Philosophy | Introduction to Philosophy
P100 | 12418 | Blake


This course will focus on Chinese philosophical texts roughly from
the period 600 BCE -200 BCE.  Rather than considering our subjects
simply as dead Chinese guys, we'll be trying to understand them both
in the context in which they taught, and as thinkers with something
to contribute to contemporary philosophical debates.  Our discussions
will range over a number of topics, including human nature, political
power, skepticism, virtue, and the nature of ethical systems.  To
explore these issues, we will be looking at Chinese primary sources
-- Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi, Zhuangzi, and Mozi -- but in order to
better understand their arguments, we will also be comparing them to
important texts in the Western canon.

No knowledge of philosophy or Chinese history is presupposed for this
course.  In-class discussions will be designed to make the material
accessible, but students are expected to be prepared to participate
in debate and discussion of the day’s readings.