Introduction to Asian Philosophy

Course Number: PHL 210
Transcript Title: Intro to Asian Philosophy
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: January 22, 2016
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Course Description

Introduces the non-dualistic philosophies of India, China, Japan, and South East Asia, which offer a complementary approach to Western traditions in logic, ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Students completing this course should be able to:

  1. Identify basic philosophical concepts in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian thought in order to critically assess readings from diverse historical and academic sources.
  2. Identify and explain foreign terms and concepts in each philosophical tradition in order to understand different cultural perspectives and communicate effectively with individuals sharing those perspectives.
  3. Recognize and reflect on cultural influences that have shaped one’s own intellectual perspectives, concepts, and values in order to critically assess one’s own conceptions of self in a broader cultural context and empower one’s ability for self refinement.
  4. Recognize and reflect on cultural perspectives which differ from one’s own in order to define one’s responsibility within a diverse community and respectfully communicate with others whose opinions might differ from one’s own.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Apply the knowledge, skills and abilities to enter and succeed in a defined profession or advanced academic program. (Professional Competence)
4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies will include some of the following:

  • Essays in the form of in class exams, short papers, or term papers
  • Short-answer exams
  • Student presentations
  • Group and individual projects
  • Class and small group discussions
  • Portfolios
  • Service learning projects
  • Participation in field trips
  • Attendance

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues

The course will focus on some or all of the following topics and issues:

  • The non-dualistic philosophies of India, China, Japan, and South East Asia.
  • Comparison of the above traditions to Western traditions in logic, ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics.
  • The interplay between philosophical ideas and other cultural aspects of the civilizations that give rise to them.

Competencies and Skills

Students will learn to do some or all of the following:

  • Read and analyze primary and secondary source literatures from Asian traditions.
  • Reflective reading, listening, thinking, writing, and speaking about Asian philosophical traditions.
  • Extrapolate from philosophical ideas to situations that arise in students own lives.
  • Discuss and write about the cultural influences that have shaped their own intellectual perspectives, concepts, and values.

Department Notes

The course is designed to outline philosophical principles and themes central to Indian and Asian thought, and to trace the evolution of these ideas which resulted from the various cultures through which they passed. Toward this end, the course will incorporate cultural aspects of the philosophical traditions studied, which both shape and express their distinct world views.