodified by any adjective and a podcast about not-just-philosophy).

I am also very happy to hear that you will be working closely with Jonardon Ganeri on this venture (the record - i.e., the initial discussion of this idea in the comments section - will show that I recommended as much!).

In reply to by Chike Jeffers

Peter Adamson on 15 July 2014

Right, that's the idea:

Right, that's the idea: "HoPWaG: Indian Philosophy" would be the name of the second feed. And it would be parallel to the other big sections, i.e. another dropdown menu like "Islamic World" here on this website and a book in the same series. That's the plan anyway!

Incidentally I smiled when I saw you recommend the idea of working with Jonardon since I was already getting the plan together with him, but I didn't want to say anything since we were not yet sure we would go ahead!

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Chike Jeffers on 15 July 2014

Oh wow, really? The comment I

Oh wow, really? The comment I was talking about was the long comment I wrote back in April 2013 (, when I felt as if I was valiantly working to get you to consider the idea... you did a good job of hiding how much you knew and how seriously you were already taking the idea! Well, kudos once again.

In reply to by Chike Jeffers

Peter Adamson on 17 July 2014

Actually I think I was

Actually I think I was probably at that point at the stage of thinking of asking Jonardon, rather than of having actually asked him. So you may have helped convince me it was a good idea!

Sameer Siddhanti on 18 August 2014

Dear Peter, You do not

Dear Peter,

You do not realize how much burden you have reduced from my shoulders by changing your mind. Being an ardent listener to your podcasts without any gaps, how I wished to listen to Indian philosophy in this series. I was in fact thinking of making a series of podcasts on Indian philosophy sometime in 2015 myself. But how I wished, that it was rather Peter instead of Me. Thanks and may be force be with you.


In reply to by Sameer Siddhanti

Peter Adamson on 19 August 2014

Great, glad you are excited

Great, glad you are excited about this! I hope it lives up to your expectations.

Dan on 25 August 2014

Count me as excited too! Have

Count me as excited too! Have you read "The Shape of Ancient Thought" by McEvilley? He compares Indian and Greek schools of philosophy. Very interesting stuff (though he does make some questionable historical claims), might be worth taking a peek at while planning the podcast. Also: Please do an episode on the Arthashastra!

Also, I STRONGLY encourage you to do a Chinese philosophy podcast (or rather, Sinitic, as Chinese philosophy was/is important in Korea and Japan, for example). Burton Watson has some great translations, and A.C. Graham, Bryan Van Norden, and Philip Ivanhoe do as well. "Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy" edited by the latter two was the assigned text in my Early Chinese History class and I recommend it. :)

In reply to by Dan

Peter Adamson on 26 August 2014

Great, thanks very much for

Great, thanks very much for the tips. I would like to do Chinese philosophy at some point, for sure - but let me tackle Indian first!

Matthew Dasti on 2 October 2014

This is very welcome news!

This is very welcome news! Thank you.

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