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Comparative Philosophy


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • second-year students BA Filosofie;

  • 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 is an introduction to the Indian and Chinese Philosophical traditions. Topics to be covered include Confucianism, Daoism, Indian Buddhism, and a selection of the Brahmanical philosophical systems. A secondary goal of the course will be to introduce students to the practice of comparative/cross-cultural philosophy, that is philosophical study which draws significantly upon insights from at least two geographically distinct cultural traditions.

Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • introduce students to the Chinese and Indian Philosophical traditions;

  • introduce students to the practice of comparative philosophy.

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

  • basic philosophical positions and philosophical vocabulary of several of the most influential schools of Chinese and Indian Philosophy;

  • a basic understanding of the advantages of, as well as the potential difficulties in engaging with philosophical ideas comparatively.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • present this knowledge in written form (written exams);

  • formulate critical responses to these philosophical ideas and positions;

  • at an introductory level, work cross-culturally with philosophical ideas.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Written examination (midterm and final) with short open questions and essay questions


  • Midterm (50%)

  • Final (50%)


Reset. One written exam covering the entire class and replacing the entire grade.

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

Required reading

  • Gethin, Rupert. 1998. The Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford University Press. (Required.)

  • Ivanhoe and Van Norden. 2005. Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. Hackett. (Required.)

  • Connolly, Tim. Doing Philosophy Comparatively. Bloomsbury Press. (Strongly Recommended.)


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 information bar at the right hand side of the page.

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


Not applicable.