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Comparative Philosophy I: Classical Readings


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives.


In this course, we will engage in a thorough examination of two significant philosophical texts from Chinese traditions: The Analects (Lunyu, 《論語》) and the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi (《莊子》). We will investigate these texts through translated versions, focusing on understanding their philosophical concepts and arguments.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the insights of the selected text or texts;

  • the fundamental concepts and principles of Confucianism and Daoism.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • engage with philosophical reasoning and arguments presented by the author(s) of the text(s);

  • understand and reconstruct philosophical positions and arguments from philosophical texts;

  • express, critique and defend these positions and arguments, both orally and in writing;

  • develop skills in textual analysis through close, guided readings;

  • improve their ability to interact with philosophical ideas, both in active participation during class, and in written work in the form of exams.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Two written exams with one or more essay questions

  • Attendance and Participation


  • Mid-term exam (40%)

  • Final exam (50%)

  • Attendance and Participation (10%)


The resit consists of one examination with one or more essay questions, covering the entire course content (90%). No separate resits will be offered for mid-term or final tests. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for subtests.

Class attendance is a mandatory requirement for taking the resit.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Slingerland, Edward, trans. Confucius: Analects with Selections from Traditional Commentaries. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2003.

  • Ziporyn, Brook, trans. Zhuangzi: the Essential Writings with Selections from Traditional Commentaries. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2009. (Both works are available online through the University Catalogue.)

Additional readings will be posted on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.