WVC Philosophy 8

Introduction to Asian Thought

Title and Number of Course
Philosophy 8, Introduction to Asian Thought, 3 units

Catalog Description
This course is an introductory survey of the main philosophical currents of thought of India, China, and Japan. The student will be encouraged to explore the answers offered by Asian philosophers to such questions as: What is ultimate reality? What is the self? How is personal freedom to be achieved? This course will be of particular interest to students who encounter elements of Asian thought in business, art, music, history and other disciplines and who are interested in understanding the intellectual forces that have shaped the cultures of Asia.

Recommend eligibility for English 1A

No department requirement

Course Objectives

  1. The student should be able to recognize and explicate the major systems of thought in Asian philosophy, and relate these systems to the culture and history of Asian peoples, both in Asia and America.
  2. The student should be able to compare and contrast typically Western philosophical views with the views of Eastern philosophy.
  3. The student should be able to critically examine the alternatives offered by Asian thinkers and thereby clarify and/or define his/her own philosophical stance in relation to those of the Orient.
  4. The student should be able to engage in knowledgable dialogue with persons of different philosophical traditions.

Course Content

I. WESTERN AND NON-WESTERN PHILOSOPHY 	2 weeks	Differences and similarities in themes and methods	Religion and Asian philosophyII. INDIAN PHILOSOPHY 		5 weeks	The foundations of Indian philosophy	Political and social philosophy	The philosophy of pleasure	The Jain view	Sankhya and yoga	Brahmanism	Buddhism	TantrismIII. CHINESE PHILOSOPHY 		5 weeks	I Ching, Yin-Yang, and Five Phases	Confucius and Mencius	The logicians	Taoist thought	Chinese BuddhismIV. JAPANESE PHILOSOPHY 		4 weeks	Shinto	Japanese Buddhism	Kyoto school	Zen

General Requirements
Completion of required reading and final exam. Other requirements are determined by instructor. These may include completion of one or more papers, oral reports, other written exams, journal assignments, participation in class discussion, etc.

In accordance with Title V regulations, there must be at least one substantial (greater than one paragraph) writing assignment. Generally evaluation is based primarily on written papers and essay examinations.

Suggested Instructional Methods and Materials
Primarily lecture and discussion. These can be supplemented by films, videos, guest speakers, class debates, etc., as deemed appropriate and desirable by the individual instructor. Readings should include primary source material as much as possible. |||


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