nl en

Comparative Philosophy II: Topics


Admission requirements

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


The course introduces students to major schools and thinkers of East Asian Mahāyāna philosophy, including Tiantai (K. Cheontae/ J.Tendai), Faxiang (K. Yusik/J. Hōsso), Huayan (K. Hwaeom/J. Kegon), Chan (K. Seon;
J. Zen), Pure Land, and the esoteric schools. Through reading primary and secondary texts, students will explore how Buddhist philosophers constantly exchange ideas with each other when developing arguments transmitted from India and Central Asia.

Course objectives

This course aims to provide students with an overview of major schools and thinkers of East Asian Mahāyāna philosophy.

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

  • thoughts and arguments provided by East Asian Buddhist philosophers;

  • debates, dialogues, and exchanges between Buddhist and non-Buddhist thinkers.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • offer an overview of major philosophical traditions of East Asian Buddhism;

  • critically analyze ideas and notions presented in primary and secondary resources;

  • develop skills in academic writing and cross-cultural communication;

  • relate Buddhist philosophy with intellectual history, social history, and visual culture.


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

  • Attending lectures (13 weeks x 3 hrs): 39 hours

  • Preparation for classes: 61 hours;

  • Preparation for midterm and final exams: 40 hours.

Assessment method


  • Mid term in-class sit-down examination with essay questions (50%)

  • Final in-class sit-down examination with essay questions (50%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the two subtests. Weighing to be announced.


The resit consists of one examination for all parts at once, covering the entire course content, and consisting of an in-class sit-down examination with essay questions. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for the subtests. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests.

Inspection and feedback

Exam review upon request of the student organized within 30 days after publication of the exam results.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Instruction and communication;

  • Posting links for readings

  • Uploading additional materials, e.g. PowerPoints slides.

Reading list

The reading list will be posted on Blackboard prior to the start of the course.


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.


Dr. J. Li


Not applicable.