The Dennes Room

Philosophy 18

Spring 2022

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
18 Confucius for Today Shun MWF 3-4 TBA

The teachings of Confucius (6th to 5th century B.C.) have had a profound influence on Chinese and East Asian cultures, and have attracted significant interest throughout the world. In what ways are they still of relevance to life in the twenty-first century? The course will consider the contemporary relevance of Confucius’ teachings for a range of selected topics. The first three weeks will be devoted to an introduction to the historical background of Confucius’ teachings, the key terms in Confucian thought, and important themes in the Analects of Confucius. The remainder of the semester will be devoted to a range of topics related to contemporary life such as: family relations, etiquette and good manners, compassion, humility and modesty, confronting hardship and loss, death, anger, tranquility, learning and liberal education, as well as the idea of spirituality. In addition to the Analects of Confucius, we will read some contemporary works on related topics (including selected philosophical articles), and will also consider elaborations on Confucius’ ideas by later Confucians, including Mencius (4th century B.C.), Zhu Xi (1130-1200) and Wang Yangming (1472-1529), as well as (time permitting) related ideas from Buddhist and Daoist thought.

Previously taught: FL16, FL15, FL14.