Indian Philosophy Without Any Gaps
September 20, 2015 4:33 PM   Subscribe

The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps is filling in gaps by starting a new podcast feed [iTunes link] dedicated to the history of philosophic traditions other than the one that started with the Ancient Greeks. The first tradition covered will be Indian philosophy, but the series will move on to Africa and China, and perhaps elsewhere as well. The primary author of the India episodes is Prof. Jonardon Ganeri but Prof. Peter Adamson will co-write, present each episode, and probably come up with illustrative examples involving giraffes, Buster Keaton, and his non-existent trapeze-artist sister. [Adamson's main History of Philosophy podcast previously and subsequently]
posted by Kattullus (15 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Oooooo! I've been looking for a new podcast to fill the void when Revolutions goes on hiatus. This looks great. Many thanks!
posted by Thorzdad at 4:40 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've been hearing teasers for it on the HOPWAG podcasts for a while now (which I tend to let pile up for a couple months and then binge on - it's easier to follow story lines that way). Glad it's finally kicked off and I'll be adding it to my listening.
posted by ardgedee at 4:52 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

People new to this podcast should be warned that "without any gaps" actually refers to the time you have to spend listening to it. I've been doing my laundry to it for months and I'm only up to Maimonides. I am totally not ready for this PataƱjali.
posted by No-sword at 5:09 PM on September 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is a topic that so many of us in the west know little to nothing about, and it is something that I would love to learn. The first episode was great and I hope they continue on.
posted by Hylaea at 5:47 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

oooooh noooo, I'm nowhere near completion with the THoP feed, you can't do me like that!

posted by bigendian at 6:15 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, so exciting! I've been feeling like this was a big missing. Focusing only on western philosophy is very tedious. But, he does already cover some eastern stuff! In fact.... I got stuck on episode 178. It's so hard to follow the thread sometimes! I really should skip ahead, but there is no good spot to "pick up" the thread, because the gapless nature means that everything builds on the previous episode.
posted by rebent at 7:46 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

rebent, if you skip a few episodes ahead, he does various retrospectives and overviews of philosophy in other regions of the Islamic world and topics like logic, etc. The medieval section (ep. 196 onwards) backtracks several centuries to the Carolingian era, so if you want you can start from there. The thread of history is not at all straight, it branches in several places and sometimes even loops back on itself, and often ideas fade or disappear for a while before popping back up later.

When it comes to episodes I don't fully absorb or understand, I usually just skip them until the ideas come back again (for example a later philosopher commenting on them) at which point I go back and revisit them. Personally, I find that some of the more obscure ideas in a tradition become a lot easier to grok once similar or opposing ideas from other people of the era have been fleshed out.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 9:29 PM on September 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yes! When I was a little kid I went about this process to decide what the foundation of learning was, or really more where I should start, and I arrived at the conclusion I should start with philosophy. And where would the beginning be but the earliest philosophy? But the Greek and Roman stuff seemed like such an incomplete picture. So this is relevant to my interests, and I hope it becomes as comprehensive a resource as the first series seems to be.
posted by XMLicious at 10:11 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Excellent! I listened to THOPWAG a while ago and it struck me they did indeed have a pretty massive "gap" of not covering any philosophy from East of the Bosporus.
posted by 3urypteris at 11:19 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just in the last few days I have been investigating my savarna privilege (I was born to high-caste Hindus) and have been learning more about casteism. I'm chagrined that I don't have a solid understanding of casteist dogma, especially seeing as I have benefited from it. Looking at the description, I think this series will help me a lot -- and it's co-authored by a desi, which reassures me. I'll have to subscribe to this podcast -- thanks for the post!
posted by brainwane at 5:49 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Excellent! I listened to THOPWAG a while ago and it struck me they did indeed have a pretty massive "gap" of not covering any philosophy from East of the Bosporus.

fwiw, Peter Adamson's area of specialization is middle eastern philosophy of the middle ages, and so when he got past the fall of the roman empire he devoted an entire major section of the podcast to middle eastern and Arabic-language philosophy. So there is significant east-of-Bosporous material, even if Adamson does tend to represent that material primarily with regard to how it was influenced by and in turn influenced western philosophy.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:49 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

You Can't Tip a Buick: So there is significant east-of-Bosporous material

True, but Adamson has, until now, been following a story that began in the Greek-speaking world. So even in previous episodes on philosophy in Mughal India, he was still concerned with the tradition that had its roots in the Mediterranean world, not the philosophy that had been practiced in India independent from Mediterranean thought.
posted by Kattullus at 10:15 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Absolutely. I'm so glad that he's both expanding to cover material out of his area of expertise and also bringing in people who know the areas he's expanding into instead of trying to do it himself.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:02 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

From pretty early in the HOPWAG podcasts Adamson has been open about the areas he would not be including, and begging forgiveness for them being too far outside his field of expertise to be confident of handling properly.

So this collaboration is a better turn of events than I'd hoped: We get giraffes AND an exhaustive series on the Eastern Traditions.
posted by ardgedee at 11:11 AM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, cool! Thanks, Kattullus.
posted by homunculus at 7:00 PM on September 23, 2015

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