Name of Notes : – Contemporary Indian Philosophy Lecture Note
Within philosophical departments in Europe and North America, the study of contemporary Indian philosophies remains marginal, due to the well-known persisting Euro-American centric conception of philosophy. This leads its main exponents to consider ‘philosophy’ synonymous with the tradition originating in Greece and developed mostly in Western Europe and more recently in the Anglophone world.
Within (Euro-American-Israeli) Indology or South Asian Studies, Anglophone Indian Philosophy is also largely left aside, partly because it lacks antiquity and partly also because it escapes the raison d’être of the philological study of South Asia, since it does not require a philological analysis focusing on a South Asian language. In (North American) Religious Studies, contemporary Indian philosophy appears less appealing than its Sanskrit counterpart, because the ritual or religious part is less pronounced in it. Thus, contemporary Indian philosophy remains a sort of an orphan.
It is too Anglophone and ‘modern’ to be interesting for scholars of the Sanskrit and indigenous South Asia, but remains too ‘alien’ and non-mainstream for Anglophone philosophers outside India. In this connection, it is worth mentioning that just presenting contemporary Indian philosophy as not too alien has proven to be not enough of a solution. In fact, whenever this is attempted, especially within Analytic philosophy, the reactions move from ‘too alien’ to ‘not exotic enough, we have all this.’ In this sense, contemporary Indian philosophy remains ‘alien,’ either for the prejudice of its radical difference or for the disappointment of its alleged familiarity, which becomes a further argument for its exclusion.
Even more surprising, Indian academics themselves reproduce these (simplifying) distinctions, and neglect their own contemporary contributions, which are considered either as not ‘proper’ (namely, ‘Western’) philosophical developments or as not ‘classical enough’ (namely not ‘Sanskrit’) to belong to ‘Indian philosophy.’ Considering this persisting disregard of contemporary Indian philosophy, and the difficulties to make it a proper fit for the academic compartments, even in a global world, we (a scholar of Sanskrit philosophy and a scholar of contemporary Anglophone Indian philosophy, both mostly trained in Europe) felt the urgency and necessity to interrogate the definition, the challenges, and the reasons for neglecting contemporary Indian philosophy/ies.
Modules / Lectures
- Module1 : Contemporary Indian Philosophy
- Module 2 : Swami Vivekananda
- Module 3 : Mahatma Gandhi
- Module 4 : Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950)
- Module 5 : S. Radhakrishnan
- Module 6 : Jiddu Krishnamurti