Anglophone Philosophy In Colonial India

Nalini Bhushan

in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780195328998
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Anglophone Philosophy In Colonial India

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Anglophone philosophy in India is shaped by at least three distinct historical phenomena: Thomas Macaulay's “Minute on Education” in 1835 that makes English the medium of instruction in Indian education and Protestant missionary professors at the center of philosophical learning in Indian colleges and universities; the social and religious reform movements of the Arya and Brahmo Samaj that swept the country, resulting in a revaluation of the orthodox Hindu philosophical systems and a move to a return to the original, “purer” Vedas and Upaniṣads; and the presence of the British as an occupying force, which generates a politico-cosmopolitan awareness and a distinctive approach to imagining the modern Indian nation in academic and nonacademic philosophical circles. This article addresses some of the distinctly philosophical contributions in the fields of metaphysics and epistemology, comparative philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, and social and political philosophy that were generated as a consequence of the interface of these three axes in colonial India and thereafter.

Keywords: Indian philosophy; Thomas Macaulay; Vedas; Upaniṣads; Arya; Brahmo Samaj; metaphysics; epistemology; comparative philosophy; aesthetics

Article.  6914 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy

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