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Indian Philophy, Indian History - 20 credits (RT1223)

Module Tutor: Dr James Hegarty

Summary of course content

A user-friendly introduction to the basic periods and concepts of Indian Philosophy (encompassing Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions) and of Indian history (spanning from the Indus Valley Civilization to post-Independence India).
The course is split into two halves; one half takes up the history of Indian Philosophy, while the other introduces the basic periods of Indian history. Each week a new topic is introduced and discussed. Seminars take up key themes and issues that arise from the content of the weekly lecture.

Credits: 20 

Availability of module: Alternative years


Necessary for


This module aims to give students a firm foundation in the main schools of Indian philosophy and the basic periods of Indian history.

Learning outcomes

  • Outline a broad chronology of the intellectual and political history of South Asia
  • Briefly describe some key movements in Indian Philosophy
  • Recognize and name primary source material relevant to the study of both Indian philosophy and Indian history
  • Select relevant primary and secondary source material for the study of specific issues in the study of Indian philosophy and history
  • Comprehend broad trends in Indian philosophical discourse
  • Comprehend broad trends in Indian social and political history support of an argument
  • Categorize some of the forms and types of Indian philosophical activity 
  • Categorize some of the forms and types of early south Asian political and social organisation

Teaching methods

Lectures and Seminars


2 x 2000 word essay (60%) and an examination (40%)

Suggested book purchases

King, R., Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought, Edinburgh University Press, 1999.
Kulke, H. and Rothermund, D., A History of India, Routledge, 1986.

Suggested preparatory reading

Potter, K., Presuppositions of Indian Philosphies, Prentice-Hall, 1963.
Radhakrishnan, S., and
Warder, A.K., Outline of Indian Philosophy, Motilal Barnarsidass, 1971
Metcalf, B. D., and Metcalf, T. R., A Concise History of Modern India, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Richards, J. F., The Mughal Empire, Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Stein, B., A History of India, Blackwell, 1998.
Thapar, R., The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300, Penguin, 2003.

Primary sources

Moore, C.A., A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Princeton University Press, 1957.