Religious Studies | Introduction to Chinese Thought
R368 | 11210 | A. Stalnaker


COLL A&H, CSA distribution (Eastern Religious Tradition and Critical
Issues for the Religious Studies major)

This course provides an introduction to the early development of
Chinese thought, from the oracle bone divination of the Shang
Dynasty to the religious, ethical, and political theories of
classical Confucianism, Mohism, and Daoism, through the unification
of China in 221 BCE.  We will concentrate on early debates over
human nature and the best practices of self-cultivation, the general
nature of the cosmos and the human role in it, and the proper
ordering of society. The different positions articulated by early
Chinese figures greatly influenced later Chinese intellectual and
social history, including the development of Buddhism, and
influenced developments in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam as well. Thus,
understanding these early debates is an important stepping-stone for
understanding East Asian thought and culture generally. No knowledge
of classical Chinese is required.  Readings are in English
translation.  Primarily a lecture course, with periodic discussions
focused on key figures.
Requirements: two short papers; comprehensive sit-down final
examination; posting questions about the reading on Oncourse;
initiating discussion at one class meeting; participation in one
class debate.
Books: Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy, ed. Ivanhoe and Van
Norden; Confucius: Analects, trans. Slingerland; Mencius, trans.
Lau; Chuang-Tzu:  The Inner Chapters, trans. Graham; Hsün Tzu: Basic
Writings, trans. Watson. Meets with EALC-E374 and PHIL-P374