- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: OUP UK; Edition edition (9 July 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192853740
- ISBN-13: 978-0192853745
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.5 x 10.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Indian Philosophy (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 9 Jul 2001
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Indian Philosophy by Sue Hamilton, the perfect gift for anyone who wishes to sort out their karma and nirvana (The Independent Weekend Review 02/06/01)
About the Author
Sue Hamilton was a member of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College, London. Her publications include Early Buddhism: A New Approach (2000), and she is co-editor (with Peter Connolly) of Indian Insights: Buddhism, Brahmanism and Bhakti (1997).
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This text actually does what the title (and this entire series) claims to do: provide a readable short introduction. A good place to start.
In the nineteenth century, specific schools of thought were presented to the West as 'Hinduism' or 'Indian philosophy', and these views - polytheistic and monistic - are very often still regarded as representative. This is rather like presenting Lutheranism as 'European religion' and Existentialism as 'European philosophy'. Another excellent book in this series - Hinduism, by Kim Knott - corrects the first misapprehension, and this present book corrects the second.
Philosophy and religion have combined in Indian thought in a way that differs from the Western tradition - at least, since Kant and the Enlightenment. Thus, a work like this invites us to approach philosophical enquiry in a new way, or at least to recognize an alternative approach.
Like all the authors in this series, Hamilton has the problem of encapsulating a vast subject into a small space. In Chapter 1, the author describes the selections she has made and why she has made them - in particular, why she chose to exclude Jainism. The book concentrates on the classical period beginning in the 5th century BC (interestingly, a history of Western philosophy would likely begin in the same era, with the same backward glance at the religious and mythical traditions from which it evolved). The 6 classical darsanas are mentioned, and enough authors and texts are referenced to give you plenty of scope for further study, if you wished.