Category Archives: Courses

“What Makes Us Human?” Summer Course at CEU

Applications are invited for an interdisciplinary, comparative summer course entitled “What Makes Us Human? Philosophical and Religious Perspectives in China and the West” to be held at Central European University in Budapest from July 4 to 15. The course looks at the question of what it is to be human from a range of intellectual perspectives in traditional Chinese and Greek thought, covering philosophy, psychology, religion, science, and medicine.

The course director is Curie Virág
 (East Asian Studies, Toronto), and faculty include Gabor Betegh
 (Classics, Christ’s College, Cambridge University), Chris Fraser
 (Philosophy, Hong Kong), Donald Harper
 (East Asian Languages & Civilizations, Chicago), Brooke Holmes
 (Classics, Princeton), Maria Kronfeldner
 (Philosophy, CEU), and Matthias Riedl
 (History, CEU).

Here’s the course description from the program catalogue:  Continue reading →

Workshop: Infusing Asian Philosophy into the Traditional Curriculum

Hey, Everyone,

I’m the program chair for the SACP panels at the APA East meeting, and I’m thinking of running a workshop for non-Asianists who want to include some Asian philosophy in the classroom.

The reason I’m writing is that I’m looking for ideas.

First let me tell you how I’m thinking about it. Suppose you could choose one text to include in a traditional philosophical anthology. The anthology would be in any specific area of philosophy or would be a basic introductory text. You would get to choose a short piece to represent any part of any Asian tradition that could be covered in one class period. That’s the first part of how to think about it. The second part of how to think of it would be: now what if a colleague came and asked you how to teach that text in the classroom? How would you explain it, or what kind of extra resources would you provide (in a reasonable amount) so that a non-Asianist could competently teach it without having to get a degree in it?

So, given those two ways of framing the issue, how should I approach this kind of panel? Should I open it to all Asian philosophy in general? Or should I focus on a specific philosophical area, such as ethics or epistemology? If the latter, which area would be a good first candidate?

Have any of your colleagues every shown an interest in such a thing? I broached the topic with a couple of colleagues today. One said that he’d be interested in a text from the Chinese tradition that he could use for an Intro class and would love to know how to teach it. Another said he’d be interested in an epistemology text from any non-Western tradition.

Do you think this kind of panel would garner any interest from non-Asianists at the meeting? Would people show up for a workshop on how to infuse Asian works of philosophy into their classrooms?

Finally, would any of you have an interest in answering this kind of call for papers? This would be pretty basic stuff from a specialist’s perspective.

Or is it a really bad idea to think that some non-Asianist could sit through a thirty minute lecture on an Asian text and then be competent to teach it?

Or is it a bad idea because we’d be ceding our turf?

All ideas are welcome. Feel free to shoot me down.

Hansen’s MOOC on edX

Chad Hansen has created a MOOC on edX called “Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought,” available here. Here is some copy from the course description:

Think along with Classical Chinese masters as they explore and debate how and where we can find ethical guidance in nature.

We make ethical or behaviour guiding right / wrong judgments all the time but have you ever wondered where Ethics comes from, what it is about and why it is important? This course provides an introduction to traditional Chinese ethical thought and focuses on the pervasive contrast in the way Chinese and Westerners think about ethical guidance or guidance concerning what is right and what is wrong, good or bad.  Traditional Western orthodoxy uses the metaphor of a law – in its most familiar popular form, the command of a supernatural being backed by a threat of eternal punishment or reward – to explain ethical guidance. The Classical Chinese philosophers by contrast were all naturalists. They talked about ethical guidance using a path metaphor – a natural dào…