Conceptual Constellations

Exploring Hindu Philosophy - Ankur Barua

Ankur Barua [+-]
University of Cambridge
Ankur Barua is University Senior Lecturer in Hindu Studies in the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. He holds a PhD in theology and religious studies from the University of Cambridge. His published books include The Brahmo Samaj and its Vaiṣṇava Milieus: Intersections of Hindu Knowledge and Love in Nineteenth Century Bengal (2021) and The Vedāntic Relationality of Rabindranath Tagore: Harmonizing the One and its Many (2018).


An inquiry into Hindu philosophy is also an inquiry into what “philosophy” means. Often Hindu worldviews are dismissed as multiple varieties of irrational mysticism, on the assumption that systematic forms of reasoning are absent in them. In truth, these worldviews are shaped by complex interplays of reason, revelation, experience, and tradition. Hindu philosophers defended their distinctive standpoints partly by generating fine-tuned definitions of concepts such as perception, causation, and reality. These definitional exercises are often shaped by forms of analogical reasoning that are based on everyday objects. Some of the central traditions of Hindu philosophy are Sāṃkhya, Yoga, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Mīmāṃsā, and Vedānta. They should be viewed not as fixed “schools” but as clusters of ideas and practices. Their defenders extensively debated topics related to what truly exists (“ontology”), the means of knowing what there is in the world (“epistemology”), and the pathway towards human flourishing in a world suffused with suffering.

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Barua, Ankur. Conceptual Constellations. Exploring Hindu Philosophy. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jan 2023. ISBN 9781800502703. Date accessed: 05 Dec 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42874. Jan 2023

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