THE2223 - Introduction To Indian Philosophy (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism)

2022/3 Module description

StaffDr Ionut Moise - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

Indian Philosophy is – like Hellenistic and Arabic philosophy – largely preserved in aphorisms and commentaries. This module introduces you to Indian Philosophy, particularly to its ‘ontology’, and ‘epistemology’. What are the main systems, theories and their philosophers in the classical and early medieval Indian traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) and their modern interpretation? To such questions this optional module - aimed at level 2 students – will respond.

You will gain an understanding not only of the history and concerns of Indian philosophical tradition, but also of its relation to religious movements in India and beyond (Britain and Continental Europe). More broadly, you will be introduced to issues of conceptual translation and cross-cultural interpretation and understanding and learn to assess critically texts and concepts embedded in different cultural and linguistic traditions.

Module aims

The module’s main objectives:

  • to enable you to acquire general knowledge and critical understanding of the main philosophies and ideologies discussed.
  • to help you to distinguish between primary and secondary sources
  • to describe for you what original views Indian philosophers add to the themes discussed
  • to help you to come up with your own interpretation on one theme or theory discussed

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Show general knowledge and critical understanding of the various philosophical systems discussed.
  • 2. Understand at least 10 Sanskrit technical philosophical terms based on primary and secondary sources
  • 3. Translate Indian concepts into your own English language and frame of mind, showing awareness of the difficulties of doing so

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate the ability to analyse the philosophies, the general themes, and the specific philosophical topics from different angles, including theologically
  • 5. Undertake self-guided reading, showing the ability to select appropriate philosophical material in a focused and critical way
  • 6. Present a coherent argument on the basis of critical reading of both primary and secondary philosophical sources
  • 7. Undertake reading research on a specified philosophy with limited guidance, showing that you can evaluate, organize, and present complex material philosophically and theologically

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Write academically with clarity, method, consistency of referencing and original argument
  • 9. Work collaboratively on a project

Syllabus plan

Each Seminar will be based on a selection of 2 texts (one primary source, one secondary source) from several philosophical traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism). Topics covered may include the following:

  • What is Indian Philosophy?
  • Sources of Indian Philosophy (Vedas and Upaniá¹£ads) 
  • Philosophical Movements (AjÄ«vikas, CÄ?rvÄ?kas, Buddhists, Jains, Brahmans)
  • Philosophy of Mind (Buddhism)
  • Pluralism (Jainism, VaiÅ?eá¹£ika)
  • Dualism (SÄ?á¹?khya)
  • Monism (VedÄ?nta)
  • Theories of Language (MÄ«mÄ?á¹?sÄ?))
  • Aesthetics (rasa theory)
  • Modern Indian Philosophy
  • Liberation (Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina) 

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 2211 x 2-hour lectures or equivalent
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 1111 x 1-hour seminars or equivalent
Guided Independent Study30Preparation for group work presentation
Guided Independent Study237Reading and preparation for seminars and essays

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Quizzes (ELE)Two quizzes of 10 questions each1-3In-quiz feedback and class discussion
Group presentation15-minute group presentation with lecturer1-9Oral feedback from tutor; reflection on self-reflexive feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1402500 words1-8Written feedback and tutorial
Essay 2402500 words1-8Written feedback
Group presentation105 minutes or equivalent per student1-9Written and oral feedback
Participation10Continuous assessment based on threshold tasks1-5, 9Written and oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 1Essay1-8Referral/deferral period
Essay 2Essay1-8Referral/deferral period
Group presentationScript (and slides where relevant) as for individual presentation – 500 words 1-9Referral/deferral period
ParticipationAssessment of engagement with threshold tasks as appropriate1-5,9Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e., a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Seminar readings, subject to change and simplification


  • Ganeri, J., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press (2014-).

What is Indian Philosophy (definition, themes, subjects, comparisons)

  • Chatterjee, S. & Datta, D. In An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Rupa (1960), pp. 1-52.

Sources of Indian Philosophy (Upaniá¹£ads)

  • Radhakrishnan, S. and Moore, C. (eds.) A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1957), pp. 64-96

Early Philosophical Movements

  • Radhakrishnan, S. and Moore, C. (eds.) A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1957), pp. 227-349.

Philosophy of Mind (Buddhism)

  • Chatterjee, S. & Datta, D. In An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Rupa (1960), pp. 139-52.

Pluralism (Jainism)

  • Chatterjee, S. & Datta, D. In An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Rupa (1960), pp. 87-95.

Dualism (SÄ?á¹?khya)

  • Burley, M. “SÄ?á¹?khya”, in Routledge History of Indian Philosophy, ed. P. Bilimoria and A. Rayner, Abingdon: Routledge (2018), pp. 131-140.

Monism (Advaita VedÄ?nta)

  • Osborne, A., ed. The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi In His Own Words. Newburyport, MA: Red Wheel (1996).

Theories of Language

  • Raja, K. Indian Theories of Meaning, 2nd edition, Madras: Adyar. (1969), pp. 95-136.

Aesthetics (rasa theory)

  • Buchta, D. and Schweig, G. “Rasa Theory”, in Encyclopedia of Hinduism, ed. K. Jacobsen, H. Basu, A. Malinar, V. Narayanan, Leiden: Brill (2018), pp. 623-29.

Modern Indian Philosophy

  • Krishna, D. Indian Philosophy: A Counter-Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1991), chapter 1.

Liberation (Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina)

  • Potter, K. Presuppositions of India’s Philosophies. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass (1999), pp. 36-46.


Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Indian philosophy, Vedas, Upaniá¹£ads, Å?ramaá¹?a movement, anekÄ?ntavÄ?da, rasa theory, sphoá¹­a theory, Advaita VedÄ?nta, moká¹£a,

Important please note

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the module descriptors for the Online Module Selection process, please be aware that on rare occasions it may be necessary to remove proposed modules for reasons beyond our control. In addition, there are still some new modules going through the accreditation process. These will be offered in due course by the relevant discipline.

All modules displayed below have been approved by the approval process but may require further minor amendments before the commencement of teaching.

We are committed to providing an outstanding education and high quality teaching. You can find out details of your modules and any potential changes on these pages. If you are a returning student, joining after the first year or a postgraduate student details of your module changes will be provided in August. 

Foreign Language Centre modules

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.