The Concealed Art of the Soul: Theories of Self and Practices of Truth in Indian Ethics and Epistemology

Jonardon Ganeri

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The mistakes we make about ourselves result in our deepest sufferings. Philosophy, meant to be a medicine for our souls' affliction, claims to offer both a diagnosis and a cure. This book looks to ancient India, where Buddhists and Hindus alike grapple with the fundamental human quest for peace of mind. For Indian thinkers, a philosophical treatise about the self is meant not only to lay out the truth, but also to embed itself in a process of study and contemplation that will lead eventually to self-transformation. The survey includes the Upani?ads, the Buddha's discourses, the epic Mahabharata, and the philosopher Candrakirti, whose work was later to become foundational in Tibetan Buddhism. The book shows that many contemporary theories of selfhood and personal identity are not only anticipated but developed to an extraordinary degree of sophistication in these works, and that there are other ideas about the self found here which modern philosophers have not yet begun to explore. In the Appendices, the book begins to disclose some of the paths along which Indian ideas about the self have migrated throughout history to the West.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9780191708558
ISBN (Print)9780199202416
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Indian Philosophy
  • Mahabharata
  • Peace of Mind
  • Personal Identity
  • Philosophy As Medicine
  • Self
  • The Buddha
  • Truth
  • Upani?Ads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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