Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

E574 Early Chinese Philosophy

Fall 2010

Supplementary Syllabus

Time/Place: Monday 2:40-3:40, Weeks 2-3: Sycamore 100; Weeks 4-15: Goodbody 228

E574 is a graduate section of B374/E374/P374. Its goals and requirements are identical with 374 in some respects. E574 students attend all lecture classes of 374. In addition, 574 students meet weekly during the term to discuss additional readings listed below and exchange research reports as the term comes towards a close.

E574 students take the 374 midterm and final exams, but instead of submitting two short papers, prepare only the second of the two short paper assignments and, in addition, a term paper of 15-20 pages.

All readings will be online, either through our Oncourse site (under <Resources>) or, as noted, in e-journals accessed through the IU Libraries site. Reading assignments for E574 will be as follows:

Week of                            Reading

30 Aug.                       <brief organizational meeting after Monday lecture class>

6 Sept.          Background to Early Thought

1. Cho-yun Hsu, "The Transition of Ancient Chinese Society" [originally 1962], from C.S. Chang ed., The Making of China, 1-11
2. Donald Munro, The Concept of Man in Early China (1969), 1-21

13 Sept.         Herbert Fingarette, Confucius -- The Secular as Sacred (1972)

20 Sept.         1. David Hall & Roger Ames, Thinking Through Confucius (1987), 11-25 
2. David Hall & Roger Ames, "On Getting It Right," Philosophy East and West 34.1 (1984), 3-23 online through IU Libraries

27 Sept.         1. A.C. Graham, Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Science (1978), 3-44 
                      2. Chad Hansen, Language and Logic in Ancient China (1983), 1-54 
4 Oct.            1. Christoph Harbsmeier, "The Mass Noun Hypothesis" in Henry Rosemont, ed., Chinese Texts and Philosophical Contexts
                                    (1991), 47-66
2. Dan Robins, “Mass Nouns and Count Nouns in Classical Chinese,” Early China 25 (2000), 147-184

11 Oct.         1a. Roger Ames, "Mencius and a Process Notion of  Human Nature," 72-90, &
                     1b.  Irene Bloom, "Biology and Culture in the Mencian View of Human Nature,"
                                both in Alan Chan, Mencius: Contexts and Interpretations (2002), 91-102
                     2. Donald Munro, The Concept of Man in Contemporary China, 26-37

18 Oct.         1. Heiner Roetz, Confucian Ethics of the Axial Age (SUNY, 1993), 1-32
Robert Eno,
“Selling Sagehood:  The Philosophical Marketplace in Ancient China,” in Kenneth Lieberthal, et al., Constructing China (1997), 57-82

25 Oct.        1. Michael LaFargue, The Tao of the Tao Te Ching (1992), 189-216; plus selections
                    2. Mark Csikszentmihalyi "Mysticism and Apophatic Discourse in the Laozi,"
in Mark Csikszentmihalyi and Philip Ivanhoe, Religious and Philosophical Aspects of the Laozi (1999), 33-58

1 Nov.         1. A.C. Graham, “Taoist Spontaneity and the Dichotomy of ‘Is’ and ‘Ought’,” 3-23
                    2. Chad Hansen, in Mair, Experimental Essays, 24-55
                                in Victor Mair, Experimental Essays on Chuang-tzu (1983)

8 Nov.         1. Norman Girardot, Myth and Meaning in Early Taoism, 1-43
                    2. Edward Slingerland, "Conceptions of the Self in the Zhuangzi: Conceptual Metaphor Analysis and Comparative Thought,"
                                in Philosophy East and West 54.3 (July 2004), 302-21 online through IU Libraries

15 Nov.       Aaron Stalnaker, Overcoming Our Evil, 1-55

21 Nov.       R. Eno, The Confucian Creation of Heaven, 1-15 (notes, 205-8), 171-180 (notes, 280-85)

28 Nov.       Term paper reports and discussion

5 Dec.          Term paper reports and discussion


The deadline for choice of topic area is Oct. 29.  By that date, you should send me an email statement of what you intend to do. Try not to be vague ("I'm going to write about Mencius's moral ideas . . . ") - include these three things:

    1) a research question that does not seem to have an obvious answer;
    2) what you anticipate as a likely research result (a hypothesis);
    3) the range of materials you expect to consult. 
For example:
"I will ask how the concept of moral nurturance is structured in the Mencius. I expect to claim that ideas about nurturance are modeled by analogy with the way that sheep grow fat by grazing on Ox Mountain in 6A.8. I'll look at the Mencius text and articles I find that address this issue, and I might also consider passages in the Xunzi that attack Mencius's ideas."
That's fine (longer paper plans are fine too). The sheep analogy idea is silly, but you'd soon find that out - at this stage, the research hypothesis you come up with is not very likely to be correct, but you'll just adjust it as you get your research underway. You don't want a research question such as, "How did Confucius show a commitment to ritual?" Too obvious. You don't want one that is so descriptive that your research result can only be framed as an answer to a question such as: "What rituals do we see in the Analects?" The paper should be analytic, not descriptive. If your question seems too narrow, I'll ask you to broaden it; if it seems too broad . . ."

Students will present brief accounts in class of their research progress in the last two weeks of the term, so although final decisions on paper topics isn't required until the end of October, and final papers until after classes end, you should try to develop a topic and work steadily so that your oral presentation will be cogent, clear, and successful.
The paper deadline will be noon Tuesday, December 13, by email attachment. Early papers will be enthusiastically accepted. The length of the paper should be 15-20 pages (a little shorter or longer is ok, but much shorter is too little and much longer won't be graded in time). You should take time to consult some sources beyond the texts we're studying. If you want to do a paper that aims at analysis of secondary literature (e.g., is Ames right or Roetz?) that's fine, but you need to have the foundation of your research grounded in the texts.