Religious Studies | Studies in Religious Ethics
R571 | 22954 | Stalnaker


Topic: Intro to Chinese Ethical Thought

This is a grad “piggyback course” that meets with R300 and has the
same description; additional secondary readings will be assigned.

R336: 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 these
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.