Authored by: Brian Black

History of Indian Philosophy

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415309769
eBook ISBN: 9781315666792
Adobe ISBN:


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The Upani?ads are often considered the beginning of Indian philosophy. Despite containing some of the first detailed discussions about philosophical topics such as the self and the nature of existence, there has been considerable disagreement about whether the Upani?ads themselves constitute philosophy and about their status within the later philosophical tradition in India. This chapter looks at some of the texts’ main ideas, as well as some of their most significant influences on subsequent developments in Indian philosophy, while also briefly considering the question of whether the Upani?ads themselves are philosophy, or merely the pre-philosophical basis for later traditions.

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