Philosophy 102 (DH 78356)
INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY: ASIAN PHILOSOPHY
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Don Blakeley
Classroom: Holmes Hall 248
MWF from 8:30-9:20 AM
Office: Sakamaki Hall 304 C
Office hours: MWF 9:30-10:30 AM, by appointment, and email
Office Phone and voice mail: 956-6686
Department of Philosophy Office: Sakamaki Hall 301 D; Phone: 956-8649
**The course qualifies for General Education Requirement credit for DH = Diversification-Humanities
Brief Course Description: PHIL 102 examines universal themes and issues from Asian perspectives.
The course is designed to introduce you to a range of important, influential philosophical topics, ideas, arguments, methods, values, and points of view that are present in Asian philosophy. You will be learning about philosophy, engaging in philosophical analysis, advancing your own skills in communication and critical thinking, and developing an appreciation for this whole enterprise over the course of the semester.
Your engagement with these philosophical-spiritual quests and explanatory systems is intended to enrich your own understanding of the bigger "planetary picture" of human ways of living and making sense of things.
Central features of five major Asian philosophical perspectives will be explored: Indian (Vedic-Hindu), Jain, Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist. Reference to Shinto and Sikh perspectives may also be included. We will become familiar with the kind of account each of these perspectives provides to fundamental questions such as, what is reality, the ultimate, human nature, self, knowledge, meaning, the good life, and the good society?
As we explore these themes, other issues of interest will emerge such as justice, truth, education and training, consciousness, embodiment, language, work, war, death, gender, sex, love, emotions, friendship, family, communal life, animals, the environment/nature, beauty, and political ideals. Issues such as these will be considered according to class interest.
We will read and discuss material from classical sources in these traditions. Although the material is not often a part of American experience and education, it includes some of the most influential literary-philosophical-spiritual texts in human history. Becoming familiar with them will definitely expand and enrich your own philosophical horizons. It will better equip you to function more adeptly in our diverse world of ideas, values, and practices.
You are already somewhat familiar with some of the technical terms such as karma, reincarnation, yoga, ahimsa, nirvana, dao (or tao), yin-yang, Zen, and Dali Lama. The class is your opportunity to see how these concepts work in the context of the various traditions—as worldviews or philosophical perspectives. You will be encouraged to think carefully, critically, and independently about these contributions.
Most of the reading will be available through your UH Laulima website. Other online sources will be used, including some videos. Reading selections will include Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, some early sermons of the Buddha, later developments in Buddhism including Chan/Zen, Analects (Confucius), Mengzi (Mencius), Yijing (I Ching, Book of Changes), Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), and Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu).
Books to be purchased--from the UH Bookstore OR elsewhere:
Recommended text: Classic Asian Philosophy, by Joel Kupperman (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2006, paperback). This is a brief overview of the major perspectives we will examine.
Required text: Zen Keys by Thich Nhat Hanh (Doubleday Publishing, 1994, paperback)
Also needed: A UHManoa email (through MYUH portal) and access to Laulima. Most assignments will utilize internet resources. All of your written work for the class will be sent by you to me by email/Laulima. A variety of materials, including the class syllabus, will be posted on Laulima and updated when necessary. Announcements will be posted on Laulima. Reading material will be posted on Laulima. So, get connected and stay in touch! No additional costs for the class are anticipated.
Because the course enrollment is limited, this allows for a seminar type format rather than a lecture format. Class discussion will be the major method of advancing our learning. I will guide, initiate, and facilitate as we proceed, but your own participation is essential to the course. Your experience of the course will depend in great measure upon your attentiveness to the reading and your willingness to engage in discussion. Other members of the class will make an important contribution to your own way of thinking about the issues included in the reading material. I will say more about "critical dialogue" as we proceed through the course, but this method of proceeding will be important for all of us. And, no matter what else happens, the course is intended to be good educational fun!
Primary Learning Goals and Outcomes (Course Objectives)
To increase awareness of the content and resources for thinking about reality, human nature, the good life and society available in major Asian sources, with emphasis on Indian, Jain, Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian perspectives.
To examine a variety of important methods and principles utilized by Asian sources that aid in thinking and evaluating and, thereby, improve critical thinking skills in assessing evidence, arguments, evaluations and other conclusions.
To become familiar with the technical/distinctive language and concepts of Asian traditions and texts so as to increase communication skills in talking about and appraising these views with others in the class.
To increase independent, critical, constructive, creative thinking about the views and issues that are considered in class.
To increase awareness of the diverse conceptions that may serve as models for better understanding of contemporary global conditions as well as existential situations that bear directly on one’s life.
To experience the challenges of understanding philosophy in a global context and begin to develop skills in comparative philosophical analysis.
Increase competence in and enjoyment of the discipline of philosophy.
Each of these goals should be realized and displayed more fully and competently over the course of the semester in the various assignments that are completed.
Examinations: Four online, “open book” exams covering --- 25 points each
1. Indian sources (Hindu and Jain)
2. Buddhist sources
3. Confucian sources
4. Daoist sources
A time-frame for completing the exam questions will be specified when the
exam date approaches. Question types may include some true-false, multiple choice,
and short essay. Questions will be directly related to the reading assignments
and class discussion. Questions will be available on Laulima. Guidelines will be
One informal “discussion starter” for each of the major sections of the material --- 5 points each
we consider over the course of the semester. The selection of material will be = total points?
according to your preferences. These will be determined prior to our
consideration of each major section of the course. Guidelines will be provided.
Participation in online questions for group discussion (5 times) --- 5 points each
= 25 points
Final exam or Final paper. You have a choice between an on-line final exam --- 30 points
(taken according to the UH final exam schedule: Friday, December 19) or writing
a paper on a topic of your choice (approved by me in advance). The paper will
be due on the date of the final exam for the class: Friday, December 19.
Guidelines will be provided.
Participation in class discussions; show familiarity with the reading material; --- 30 points
contribute to advancing a critical, mindful, analytic, creative, imaginative
inquiry and general sensitivity to the issues considered in class discussion.
Attendance is required. Your total grade score for the course will be decreased
by 5 points for every unexcused absence beyond 3. Your absence means that you
will not know what has been discussed and this in turn diminishes your ability
to participate in further discussions. It hurts both your own understanding of the
subject matter and it will likely waste other people's time when you do participate
without knowing what occurred in the class that you missed. Excellent attendance
will be used to resolve in your favor any borderline final grade. Very poor
attendance can reduce your final grade to a D or F, no matter how good your
other work has been.
Possible extra credit: topics or projects of special interest??? Please let me know --- 15 points
if you have special interests that can be included in the course. All extra credit possible
work must be planned in advance and completed by November 7.
Total points = 185--with the addition of “discussion starter” points.
The grade-value of your written work will be based upon the following factors:
(1) Accuracy of information provided
(2) Adequacy ("completeness") of information provided
(3) Clarity, intelligibility, consistency, coherency of formulation
(4) Fairness in the presentation of the issues
(5) Explicitness of your analysis, i.e., show the reasoning by setting forth the details of the arguments or reasons for your evaluation
(6) Independence of thinking in your analysis and evaluation, by working to develop your own point of view.
In general, it is important to show in your work that you are well-informed about the matters considered (1-2), that you set forth your analysis in a fair, clear, and orderly way (3-5), and that you show that you have engaged in independent reflection upon and critical evaluation of the material according to your own perspective (6).
According to UH Manoa catalogue:
“Student achievement is designated by the following grades: A+, A, A- (excellent), B+, B, B- (above average), C+, C, (average), C-, D+, D, D- (minimal passing), F (failure), CR (credit), NC (no credit), I (incomplete), and L (audit). A grade of I is given to a student who has not completed a small but important part of a semester’s work if the instructor believes that the incomplete was caused by conditions beyond the student’s control. Each student receiving a grade of I should consult his or her instructor promptly to determine the steps to be taken and the deadline to complete the course work for changing the grade of I to a final grade.” Please see the UH Manoa catalogue for additional information: http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/undergrad-ed/creditsGrades.htm
Grade scale: 100-97%=A+; 96-93%=A; 92-90%=A-; 89-87%=B+; 86-83%=B; 82-80%=B-; 79-77%=C+;
76-73%=C; 72-70%=C-; 69-67%=D+; 66-63%=D; 62-60%=D-; below 59%=F.
Except for the attendance and participation portion of your grade—which can be fully assessed only at the end of the semester, your recorded grades will be posted on Laulima when an assignment has been completed. If you have any question about these matters, let me know.
Regarding matters such as make-up examinations, turning in work late, or receiving an incomplete grade, it is your responsibility to inform me about any difficulties that you may have prior to the scheduled assignments. Except for emergencies and very special circumstances, make-up requests will not be granted. Regarding incomplete grades, UHManoa catalogue says, “A grade of I [incomplete] is given to a student who has not completed a small but important part of a semester’s work if the instructor believes that the incomplete was caused by conditions beyond the student’s control.” It is important that University standards be observed, but I am very willing to consider whatever unusual or unexpected circumstances arise. Please let me know what is happening. Except in cases of errors in calculation, final grades are permanent.
If you have special interests--of whatever sort--that you think might be pursued within the context of this course, please talk with me. If you have special experiences, information, different angles, "wild and crazy ideas," etc., related to any of the issues that we study, please let me know or share such with us in whatever way you think is appropriate. I will be happy to consider special options, i.e., projects or presentations, but do let me know--the sooner the better
SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESS
For most students, philosophy classes may have somewhat different expectations than courses with more factual, historical, or symbolic (like math) content. But this course should not be a "difficult" course for you. The most important thing that will contribute to your success in the course is reading the material assigned in a thoughtful way. The readings will be a challenge because they are from different and often ancient sources. When the readings seem difficult, however, that is not a bad thing. (Think of it like an exercise course in building up new muscles. Effort is required for advancing strength.) If some of the material does not make much sense, use the class time to raise questions. Class time spent in this way will be helpful for you and for others in the class. If you follow through on this, your grade will reflect this increased competency. Remember, this is an introductory course. It is your opportunity to expand your own horizons in philosophical reflection on a range of important issues. What may seem alien at first can fairly quickly be a friend—and, who knows, even a lover of sorts?
Critical inquiry, probing and independent thinking, resourceful discussion and interaction are crucial to the work of the class and to the value that the class will have for you. Thoughtful, active participation during class is very important. Although I will talk a good bit during the semester and attempt to gain clarity and appreciation of the material we consider, your own response to the subject matter is a vital part of the class. This is not a lecture course but one involving dialogical exploration and analysis. Ideas that are important to you should be introduced or pointed out for discussion in a way that you feel is appropriate as we proceed through the course. Free, open, creative, challenging communication of these matters will help advance the understanding of everyone.
Because we will be dealing with matters (issues, problems) that relate in various ways to religious, ethical, and political beliefs and practices that are sometimes importantly sensitive and controversial, anything that is presented in class or contained in the reading material that you find to be disturbing, unsettling, perplexing, for whatever cause or reason, you are encouraged to bring these matters up for class consideration. You may, of course, discuss any such issues with me outside of class at anytime during the semester. We have in common the goal of learning about these important ideas, beliefs, and values. This educational venture should be beneficial and enhancing to your own quest for understanding. Think of this class as your opportunity to accomplish precisely this goal. If you run into hang-ups of whatever sort, please take advantage of them by learning from them, expressing them, getting feedback, and in general clarifying the issues that are at stake and your own comportment toward them.
If you have any questions about your responsibilities or opportunities in this class at any time during the semester, please talk with me. If you have concerns or problems of whatever sort that bear upon the work of this class, let me know. I have office hours scheduled throughout the semester. You are encouraged to come by to talk about anything that is of interest to you. I certainly hope that you will care about the work that you do throughout the semester. I care about your work and your progress in the class and I am very willing to help. If you cannot meet me during the scheduled office hours, we can arrange an appointment for a more convenient time.
Reading assignments and specific details of course scheduling will be given in class by me. This information will also appear on Laulima and will normally be specified on the course schedule. You should know for every class period exactly what your responsibilities are and what is occurring in class. If you are uncertain, make the effort to find out as soon as possible.
Common sense classroom policies
Talking in class is encouraged, but don’t distract others by engaging in separate conversations with a neighboring student.
Turn off your cell phone when in the classroom.
Tape recording and guests/visitors require advanced approval by the instructor.
Respect the views of others, even as you may disagree. Try to explain and clarify alternative perspectives, values, conclusions.
Enjoy the classroom environment, the other people and their viewpoints, and enjoy learning.
"The classroom is a special environment in which students and faculty come together to promote learning and growth. It is essential to this learning environment that respect for the rights of others seeking to learn, respect for the professionalism of the instructor, and the general goals of academic freedom are maintained. ... Differences of viewpoint or concerns should be expressed in terms which are supportive of the learning process, creating an environment in which students and faculty may learn to reason with clarity and compassion, to share of themselves without losing their identities, and to develop and understanding of the community in which they live . . . Student conduct which disrupts the learning process shall not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action and/or removal from class."
Important University Policies
Students with Disabilities: Upon identifying yourself to the university and the instructor, students with disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation for learning and evaluation. For additional information, contact http://www.hawaii.edu/kokua/
Student Conduct Code (see http://studentaffairs.manoa.hawaii.edu/policies/conduct_code/ )
Academic Dishonesty covers cheating and plagiarism:
“Cheating includes but is not limited to giving or receiving unauthorized assistance during an examination; obtaining unauthorized information about an examination before it is given; submitting another’s work as one’s own; using prohibited sources of information during an examination; fabricating or falsifying data in experiments and other research; altering the record of any grade; altering answers after an examination has been submitted; falsifying any official University record; or misrepresenting of facts in order to obtain exemptions from course requirements.
Plagiarism includes but is not limited to submitting, in fulfillment of an academic requirement, any work that has been copied in whole or in part from another individual’s work without attributing that borrowed portion to the individual; neglecting to identify as a quotation another’s idea and particular phrasing that was not assimilated into the student’s language and style or paraphrasing a passage so that the reader is misled as to the source; submitting the same written or oral or artistic material in more than one course without obtaining authorization from the instructors involved; or "drylabbing," which includes obtaining and using experimental data and laboratory write-ups from other sections of a course or from previous terms.” Examples include:
Copying someone else's words verbatim (word by word) without using quotation marks.
Paraphrasing or summarizing someone else's words without citing the source.
Quoting someone inaccurately.
Accidentally or intentionally misrepresenting someone else's words or ideas.
Citing the wrong source.
Using text, images, graphics, charts, drawings, video, audio, or other files that you did not create yourself and have not cited.
Plagiarism is a serious offense at UH. Depending on the degree to which a student plagiarizes, s/he may:
Receive no credit for the plagiarized assignment.
Receive no credit for the course.
Receive an academic warning published on his or her student record available to all UH administration and faculty.
Be placed on disciplinary probation.
Be suspended from classes and from campus activities.
Be expelled from UH.
Have a grade removed from a transcript.
Have a degree and diploma revoked.
Be sent directly to Hell for eternity.
Computers: Computers and communications links to remote resources are recognized as being integral to the education and research experience. Students are required to have his/her own computer or have other personal access to a workstation with the necessary software.
Copyright policy: The material available for this course through Laulima has been provided for private study, scholarship, or research. It is used for educational purposes in accord with copyright laws or assumed to be freely available because it is publically accessible on internet web sites. You may download one copy of the material on any single computer for non-commercial, personal, or educational purposes only. This material should not be modified, should be accurately reference if you use it in your assignments, and it should be used only for the duration of this course. Beyond this use, no material from the course may be copied, reproduced, re-published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way without the permission of the writer or original copyright holder. The instructor assumes no responsibility for individuals who improperly use copyrighted materials used for the course.
***Subject to Change***
This syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating, unexpected circumstances or adjustments that are helpful to the ongoing affairs of class. If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to check on announcements. Any changes will be explained in class and also appear on Laulima. If appropriate, you will also be notified by email (at your UH email address).
Tentative Course Schedule
You should read as completely and thoroughly as you can each of the readings in advance of the class session when a reading will be discussed. Preparing for class is important. It is likely that there will be adjustments in this schedule due to the pace of the class, special events on campus, and so on. Any changes will be explained in class and also appear on Laulima. If appropriate, you will also be notified by email (at your UH email address).
As we proceed through the course, keep an eye on Classic Asian Philosophy, by Joel Kupperman. This will provide additional general information about the philosophical positions/texts we exam. Also helpful may be the following general online sources which provide survey information, bibliography, and links:
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://www.iep.utm.edu/
Sometimes Wikipedia is helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Introduction to the course
Notes on Philosophy (available at the Laulima website for this class = L)
What is philosophy? Introductory comments
Notes on Religious Philosophy (L)
Philosophy and/or/versus Religion/Religious Studies
Video introduction to Hinduism
1.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AYL9_-PQyQ&feature=related (2 min)
2.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKE7enkhZyo&feature=related (9 min) #1
3.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEJNbdn9t20&feature=related (9 min) #2
4.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZavKqW7m08&feature=related (9 min) #3
5. Many Gods? (3 min) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEVRHwn2XKU&feature=related
6. Reincarnation (3 min)
7. Police etiquette video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lEH0D2hqjc [police etiquette] (9 min)
8 .Hinduism in typical home (9 min) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSpsIKVW0z4&feature=related
Ways of thinking in India, early developments; the Vedas
Video introduction to Hinduism (continued)
1.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1302EhyCf4&feature=related (9 min) #4
2.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crmGQDPSb7c&feature=related (9 min) #5
READ KATHA UPANISHAD on (L)
An online source
PRACTICE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTION on Laulima. At lease one response (paragraph length) is required. Also required is the reading of other responses and one response to the ongoing discussion. Contribute to everyone’s understanding of the issue involved.
Class Discussion of the Katha Upanishad
Finish discussion of Katha Upanishad
Begin reading the Bhagavad Gita (L)
1. Cartoon Intro to Bhagavad Gita: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPWSGiXKDS8 (17 min)
2. Entry into a life-world—Life of Paramhansa Yogananda
http://www.ananda.org/includes/asp/popup-videos.asp?id=-1499750889539093772&service=google&widescreen=false (27 min)
A wedding ceremony performed by Yogananda http://www.ananda.org/includes/asp/popup-videos.asp?id=-5599540604540463967&service=google&widescreen=false (10 min)
3. Online Group Discussion Question.
Class Discussion of the Gita
Optional: some talks on the Gita (Videos) http://www.ananda.org/inspiration/streaming/gita-class-video.html#videoone
Class Discussion of the Gita and Yoga Sutra
1. Brief history http://www.thaiexotictreasures.com/history_of_yoga.html
2. Take a look at the beginning couple of sections of the Yoga Sutra by Dennis Hill (L)
3. Notes on Yoga (L)
Introduction to the Yoga Sutra
Read VIOLENCE, RESPONSIBILITY, SPIRITUALITY (L)
Life overview #1-5 http://vodpod.com/watch/557097-mahatma-gandhi-part-15 #1-5 (9-10 min each)
Longer version http://vodpod.com/watch/256688-mahatma-gandhi-film-in-the-footsteps-of-mahatma-gandhi-in-india (1hr40min)
Notes on Jainism (L)
1.Central features (brief descriptions) http://www.engr.mun.ca/~asharan/bihar/jainism.html
2.Video Dennis Kucinich (3 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoU0i4B3GnE 3.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9NcGAE4WOU (4 min)
Ahimsa talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qg_lIcMBkg&feature=related (18 min)
Jain worldview and values
Some reference to Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jain worldview and values
Online examination -- No class
EXAM #1 (Indian and Jain Philosophy)
** Watch video: Life of the Buddha 50 min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2NLQGrbf5U&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_39AJQ1nlg (3 min)
[The book Siddhartha by Herman Hesse utilizes many features of Indian life values. The Siddhartha of this novel is not Siddhartha Gotama, the historical Buddha, but the son of a Brahmin priest somewhere in India long ago who undertakes a spiritual journey to realize self and reality. Good reading.]
Class notes on Buddhism (L)
Read the early sermons (dharma talks) of the Buddha (L)
Read The Debate of King Milinda (L)
Alan Watts “Music and Life” 2 min. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERbvKrH-GC4
** 4 Noble Truths Robert Thurman Dalai Lama (50 min) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXmdKWVirUA&feature=related
Interested in Vegetarianism and Buddhism? See Meat eating chapter in Lankavatara Sutra (L)
Online Group Discussion Question
Begin reading Zen Keys
Read the Heart Sutra (L)
More on Zen
Online Group Discussion Question on the Ten Bulls
Finish consideration of Buddhism
Begin reading the Analects (L)
Online examination = no class
EXAM #2 Buddhism
Discussion of the Analects
Discussion of the Analects
Video in class: Tu Wei-ming
Discussion of the Analects
Read and discuss
Selections from Mencius (L)
Selection from Hsun Tzu (Xunzi) (L)
Selection from Wang Yang-ming (L)
Online Group Discussion Question
Great Learning & Doctrine of the Mean (L)
Finish consideration of Confucian issues
such as women, animals, communism
Online examination -- No class
EXAM #3 Confucian Tradition
Begin reading Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)
General information video #1 & #2 (6 min. each) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lynaDSQ0V0Y&feature=related
YinYang Huston Smith story (2 min) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOaw3iqfTJM
Discussion of Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)
Try a little Kungfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmQNBSQmXCE&feature=related (2 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EadMQ4cnK8A&feature=related (2 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THqSurkgb8c&feature=related (2 min)
Taiji (Tai Chi) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WA4V5RE8As&feature=related (6 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdudxdtziI4&feature=related (5 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cCD0l7COqk&feature=related (10 min)
Online Group Discussion Question
Finish Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)
Begin Chuang Tzu/Zhuangzi Chapters 1-3 (L)
Chuang Tzu/Zhuangzi Chapters 1-3 (L)
On line examination = no class
EXAM #4 Daoism
Reflection on connections between Indian, Buddhist, Confucian and Daoist philosophy
Some comparative analysis
General information on Shinto
Optional: Info on The Way of the Sumarai http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/tenshin-shoden-katori-shinto-ryu-1-of-4/8028478/ #1-4 (10 min. each)
Reflections on the material covered in the class
Information about the final exam
FINAL EXAM or FINAL PAPER DUE
**Alterations and adjustments will be made on the basis of the pace of class discussion and student interest. When adjustments are appropriate, you will be notified in class and on line. You will know about changes by attending class and by checking Laulima. If you have any questions about the schedule at any time, do talk with or email me.