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Instructor: Pavel Nitchovski. This course meets TR 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. in WG 303.

This is an introductory course to some of the philosophical movements in East Asia and the South Asian sub-continent. It is primarily focused on providing students with a good foundational grasp of some of the philosophical movements in China and India.

Some of the questions we’ll be concerned with over the course of the semester include:

  • What makes for a good society?
  • How should good rulers behave towards their subjects?
  • What is the nature of reality?
  • What is the self?
  • Is human nature fundamentally good?

In tackling these issues we’ll look at both primary source texts like The Analects,The Daodeijing, The Baghavad Gita and some Buddhist sutras along with a few secondary resources that put these texts into context. We will also draw on how we currently address these questions and weigh our answers against the arguments provided by the authors. No previous knowledge of or experience with philosophy is needed (though it is not a hindrance either).