Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course examines the metaphysical presuppositions present in classic Chinese texts such as Zhuangzi, Dao De Jing, and Huainanzi, and investigates how these presuppositions shaped Chinese technological and scientific practices such as traditional Chinese medicine.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Understand the most important metaphysical, ontological , and epistemological presumptions underlying the Chinese conceptions of the Natural and human world, the nature of knowledge and skills, as well as technological and scientific practice within the classical Chinese philosophical framework.

2. Understand the meanings of the key metaphysical concepts such as Dao, De, Wuwei, and their roles in constructing the ontology and epistemology in classic Chinese philosophy and the knowledge and skills in technological/scientific practice such as traditional Chinese medicine.

3. Develop high level written skills in presenting issues concerning Chinese philosophy.

4. Develop a capacity to appreciate alternative ways of conceptualizing and constructing concepts of human emotion and physiology, health and illness, alternative ways of constructing and presenting scientific knowledge such as medical theories and practice.


Key concepts from Chinese philosophical texts such as Nature, Dao, De, and Wuwei are examined to articulate the metaphysical framework in classical Chinese philosophy. In addition to the philosophical texts, the most influential Chinese medical text, The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon is also examined to articulate the ontological and epistemological framework underlying traditional Chinese medical theories and practice. Concepts from the Canon including health and disease, medical knowledge and skills are also discussed by reading key passages from the philosophical and medical texts.


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

Quiz: Quiz

In Term Test: Take-Home Exam

Essay: Final Essay

Participation: Online discussion