Chinese Thought: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science - Part 2
This course is designed to give students a thorough introduction to early (pre-221 BCE) Chinese thought, its contemporary implications, and the role of religion in human well-being. Important themes to be discussed include the ideal of wu-wei or “effortless action,” the paradox of how one can consciously try not to try, mindfulness techniques and self-cultivation, models of the self and society, rationality versus emotions, trust and human cooperation, and the structure and impact of different spiritual and political ideals.
This period of Chinese history witnessed the formation of all of the major indigenous schools of Chinese thought (Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism and Legalism), which in turn had an impact on the development of East Asian cultural history that is still felt today. We will also explore parallels with Western philosophical and religious traditions, the relevance of early Chinese thought for contemporary debates in ethics, moral education, and political philosophy, and the manner in which early Chinese models of the self anticipate recent developments in the evolutionary and cognitive sciences.
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- Virtual Classroom
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Course delivery details
This course is offered through University of British Columbia, a partner institute of EdX.
4-6 hours per week
- Verified Track -$49
- Audit Track - Free
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
- Later developments in Confucianism and Daoism
- Legalism and the origins of the imperial Chinese state
- How to analyze philosophical and religious arguments and debates
- Alternative models of ethics, the self, and the individual-society relationship
- The universality and contemporary relevance of basic ethical dilemmas
- The power of spontaneity, and the tensions involved in attaining it
- Religion or spirituality and the role of meaning in human well-being
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