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World Philosophies: China


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives.


This course will introduce the student to the major early philosophical traditions of China that originated during the Warring States Period, including Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism and Yangism. Students will explore both the distinct ideas and arguments as well as overlapping frameworks of these traditions of thought as they attempted to respond to the urgent moral, social, political and envisioned cosmological crises out of which they emerged.

Course objectives

This course aims to acquaint students with the conceptual frameworks, philosophical worldviews and argumentational genres of the early philosophical traditions of China and train them to think through and critically evaluate the positions and debates of some of the first Chinese philosophical schools.

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

  • the early Chinese philosophical texts that exerted the longest influences on Chinese thought;

  • the ideas, argumentational styles and debates of the early Chinese philosophical lineages.


See: BA Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives - BA1

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours 140 hours

To be announced.

Assessment method


  • Two written, take-home examinations with essay questions


  • Midterm take examination: 50%

  • Final take home examination: 50%


There is one resit for this course. It consists of a take home exam essay questions over all the material covered. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term or final tests. The mark for the resit replaces any partial result. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.

Exam review

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.


Blackboard will be used:

  • for student take-home assignments and grade reporting;

  • to post syllabus, announcements about class-related matters and materials.

Reading list

  • Van Norden & Ivanhoe, eds., Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. (Course textbook to be purchased)

  • Course syllabus will be distributed via Blackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof.dr. D.L. Berger