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date: 05 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins with a discussion of the reach of the expression “Indian Philosophy” and its various provisional equivalents in Sanskrit. It describes the relationship between philosophy and religion in India, observing that although philosophical discussion often occurs in the context of religious writing, this does not entail that the philosophy is itself religious. The structure of Indian philosophical texts is described, and difficulties in accurate historical reconstruction are noted. The use of the labels “āstika”/“orthodox” and “nāstika”/”heterodox” is shown to have its origins in Brahmanical attempts to foreground adherence to belief in a Vedic after-world. It is shown that the six so-called “schools” of Brahmanical Indian philosophy emerged in interdependence on one another, and reflect broad styles of doing philosophy. Philosophical divisions within Jainism and Buddhism are briefly documented.

Keywords: darśana, school of Indian philosophy, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṃkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā, Vedānta, Jaina philosophy, Buddhist philosophy

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