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asian philosphy

asian philosphy
Project description
Please read the following (course description) and write 1 reflection page of any ideas or thoughts you got in your mind Ill attach a sample on how you should write the reflection
course description:
Asia is home to two of the world’s great philosophical traditions: the Indian and Chinese
tradit
ions. This course will introduce students to each of these two traditions, by surveying
a selection of their key philosophical texts, thinkers, concepts, themes, and schools. We will
cover Hindu philosophy in general and the classical Yoga school in parti
cular, along with
Indian Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and Daoism. Amongst the texts and thinkers studied
in this course will include: the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali,
Nagarjuna’s
Mulamadhyamakakarika (
Versus on the Middle
), and Lao Tzu’s
Dao De Jing
.
Our stu
dy of Indian philosophy will commence with a brief introduction to each of the six
orthodox
darsanas
(perspectives or schools) of Hindu philosophy, in the context of which
special attention will be paid to the classical Yoga school of Patañjali. We will p
robe
important strands of influence, and points of contrast, between the Yoga school and other
Indian philosophical traditions, such as those of the Sankhya school and of Jainism.
Philosophical issues to be considered will include:
What are persons and wha
t is their
relationship to nature? Is it ever morally permissible to harm other living beings (e.g.,
plants and animals)? Is it possible to avoid inducing such harm through extraordinary feats
of mental and physical self

discipline? How do our past expe
riences affect our present
patterns of thought and action? What is suffering and how does it relate to action and to
morality? Is moral authenticity possible through the meditative discipline of the mind?
2
Turning then to our unit on Indian Buddhism, w
e will first introduce the doctrinal
foundations of Buddhist philosophy including the four noble truths, the eight

fold path, and
the three marks of existence (
tri

laksana
). Special attention will be paid, moreover, both to
the Buddhist analysis of suffer
ing (
duhkha
), as well as to the core Buddhist doctrine of
anatman
(no

abiding

self). Following this, we will consider
Nagarjuna’s powerful criticisms
of mainstream Buddhist philosophy in the
Mulamadhyamakakarika, and explore the related
debate between
Mahayana
(or ‘Great Vehicle’) and
Hinayana
(or ‘Little Vehicle
’)
Buddhism regarding the nature and ultimate reality of
Samsara
(cycle of rebirths),
Karma
(action; fruits of action), and
Nirvana
(liberation).
In the final third of the course, we will then turn our attention to Chinese philosophy and in
particular to
the schools of Humanism, Daoism, and Buddhism. As we shall see, though
some of these schools are influenced markedly by the others, and in spite of the fact that all
resonate with important themes of Indian thinking as well, Chinese philosophy is
neverthe
less characterized by several lively and interrelated debates surrounding issues in
political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Amongst these controversies
are included questions such as: What is the nature of good government? What qualit
ies
make for an ethical individual or statesman, and how might one cultivate them? What sorts
of relationships should one cultivate with their family, society, and environment? Are
individuals themselves constituted by such relationships, or conceivable i
ndependently of
them? Should political ideology and moral character be cultivated, or should we instead
abandon the artificiality of human convention in favour of a return to nature? What is
nature, and what is its relationship to human nature and human b
eings? Do human and other
beings have real essences and/or autonomy? Or are essence and autonomy merely
intellectual fabrications which ultimately only obscure reality and produce suffering? Can
enlightenment mitigate such suffering, and if so, how can w
e attain it?
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