Submitted by Melanie Johnson-Moxley:
PHILOSOPHY OF INDIA
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA
Instructor: Dr. Bina Gupta, Curators’ Research Professor Emerita of Philosophy
Semester: 4-week online summer course, starts June 4 and ends June 30, 2018.
Course Description: “Indian Philosophy” refers to the philosophical concepts, theories, and schools that developed in the Indian sub-continent. Leaving aside some of the foundational texts of Indian philosophy as the Vedas, the Upaniṣads, and the Gītā, the course will focus on the classical schools of Indian philosophy, e.g., Buddhism, Sāṃkhya, and Vedānta. The course is intended to correct a number of common misconceptions about Indian philosophy, such as the idea that Indian philosophy lacks theoretical rigor, that it is theology at best, and that it is motivated by practical concerns rather than the disinterested search for theoretical knowledge that (allegedly) characterizes Western philosophy. It will demonstrate that there exist an amazing variety of epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical conceptions in Indian philosophy. These conceptions contain very sophisticated arguments and counter-arguments that were advanced by the defenders of each thesis and its opponents. No philosophy or philosophical system exists in a vacuum; a philosophy neither originates nor develops bereft of some undergirding context. It is a product of the contemporaneous and preceding cultures and exerts a decisive formative influence on the social and cultural achievements of ages that follow. Keeping this in view, though the schools will be introduced in historical order, the exposition of each school will focus on certain key questions and issues. The primary goal of the course is to bring out the theoretical, discursive rigor of Indian philosophy, using analytic, exegetical, and phenomenological methodologies.
Course Specifics: This is an instructor-led course with weekly assignments in the Canvas learning platform through Mizzou Online. 3 credit hours. Meets humanities requirement for Gen Ed. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Recommended: one prior course in philosophy. Course credit from Mizzou Online courses can be transferred to other colleges and universities.
Online Course Access: Early Summer 2018 enrollment begins on March 5, and regular registration one week prior to the start of the classes. For registration, visit https://online.missouri.edu/enrollment- procedures/registration-dates.aspx. For information about Mizzou Online, visit online.missouri.edu. If you have difficulty logging in to the course or you do not see the course listed, please contact the Mizzou IT Help Desk.
About the Instructor: Dr. Bina Gupta is a University of Missouri Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emerita. She been researching, writing and teaching in Indian and comparative philosophy for more than four decades. She has authored or edited thirteen books—including An Introduction to Indian Philosophy, Reason and Experience in Indian Philosophy, The Empirical and the Transcendental: A Fusion of Horizons, and Consciousness, Knowledge and Ignorance. She has given more than 150 addresses, presentations, and commentaries at conferences worldwide.