Chinese Philosophy

Course code PHIL2140
Not available in 2016


Examines philosophies developed by cultures that are not rooted in Western Europe. Examples of philosophies that may be covered in this course include Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, Native American, Aboriginal Australian, African, and Middle Eastern.


Not currently available.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2015.

Learning Outcomes

1. Impart to students familiarity with, and knowledge of, the main issues addressed and approaches taken by philosophers in another major culture or related group of cultures.

2. Impart to students critical skills to deal with these issues and employ these approaches in their assessment of their own culture and societal life, and in thinking about their own personal lives.

3. Develop high level written and oral skills in presenting issues concerning philosophies of non-European cultures

4. Develop a capacity to appreciate how people of other cultures approach ways of living and evaluating life situations.


Specific content will vary from year to year. The course may focus on one particular non-European philosophy, say for instance Chinese, or it may survey several under selected themes.

The main assigned reading will be translations of primary materials supplemented by secondary interpretation.

For instance, a segment covering: ancient Chinese philosophy would use The Analects of Confucius (tr. Ames and Rosemont), the Tao Te Ching (tr. MacDonald) and The book of Chuang Tzu, (tr. Palmer & Breuilly) as primary texts, supplementing them with such contemporary texts as Confucius: The secular as sacred by H. Fingarette, Disputers of the Tao: philosphical argument in ancient China by A. C. Graham, Thinking through Confucius by D. L. Hall and R. T. Ames.

The lectures and discussions will focus on:

  • interpreting the texts,
  • examining the philosophic issues,
  • discussing how cultural concerns are reflected in the philosophy,
  • discussing non-western philosophical terminology, and
  • comparing the non-european ideas to those of western philosophy.

Replacing Course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): PHIL3140. Students who have successfully completed PHIL3140 are not eligible to enrol in PHIL2140.


This course replaces PHIL3140. If you have successfully completed PHIL3140 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed Knowledge

At least 10 units of PHIL courses at 1000 level, or 40 units of any courses at any level.

Assessment Items

Presentation: Group Presentation

In Term Test: Take-Home Exam

Essay: Final Essay

Contact Hours