Philosophy 46 - 3.2 Classical Indian Philosophy

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify key Indian metaphysical concepts.
  • Distinguish between major schools of Indian thought.
  • Compare and contrast Indian philosophical writings with other areas of philosophy.

The philosophical depth and richness of Indian philosophy rivals that of European philosophy, and to do justice to it would require a book-length survey. Still, this introductory discussion is intended to show the richness of various Indian philosophical traditions that are more ancient than the Greek origins of European philosophy. Beginning with the Vedic texts, which date from between the seventh and sixth centuries BCE, Indian philosophical traditions are a few centuries older than the earliest European philosophical traditions.

An important parallel between Greek and Roman philosophy and Indian philosophy lies in their respective conceptions of philosophy. Philosophers from both of these traditions understand philosophy as something more than a theoretical activity. For all of these ancient philosophical traditions, philosophy is a practical endeavor. It is a way of life.

This lesson has no exercises.

The content of this course has been taken from the free Philosophy textbook by Openstax