Instructor: Yifan Li. This course meets MWF 9:05 – 9:55 a.m. via synchronous remote instruction.
This class is an introduction to some of the prominent philosophical schools and traditions that thrived (and is still thriving) in Asia. Specifically, about half of this class is dedicated to Chinese philosophy in the classical period (c.a. 6-2 Century B.C.E.): confucianism, mohism, daoism, and the “egoist” philosophy of Yang Zhu. The rest of this class will be devoted to buddhist philosophy, with a special emphasis on mahayana buddhism. We will approach these philosophical schools mainly by reading their respective classical texts with the help of textbooks; we will also look at some interesting contemporary contributions when appropriate.
This class has three primary goals. First, students should build up their skills of engaging with a novel philosophical position; second, students should use that skill to acquire their own perspective on the philosophical views we will discuss in this class; and finally, students should be able to take up that perspective to examine their own life and the world around them.