This page lists some links to ancient philosophy
. In Western philosophy
, the spread of Christianity
through the Roman Empire
marked the end of Hellenistic philosophy
and ushered in the beginnings of Medieval philosophy
, whereas in Eastern philosophy
, the spread of Islam
through the Arab Empire
marked the end of Old Iranian philosophy
and ushered in the beginnings of early Islamic philosophy
- Leucippus (first half of 5th century BC)
- Democritus (460-370 BC)
- Metrodorus of Chios (4th century BC)
- Gorgias (483-375 BC)
- Protagoras (481-420 BC)
- Antiphon (480-411 BC)
- Prodicus (465/450-after 399 BC)
- Hippias (middle of the 5th century BC)
- Thrasymachus (459-400 BC)
Hellenistic schools of thought
Philosophers during Roman times
The ancient Indian philosophy is a fusion of two ancient traditions : Sramana
tradition and Vedic tradition.
Indian philosophy begins with the Vedas
where questions related to laws of nature, the origin of the universe and the place of man in it are asked. In the famous Rigvedic Hymn of Creation
the poet says:
"Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows--or maybe even he does not know."
In the Vedic view, creation is ascribed to the self-consciousness of the primeval being (Purusha). This leads to the inquiry into the one being that underlies the diversity of empirical phenomena and the origin of all things. Cosmic order is termed rta and causal law by karma. Nature (prakriti) is taken to have three qualities (sattva, rajas, and tamas).
are continuation of the Sramana school of thought. The Sramanas cultivated a pessimistic worldview of the samsara as full of suffering and advocated renunciation and austerities. They laid stress on philosophical concepts like Ahimsa, Karma, Jnana, Samsara and Moksa.
Classical Indian philosophy
In classical times, these inquiries were systematized in six schools of philosophy. Some of the questions asked were:
- What is the ontological nature of consciousness?
- How is cognition itself experienced?
- Is mind (chit) intentional or not?
- Does cognition have its own structure?
The Six schools of Indian philosophy are:
Other traditions of Indian philosophy include:
Ancient Indian philosophers
- Asanga (c. 300), exponent of the Yogacara
- Bhartrihari (c 450–510 AD), early figure in Indic linguistic theory
- Bodhidharma (c. 440–528 AD), founder of the Zen school of Buddhism
- Chanakya (c.350 - c.275 BC) , author of Arthashastra, professor (acharya) of political science at the Takshashila University
- Dignāga (c. 500), one of the founders of Buddhist school of Indian logic.
- Gautama Buddha (563 BC - 483 BC), founder of Buddhist school of thought
- Gotama (c. 2nd–3rd century AD), wrote the Nyaya Sutras, considered to be the foundation of the Nyaya school.
- Haribhadra (8th Century CE) , a Jaina thinker, author and great proponent of anekāntavāda and classical yoga, as a soteriological system of meditation in Jaina context. His works include and Yogabindu.
- Hemacandra (1089–1172 CE) - a Jaina thinker, author, historian, grammarian and logician. His works include Yogaśāstra and Trishashthishalakapurushacharitra.
- Jaimini, author of Purva Mimamsa Sutras
- Kanada (c. 600 BC), founded the philosophical school of Vaisheshika, gave theory of atomism
- Kapila (c. 500 BC), proponent of the Samkhya system of philosophy
- Kundakunda (2nd Century CE), exponent of Jain mysticism and Jain nayas dealing with the nature of the soul and its contamination by matter, author of Pañcāstikāyasāra (Essence of the Five Existents), the Pravacanasāra (Essence of the Scripture) and the Samayasāra (Essence of the Doctrine)
- Lonkā (15th Century CE) – His opposition to idol worship and rituals eventually led to establishment of non-iconic sects of Sthanakvasi and Terapanthi.
- Nagarjuna (c. 150 - 250 AD), the founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahāyāna Buddhism.
- Panini (520–460 BC), grammarian, author of Ashtadhyayi
- Patañjali (between 200 BC and 400 AD), developed the philosophy of Raja Yoga in his Yoga Sutras.
- Pingala (c. 500 BC), author of the Chandas shastra
- Adi Shankara (788-820 AD), the first philosopher to consolidate the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, a sub-school of Vedanta
- Siddhasena Divākara (5th Century CE), Jain logician and author of important works in Sanskrit and Prakrit, such as, Nyāyāvatāra (on Logic) and Sanmatisūtra (dealing with the seven Jaina standpoints, knowledge and the objects of knowledge)
- Syntipas (c. 100 BC), author of The Story of the Seven Wise Masters.
- Tiruvalluvar (between 100 BC and 300 AD), author of Thirukkural, one of the greatest ethical works in Tamil language
- Umāsvāti or Umasvami (2nd Century CE), author of first Jain work in Sanskrit, Tattvārthasūtra, expounding the Jain philosophy in a most systematized form acceptable to all sects of Jainism.
- Vasubandhu (c. 300 AD), one of the main founders of the Indian Yogacara school.
- Vyasa, author of several important works in Hindu philosophy
- Yajnavalkya (c. 800 BC), linked to philosophical teachings of the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, and the apophatic teaching of 'neti neti' etc.
- Yaśovijaya (1624–88 CE) – Jain logician and considered last intellectual giant to contribute to Jaina philosophy.
Old Iranian philosophy
While there are ancient relations between the Indian Vedas
and the Iranian Avesta
, the two main families of the Indo-Iranian philosophical traditions were characterized by fundamental differences in their implications for the human being's position in society and their view on the role of man in the universe. The first charter of human rights
by Cyrus the Great
is widely seen as a reflection of the questions and thoughts expressed by Zarathustra
and developed in Zoroastrian
schools of thought.
In China, less emphasis was put upon materialism as a basis for reflecting upon the world and more emphasis was put on conduct, manners and social behaviour, as evidenced by Taoism