The Golden Age of Buddhist Philosophy

Course details

From £80.00

Sat 15 Feb 2020 - Sun 16 Feb 2020
3.00pm Sat - 1.00pm Sun

The Golden Age of Buddhist Philosophy


During this weekend we will be dealing with two central topics in the development of Buddhist thought. These correspond to two sections of Jan Westerhoff’s "The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy" (OUP 2018). One is the question whether there is a soul or substantial self. The other is the question whether there are any external objects. The schools of Nyāya and Mīmāṃsā defended the existence of both a substantial self and of an external world, whereas the former was denied by the Abhidharma Buddhists, and both were denied by Yogācāra, a later school of Buddhism. Philosophers from the non-Buddhist classical Indian tradition unsurprisingly did not agree with the Buddhist conclusions. There will be plenty of opportunity to question the speakers.

Programme details


2.45pm           Course Registration

3.00pm           The Abhidharma arguments against a substantial self

                        JAN WESTERHOFF

4.30pm           Tea / coffee

5.00pm           The Nyāya arguments for a substantial self

                        NILANJAN DAS                       

6.30pm           Break / bar open

7.00pm           Dinner

8.15pm-          The Yogācāra arguments against external objects

9.30pm           JAN WESTERHOFF         


8.15am           Breakfast (residents only)

9.30am           The Mīmāṃsā refutation of idealism

                        NILANJAN DAS

10.45am         Coffee / tea

11.15am         Q & A - Questions directed by MARIANNE TALBOT

12.30pm         Break / bar open

1.00pm          Lunch

2.00pm           Course disperses



Description Costs
Tuition (includes tea/coffee) £80.00
Baguette Sunday £5.00
Dinner Saturday evening £21.00
Double Room B&B Saturday night £118.00
Double Room Only Saturday Night £94.00
Single B&B Saturday Night £83.00
Single Room Only Saturday Night £71.00
Sunday Lunch £15.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses




Professor Jan Westerhoff


Professor of Buddhist Philosophy, University of Oxford.


Dr Nilanjan Das


Nilanjan Das is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at University College London. He works on epistemology and classical philosophy in Sanskrit.

Ms Marianne Talbot

Director of Studies


Marianne Talbot took her first degree at London University, then her B.Phil at Oxford (Corpus Christi College). She has taught for the colleges of Oxford University for 30 years (1987 – 1990 at Pembroke College, 1991 – 2000 at Brasenose College). She has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. She is the author of Bioethics: An Introduction, and Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic. Marianne’s podcasts have been hugely popular. Two of them have been global number one on iTunesU. One of these (The Nature of Arguments) has been downloaded 7 million times.




Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.