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World Philosophies: China


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


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.


The timetable is available on the following website:

BA Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives BA1

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required.

Course load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours 140 hours

To be announced.

Assessment method


  • Midterm in-class sit-down examination

  • Final in-class sit-down examination


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests:

  • Midterm in-class sit-down examination: 50%

  • Final in-class sit-down examination: 50%


There is one resit for this course. It consists of an in-class sit-down examination 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.

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.


Blackboard will be used:

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

  • for grade reporting.

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


Not applicable.