PHY 102

History of Philosophy  (Indian & Western)

Indian Philosophy: Buddhism and Vedanta


Wk 1   i.          What is the nature of the world? Natural forces as deities.  Are there gods in      charge of the world? Polytheism and monotheism: (Vedic Thought)

ii.                   What is the ultimate nature of the world? Atman and Brahman: (Upanishadic Thought)

Wk 2   i.          Matter as the ultimate reality: (Materialism).  The value of doubting:(Scepticism).

ii.                   Is everything determined?: (Determinism). Relativity of knowledge: (Jaina Thought).

Wk 3   i.          Early Buddhism: Criticism of authority.  The means and nature of knowledge.     The nature of truth.

ii.                   The nature of the human existence: anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Wk 4   i.          What is Mahayana?

ii.                   The relationship between wisdom and morality.

Wk 5   i.          The nature of Nirvana: Shunyata

ii.                   The teaching of non-duality: (Shankara)


Wk 6   i.          The doctrine that the world is an illusion

ii.                   The relationship between wisdom and faith

Wk 7   i.          Qualified non-dualism of Ramanuja

ii.                   Yoga philosophy

Wk 8   i.          Similarities and differences between religion and philosophy

ii.                   Comparative analysis of Indian and Western thought systems


Modern Western Philosophy

Wk 9   i.          The Struggle between Reason and Senses in Greek Philosophy

ii.                   The Primacy of Reason over Senses in Medieval Philosophy

Wk 10 i.          The Failure of Faith and religious reasoning – Francis Bacon’s Scientific    Approach

ii.                   The enlightenment.

Wk 11 i.          The Industrial revolution and the emergence of Capitalism and the Individual

ii.                   Individual as the sole bearer and carrier of knowledge- From Scriptures to Sense Perception.

Wk 12 i.          The search for certainly – Descartes and Leibniz

ii.                   Empiricist challenges – Locke and Hume

Wk 13 i.          The synthesis of reason and sense experience – Kant

ii.                   Emphasis on the History of Ideas – Hegel

Wk 14 i.          Materialism: Marx’s response to Hegel

ii.                   All that is Solid Melts into Air- Marshall Berman

Wk 15 i.          The Poverty of Modern Philosophy

ii.                   The world Promised and the World Lost

Wk 16 i.          Post-Modernist onslaught on Modern Philosophy – Leotard, foucoult, Derrida


Reading List


1.      Jayatilleke, K.N., 1963, Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge,  London: Allen & Unwin.

2.      Hiriyanna, M., 1958 Outlines of Indian Philosophy,  London: Allen & Unwin.

3.      Deleuze G. & Gultari, F., 1995, What is Philosophy? (trans.) G.Gurchell, and H. Tomliwson, London: Verso.

4.      Russell, B., 1947 History of Western Philosophy, London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd.

5.      Luce, J.U., 1992, An Introduction to Greek Philosophy, London: Thomes and Hudson Ltd.

6.      Schmitt, C.B.& Skinner, Q., The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

7.      හිරියන්ත ඒම් 1970 සංක්ෂිප්ත ඉන්දීය දර්ශනය කොළඹ අධ්‍යාපන ප%කාශන දෙපාර්තෙෙම්න්ත=ව

8.      ධර්මසිරි ගුනපාල 1996 බෙ!ද්ධ සදාචාරයේ මූලධර්ම දෙහිවල බෙ!ද්ධ සංස්කෘතික මධ්‍යස්ථානය

9.      බර්නට් ජොන් අාදී ගී%ක දර්ශනය රාජ්‍ය භාෂා දෙපාර්තෙම්න්තතුව