Prospectus

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Masters of Chinese Philosophy (ResMA)

Course
2016-2017

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research) or another relevant research MA programme. Students from other departments are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.

Description

How do you become a better person? How can you navigate smoothly through a world full of complexity? What is the most efficient way to strengthen a country? How to prevent countries from fighting wars? … Master Kong (a.k.a. Confucius), Master Mo, Master Meng, Master Zhuang, Master Han Fei, and many other thinkers in early China pondered over such questions, and their views continue to inspire people to the present day. This course offers you the opportunity to acquire an advanced understanding of those views, by reading early Chinese philosophical texts (in translation), as well as modern studies of those texts. Throughout the course you will engage with state-of-the-field debates, as you familiarize yourself with various perspectives and methodologies to study Chinese philosophy. We will pay attention to new insights gained from archaeological discoveries, to the importance of historical context, to philological problems when reading age-old writings, to diverse philosophical interpretations of texts, to the fruits of comparative philosophy, and to the contemporary relevance of ancient texts. In the process, you will get to know your favorite master of Chinese philosophy, and well as your favorite approach to study his philosophy.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, you should be able to:
• comprehend passages from Chinese philosophical texts (in translation)
• grasp the diversity of Chinese philosophical texts
• grasp the diversity of approaches to study these texts
• analyze complex scholarly arguments
• participate actively in group discussions (in English)
• formulate an original research question
• conduct effective research to answer the research question
• report on your findings, both orally and in writing

Timetable

The timetable is available on the Asianstudies website

Mode of instruction

Seminar.

Course Load

The workload for this course is roughly 280 hours (10 EC x 28 hours per EC)
• plenary sessions: 24 hours (12 weeks x 2 hours per week), with an extra 6 hours for students of the Research MA (in a form to be discussed)
• readings: 96 hours (12 weeks x 8 hours per week)
• course assignments: 34 hours
• presentations: 40 hours
• final paper: 80 hours

Assessment method

  • class attendance, preparation, and participation (20% of final grade)
    • oral presentations (20% of final grade)
    • written assignments (20% of final grade)
    • term paper (40% of final grade)

The term paper must be higher than a passing grade (6.0) in order to successfully complete this course. A failed term paper may be re-written only if the original submission constituted a serious attempt. (The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)

Blackboard

Blackboard for course announcements, course documents, and assignments.

Reading list

These books will be used extensively in class:
• Ivanhoe, Philip J. and Bryan W. Van Norden. Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2005 (2nd edition). ISBN-13: 978-0872207806
• Van Norden, Bryan W. Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1603844680

Additional reading for the ResMA students will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ field(s) of interest. This extra literature will be discussed during the (extra) tutorial sessions.

Other reading materials will be announced on Blackboard.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Dr. Paul van Els