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An Orientation in Indian Philosophy - Scheepers

Alfred Scheepers
137 pages
isbn 908021955X
olive press
€ 22,00

An Orientation in Indian Philosophy

Not content with the normal systematic classification of Indian philosophy, this book searches to establish a relation between social forms of organization and religious and philosophic forms of thought. It traces the birth of Indian thinking to a culture clash that occurred when foreign Indo European tribes entered India about 1500 BC, and came into contact with the original Austro-Asiatic and Dravidian inhabitants.

The meeting was not only between people speaking different languages, but also between people adopting different kinds of social and cultural organization. These organizations became intellectually articulated when confronted with organizations of a different type, and this issued in various developments within Indian thought.

In this book three main types of these developments are distinguished. First, that of a mystical sentiment to be traced to the original tribal and rural population of India, not philosophically explicit, but as it were perfuming a part of the Indian thinking climate.

Secondly, that of a philosohical world structure, conceived by the early urban inhabitants and expressed in the Indian religions of salvation such as Jainism and Buddhism, and last that of the idea of an eternal world order, which was endorsed by the feudal rulers of India.

In the course of the ages more and more forms of syncretism developed between these three forms of thought, issuing in the anarchic religious and philosophic growths of medieval Hinduism.


Alfred Scheepers was born in Amsterdam in 1951. After finishing Highschool, he started studying philosophy in the Free University of Amsterdam in 1969. There he developed his interest in Asiatic thinking. Having obtained his 'doctorandus' (MA) degree he started working on his PhD thesis in the University of Leiden, 1980.

The thesis was completed under the name Adhyasa (projection), a comparison between the Advaita Vedanta of Shankara and the phenomenology of Edmund Hussserl (which is the literal translation of the original Dutch title).

From 1989 he is working as an author, and is connected on free lance basis to the India Instituut (institute) in Amsterdam. From 1996 he is also working as a philosophy teacher for the Iyengar Yoga Center in Amsterdam. He wrote A Survey of Buddhist Thought and he translated »the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali«.

An Orientation in Indian Philosophy by Alfred Scheepers

011 - Sanskrit Pronunciation
013 - Preface
015 - Introduction

019 - An Orientation in Indian Philosophy
019 - I. The roots of Indian Thought
021 - II. Three World-views
021 - The religious world-view
022 - The magical world-view
025 - The philosophical worldview
029 - III. Developments in Brahmanism
030 - The idea of the healing truth
034 - Brahman, the life principle
038 - The Vaisnava
043 - The notion of samskara
047 - IV. Jainism
050 - The lives of a saint
055 - Himsa and ahimsa
055 - Karma and moksha
057 - Jainist yoga
058 - V. Buddhism
061 - Differences between Jainism and Buddhism
063 - Life of the Buddha
063 - The Buddhist world-view
067 - The doctrine of dependent origination
070 - VI. The Philosophy of Yoga
071 - Kapila and the Sankhya school
076 - The Yoga system of Patanjali
080 - Western science and the Yoga view of life
084 - India and Europe
089 - VII. The Philosophy of Ritual
092 - The ontology of the Mimansa
094 - The Brahmin concept of the dharma
096 - VIII. The Synthesis of the Bhagavad Gita
106 - IX. The Vedanta

115 - Epilogue
119 - Suggestions for further reading
Erwin Nas - kunst, cultuur & reizen - amerigo, 2018