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World Philosophies: India


Admission requirements

  • This course is mandatory for first-year BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives.

  • This course is available as an elective for BA students SSEAS and Religiewetenschappen.

  • A limited number of places is available for students from other departments.


The course is an introduction to several of the most influential philosophical schools and thinkers in premodern India. The course will begin with a brief introduction to the Vedas and Upaniṣads, before turning to early and Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. The final part of the course focuses on several Brahmanical schools of philosophy: Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṃkhya and Advaita Vedānta. Specific topics to be discussed will include epistemic justification and the means of right knowledge (pramāṇas), the existence (or nonexistence) of a self (ātman), metaphysics, and the relation between philosophy and liberation.

Course objectives

This course aims to introduce students to the Indian Philosophical tradition.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • basic philosophical positions and philosophical vocabulary of several of the most influential schools of Indian Philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • present this knowledge in written form (written exams);

  • formulate critical responses to these philosophical ideas and positions.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Midterm written examination with short open questions and essay questions (50%)

  • Final written examination with short open questions and essay questions (50%)


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the two subtests (see above).


The resit consists of one examination for all parts at once, consisting of a written examination covering the entire course content. The mark for the resit replaces all previously earned marks for subtests.

Inspection and feedback

Exam review upon request of the student organized within 30 days after publication of the exam results.

Reading list

  • Gethin, Rupert. 1998. The Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford University Press. (Required).

  • Other texts will be announced on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.