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How can we live a good life? What standards should we use to judge how political power is constituted and used? This class will involve students in close reading of, and exegetical writing about, core texts of ancient Chinese philosophy in English translation. The purpose is to gain an understanding of a number of different perspectives on life and politics, especially Confucianism, Legalism and Daoism. While the primary focus will be on the meaning of the texts in the context of their own times, contemporary applications of core concepts will also be considered. The class will begin with background readings, since no prior work in Chinese philosophy or history is assumed. Then the class will read significant portions of the following canonical works: Yijing, Analects, Mencius, Daodejing, Zhuangzi, and Han Feizi.
Format: seminar; The class will be hybrid with both online and in-person sessions.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
two 5-page papers and one 15-page paper
preference to seniors but all are welcome.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST East Asian Studies Electives
LEAD Facets or Domains of Leadership
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses
PSCI Political Theory Courses