Departments of Philosophy, Religious Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures

P374/B374/E374: Early Chinese Thought

Time: MWF 1:25-2:15
Room: Sycamore Hall 200

  Instructor: Robert Eno
  Goodbody Hall 328; 5-5373; e-mail: eno
Monday 10-11; Wednesday 2:30-3:30

Course Description:

Chinese philosophy grew out of structures of everyday thinking, speaking, and acting very different from the structures that gave birth to philosophy in the West. And the birth of Chinese philosophy was brought about by social and intellectual crises which largely set its agenda--an agenda different in many ways from that which our traditions first addressed. Chinese philosophy is an alternate species of critical thinking. By studying it we can discover new ways of approaching problems, and get some new perspectives on our own habits of thought.

The goal of this course is to expose students to texts which at first reading usually appear alternately mysterious and simpleminded, and to lead them to discover why these texts became the passionate interest, for two millennia, of the largest national entity in the world.

Students are expected to attend class regularly, prepare reading assignments, and participate in class discussions. Written assignments will include short homework exercises, two short papers, a midterm and a final exam. 

Books to buy:

Mozi: Basic Writings, Burton Watson, trans. (Columbia pb)
Xunzi: Basic Writings, Burton Watson, trans. (Columbia pb)
            [available at the IU Bookstore & TIS]

All other course materials will be available as html or pdf online files.

Grading Policies:

The two papers, midterm, and final exams will be weighted approximately as follows:

        Attendance and Participation 15%
        Homework / Paper #1          15%
        Midterm                               20%
        Paper #2                              20%
        Final                                     25%

All of the assignments listed above must be completed in order to earn a passing grade for this course. 

Make-up Policy for  Exams:

No make-up exams will be given because of vacation schedules or other personal time conflicts. Please note the date and time of the midterm and final exam at the outset of the course.

Written Assignment Deadlines:

Written assignments are to be turned in at the beginning of class on the day they are due. Assignments handed in after class will be penalized one "half" letter grade (a plus/minus grade) and papers submitted after the due date will be penalized an additional half-grade for each subsequent weekday that they are late. Medical excuses require a doctor's note. 

Policy on Academic Dishonesty:

All written compositions in this course must be your own work and your own words, unless you are using explicitly indicated quotations. Accord with the following rules precisely, and in all your written work:
    -- If you use the words of another person, always use quotation marks and indicate the source of the quote.
    -- If you closely paraphrase another person, always indicate that you are doing so and whose ideas you are citing.
    -- Make sure never to submit work with plagiarized material; always acknowledge your sources.
    -- Never fabricate sources or quoted material.
Failure to follow these rules is considered plagiarism, which is serious academic misconduct and subject to severe penalties under university regulations.