Universität Wien FIND

180038 VO Contemporary Problems of Indian Philosophies (2021S)

Postcolonial Theories, Hindutva, Philosophy of the Spirit

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: German

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Digital concept

Preliminary note: Due to the conversion of the course to e-learning, it is important that all participants register for the course in order to gain access to Moodle, as communication about the course takes place via the Moodle platform. In addition to the usual teaching materials, you will also find audio recordings of the courses on Moodle.

E-learning procedure due to the conversion of the course to "digital learning":

1.)The communication about the course will take place via Moodle until further notice.

2) We will tell you weekly via Moodle what you should read until the next course date.

3) The course leader Univ. Doz. Arno Böhler will give a lecture on Collaborate every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. On Moodle you will find a "Collaborate" symbol next to the title "Aktuelle Problemfelder indischer Philosophie_Sitzung", which you can use to log in to the video conference. Up to 250 course participants can take part. We will record the video conference and make it available to you on Moodle. We will also upload an audio file of the recording to the philosophical audio library.
Here is a guide to Collaborate for students: https://wiki.univie.ac.at/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=101484831

4) The tutor Cristina Chitu will repeat some central points of the lecture content of the last session every week at the beginning of the Collaborate Session. You can also find these minutes in writing on Moodle.

Digital examination modalities

The exam will consist of a digital written exam that will be handled via Moodle according to the format “digital written exams with open questions using an exam sheet for download” according to the specifications of the CTL. The students can download the examination form (Word document) at the beginning of the examination period and have to upload the processed examination form as a PDF back to Moodle within 2 hours. In the exam, three essay questions, each with three sub-points, are asked, which the students should address in their answers. The exam takes place in the open book format. Direct quotations are to be shown.

In the event of technical problems: If you cannot download the Moodle exam form, please send an email to cristina-maria.chitu@univie.ac.at. You will then receive the examination form by email. If you cannot upload the edited exam questionnaire as a PDF to Moodle, please also send the PDF to the email address cristina-maria.chitu@univie.ac.at before the end of the exam

Graduation key: The digital written exam consists of 3 essay questions, each with 3 sub-points, which are to be incorporated into the respective essay (max. 36 points, max. 12 points per essay, max. 4 points per sub-point): 0-18 points = insufficient . 19-22 points = sufficient. 23-26 points = satisfactory. 27-31 points = good. 32-36 points = very good.

Dealing with quotations and literature: These are exams based on the open book format. If you should quote a passage from the literature or the literature on the slides directly in your essay, please either state the name, abbreviation of the book and book page (e.g. (Ronell, FT, p. 3)) or state the Foil side on (e.g. (Foil 17)). If you paraphrase or refer to what was discussed in the lecture, you can simply write “For Nietzsche” or “As discussed in the lecture”, in order to save time.

Tuesday 09.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 16.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 23.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 13.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 20.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 27.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 11.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 18.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 01.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 08.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 15.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 22.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Tuesday 29.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The lecture deals with contemporary problems of Indian philosophy from three perspectives:
First, we will explore with Chakrabarty (2010) the question of how postcolonial India relates to (European) modernity? Is the call, which has become global, to modernise "pre-modern" societies (e.g. India) a colonial mythe of modernity, in which the universal historical construction of modernity is made to rule worldwide, or is it a history of emancipation to be embraced globally?
Secondly, we would like to explore these questions through a critical analysis of the Hindu nationalist movement in India (Hindutva), which bears both anti-modernist and modernist features and therefore confronts us with the question of which pre-modernity and which modernity is being affirmed here?
Thirdly, we would like to engage with the poet-philosopher Sri Aurobindo Ghose, in whom these motifs are philosophically and politically reflected and "spiritually" suspended in an integral yoga.
The central aim of this lecture is to give you an insight into the current discourse of mainstream spiritual-historical currents in India by introducing these three topics.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written examination. The first examination will take place end of June 2021. Further examination dates: first week of October, middle of December, end of Jannuary 2021 (exact dates will be announced during the the semester course)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Written examinations will comprise of four main questions with sub-questions (max. 40 points)
0-20 points = insufficient, 21-25 points = sufficient, 26-30 points: satisfactory, 31-35 points = good, 36-40 points = very good.
At the written exam, one needs to reach > 50% of the points in order to pass the exam.

Examination topics

Only texts that will be explicitly discussed in the lecture during the course of the semester, will be relevant for the exam. These texts will be part of the power point slides which will be made accessible on Moodle by tutor Cristina Chitu.

Reading list

Sri Aurobindo (1997): Karmayogin: Political Writings and Speeches 1909-1910. Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Pondicherry.
Dipesh Chakrabarty (2000): Provincializing Europe. Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton University Press: Princeton.
Peter Heehs (2006): Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism. Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives and Research Library: Pondicherry-
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1923): Essentials Of Hindutva, https://archive.org/details/hindutva-vinayak-damodar-savarkar-pdf/page/n13/mode/2up

Further literature is provided on Moodle

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 23.03.2023 00:20