PHIL 311

Classical Chinese Philosophy

This course introduces students to influential philosophical questions in early Chinese thought, such as ones concerning human nature and living the good life. And it exposes students to the philosophical ideas of thinkers such as Kongzi (Confucius), Laozi (the fictitious author of Daodejing), Mozi, Zhuangzi, Mengzi (Mencius), Xunzi, and Han Feizi. It is both a course in history of philosophy and a course in comparative philosophy. Hence, students are expected to both develop skills for making historically-informed interpretations of these thinkers' responses to the influential philosophical questions, and to consider their ideas' relevance to practical and philosophical discourses today. (This course does not assume any background in philosophy or in Sinitic languages.)