ASSIGNMENTS: Submit 5 Journals and 1 Paper to TurnItIn  Class ID: 26115098   Password: madness
@ 5 journals (75%): on any of the topics in the syllabus, and each journal should contain and discuss at least 5 quotes from the textbook(s).
  • Each journal should be at least 500 words and should contain reflective and critical commentary: the required components are listed below at FAQ. 
  • Aim to submit your journal(s) on or close to: Sep 16, Sep 30, Oct 14, Oct 28, Nov 11, Nov 25, and/or Dec 9, 2020.
  •     There are five folders, Journal 1, Journal 2 ...  in TurnItIn: simply submit each of your journals, accordingly. Just fill all five folders by Dec 9, 2020.    
  •     You can use each date for each journal or a couple of dates for multiple journals, entirely up to you, but again, just make it a total of 5 by Dec 9, 2020 
  • Dec 9, 2020: The only dead deadline. You will not be penalized for letting go any earlier dates. The earlier you submit, the earlier you get your grade, that's all. 
  •     I will be grading and commenting on any new submissions shortly after Sep 16, Sep 30, Oct 14, Oct 28, Nov 11, Nov 25, and Dec 9, 2020. 
  •     You can expect a 1-2 week turnaround time. 
one 5,000 word paper (25%): on any topic(s) in the syllabus, in which you can expand on any of your 5 journals: due on Dec 9, 2020, the last day of class

On the 100 point scale, each journal counts up to 15 points (15 x 5 =75 points) and the remaining 25 points are for the 5,000 word paper.
Cycles/Deadlines for Fall 2020: Sep 16, Sep 30, Oct 14, Oct 28, Nov 11, Nov 25 (journals & draft paper & revisions, soft) + Dec 9 (final paper & all, FIRM)   
If you have any alternative suggestions on your assignment plan, email me with a request and explain why you need or want a different approach. 

NOTES on the general method and evaluation criteria 
1. Writing-focused: read the textbook(s) at your own pace and focus on producing, ultimately, a 5000 word paper at the end. 
2. Feedback on your submission will be the main portal of communication between you and the instructor in this class. 
3. Upon request, a further individual guidance will be available through an occasional online meeting or ad hoc workshop: email me with a request. 
4. Blackboard group discussions will function as a classroom discussion throughout the course; active use of it, while not required, is recommended.
5. You are encouraged to review supplementary materials linked below or on the course Blackboard.
6. You are also encouraged to utilize and quote from any materials you found online as long as they are reasonably reputable sources and you reference them clearly. 
7. You are expected to work towards producing a "portfolio" of your own ideas and learning, given the wealth of information and specific prompts provided here. 

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Course Description          
A course on classical Chinese philosophy. Following this tradition of textual commentary, itself cultivated as an art form, we will analyze six early Chinese philosophers from the “Spring and Autumn” (770-476 B.C.) and “Warring State” (475-221 B.C.) periods, the turbulent last two periods of Zhou Dynasty that demanded and produced great thinkers in action: Sun Tzu, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Confucius, Mencius and Hsün Tzu. 

Course Objectives           
The flowering of thoughts during this era, comparable to the origination of ideas in ancient Greece, led to the institution of a comprehensive range of philosophical systems encompassing ethics, aesthetics, epistemology and metaphysics, all shaped broadly into the Taoist tradition on the one hand, and the Confucian on the other. With this in mind, we will examine both the original insights and contextual contributions of some of the key thinkers from those twofold traditions: you are expected to apply, intelligently and creatively, philosophical ideas you learn from this class to your own context. 

Required Texts  
  • re Kongzi/Confucius    Henry Jr. Rosemont and Roger Ames (trans). The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation. New York: Ballantine Books. 1999. 
  • re Laozi       Roger Ames and David Hall (trans). Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation. New York: Ballantine Books. 2003.
  • re Sunzi       Roger Ames (trans). Sun-Tzu: The Art of Warfare. New York: Ballantine Books. 1993.
  • re Zhuangzi, Xunzi and Mengzi/Mencius     Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan Van Norden (eds). Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. Washington DC: Seven Bridges Press. 2000. 

Recommended/Further Readings 
  • Watson Burton (trans). Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings. New York: Columbia University Press. 1996.  
  • Watson Burton (trans). Hsün Tzu: Basic Writings. New York: Columbia University Press. 1963.
  • D.C. Lau (trans). Mencius. New York: Penguin Books. 1970. 
  • Joel Kupperman. Classic Asian Philosophy: A Guide to the Essential Texts. Oxford: OUP. 2001. 
  • Michael Nylan. The Five "Confucian" Classics. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2001.   

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Contents 
Keywords/points/concepts/sample journal questions 
for your 
studied reflection and considered response in writing

General References Resources
Zhongwen (Dictionary)
Chinese History: Timeline
ChinaKnowledge (Encyclopedia)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: any entries on "Chinese philosophy"


Topic 1: General Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy | notes re canon/genealogy re trait eg emotional 
1. What are some of the general characteristics of classical Chinese philosophy? Name and describe at least five strands and discuss their significance. 
2. What are some of the distinguishing marks of classical Chinese philosophy, different from "Western" philosophy? And what are your own comparative interests? 
3. Explain, roughly, a few foundational concepts in classical Chinese philosophy including Ren 仁, Dao 道 and Qi 气; discuss a couple of more of your own choosing.  
4. Why do you think we need to study classical Chinese philosophy, whoever "we" are here and now? Think about your own personal reflection/motivation, too.
5. What are some contemporary examples or phenomena, as you see, that show the lasting relevance and evolution of classical Chinese philosophy?    
Supplementary
Theism and Naturalism in Ancient Chinese Philosophy
Ritual and Humanity 
The Problem of Evil and Humanity 
Warring States
Introducing Eastern Philosophy
The Dark Female Animal (in Chinese and English | Lecture @ the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Topic 2: Sunzi's 孫子兵法 Art of War | notes re 知彼知己 百戰不殆 
1. The Art (or Law) of War shows both a set of military strategies and political philosophy. Choose at least five key concepts from the book to illustrate such deeper links.  
2. Is war ever justfiable? Or could there be an "ethics of war"? Is there, as political philosophers call it, a "just war"? Look for some clues/arguments on this in the book. 
3. There is an intimate evolving connection between the Fa (law) 法 and Dao (way) 道 the key concept in Laozi's Daodejing: show such connections in the two books. 
4. Start with one concept you find most interesting and show at least four different, relevant concepts, while illustrating this connection through a real life story. 
5. (How) is this book helpful today? In your own and or broader social/everyday/political/community context. Try and draw some creative and practical insights. 
​Supplementary
Introducing the Art of War
Suntzu Said
Sunzi: The Art of War (Overview)
Code of the Street (for a more contemporary and comparatively applied reflection) 

Topic 3: Laozi's 道德经 Daodejing 
1. "Dao you can talk about is not a constant dao": this book on Dao 道 opens with such a paradox or irony. Explain at least five characteristics of Dao and why they matter. 
2. Why, in your view, is this book dealing with both Dao AND De 德? Explain these two concepts in connection by also relating to some real life examples. 
3. The art of Wuwei 無為 is everywhere, ranging from martial arts and meditative idling. Explain and evaluate this concept while analyzing each character closely.  
4. Start with one concept you find most interesting and show at least four different, relevant concepts, while illustrating this connection through a real life story or two.
5. (How) is this book helpful today? In your own and or broader social/everyday/political/community context. Try and draw some creative and practical insights. 
Supplementary
Introducing Laozi/Daodejing​
Do Schools Kill Creativity? 
Wuwei
The Dark Female Animal (in Chinese and English | Lecture @ the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Topic 4: Zhuangzi
1. Zhuangzi develops Laozi's Daoism - in what way? Compare these two figures/books and evaluate the significance of daoist philosophy and outlook in life. 
2. Zhuangzi's "butterfly dream" in chapter 2 is one of the most famous allegories from this book. How does it compare to modern skepticism in "Western" philosophy?
3. Zhuangzi as an imaginative storyteller and poetic writer illustrates how philosophy is often fused with poetry in classical Chinese intellectual tradition. Explore this.
4. Start with one concept you find most interesting and show at least four different, relevant concepts, while illustrating this connection through a real life story or two.
5. (How) is this book helpful today? In your own and or broader social/everyday/political/community context. Try and draw some creative and practical insights. 
Supplementary
Introducing Zhuangzi 
Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream
Butterfly Re-dreaming 

Topic 5: Kongzi (Confucius)'s 论语 Analects
1. What are the key ideas of Confucianism? Provide a concise summary in your own words, by using at least five different concepts in Confucianism. 
2. Confucius is often compared to Plato (and Aristotle) both in his towering influence and orientation in thinking. How do they differ and also converge? 
3. Rituals and "appropriate" thoughtfulness are particularly important in Confucianism. Why? And can you find any very contemporary relevance of this idea? 
4. Start with one concept you find most interesting and show at least four different, relevant concepts, while illustrating this connection through a real life story or two.
5. (How) is this book helpful today? In your own and or broader social/everyday/political/community context. Try and draw some creative and practical insights. 
Supplementary 
Introducing Confucius
Confucius: A Biographical Sketch
Just Hierarchy 

Topic 6: Mengzi (Mencius) 
1. Mengzi deepens and develops Kongzi's foundational ideas - how? Explain this evolution by discussing at least five concepts as introduced or extended in his book. 
2. Mengzi believes in the fundamental goodness of human nature. How does he ground, cultivate and justify this idea? And what relevance does it have today? 
3. Discuss and evaluate the "family" metaphors or analogies that shape Mengzi's philosophy of care and harmony. Is this interesting/significant, politically or otherwise? 
4. Start with one concept you find most interesting and show at least four different, relevant concepts, while illustrating this connection through a real life story or two.
5. (How) is this book helpful today? In your own and or broader social/everyday/political/community context. Try and draw some creative and practical insights. 
Supplementary
Introducing Mengzi 

Topic 6: Xunzi
1. Xunzi, critically and creatively, combines Daoism and Confucianism in his rather realist approach to life. Explain this by discussing some further points in his text. 
2. Xunzi, unlike Mengzi, does not believe in the fundamental goodness of human nature. Compare and contrast and evaluate Xunzi and Mengzi's view on (human) evil. 
3. Evaluate pros and cons of capitalism from the perspective of Xunzi's ethics and social political philosophy. 
4. Start with one concept you find most interesting and show at least four different, relevant concepts, while illustrating this connection through a real life story or two.
5. (How) is this book helpful today? In your own and or broader social/everyday/political/community context. Try and draw some creative and practical insights. 
Supplementary
Introducing Xunzi

Topic 7: Concluding Reflection on Classical Chinese Philosophy
What is your question? Try to start formulating your key research question with a view to writing a paper for the course.

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FAQ

1. What Counts as a Journal? 

Study the textbook(s) carefully, especially the part/page/chapter of your choice, and write a well-condensed and composed entry containing all three elements: 
@ a succinct summary of the reading material or section of your choice 
@ a critical response to or close analysis of any crucial passage(s) which should also be clearly cited, and 
@ a conclusive elaboration of the significance of the topic and the passage(s) under discussion. 
​Here are some samples: journals on"The Personal is Theoretical?"; Theoretical is Scientific?; "Naming Oppression and Position"
These examples are quite extensive, and just aim for a shorter version of the comparable level of analytic and critical reading.
Some writing tips: 
  • Try and "budget" words around each quote you intend to discuss and connect. You could start mechanically with around 70-80 words per paragraph. 
  • In this class, well-incorporated and thoughtful reflections on real life episodes as examples are more than welcome. In fact, they would be very interesting. 
  • Make sure you aim for quality, not quantity, and logical and engaging links among ideas, not just a series of fragmented thoughts merely bundled together.

What Citational Style Should I Use for the Journals? 
​Any standard academic style such as APA/Chicago/MLA

Where Do I Submit a Journal and How Is It Graded? 
Each journal should be submitted to Turnitin and will be graded and returned with comments within 2 weeks of submission.

Can I Write Multiple Journals on a Single Figure? 
Yes. For instance, you can certainly write all of your five journals on one word or even a paragraph. What matters is the quality of your studied reflection and writing. 

Can I Write More Than Five Journals? 
No. Redirect your surplus energy to paper writing, your 5,000 word final paper. 

Can I Rewrite My Journals and Resubmit Them for Better Grades? 
OK. Up to 2 journals post-feedback. If your revision is evidently better, your final grade will be higher. I have created 2 additional folders for your optional revision.  

2. What Are the Grading Criteria? 

Grading Scale 
97- A+
93- A
90- A-
87- B+
83- B
80- B-
77- C+
73- C
70- C-
67- D+
63- D
60- D-
Below 60 F (Fail)

On the 100 point scale, each journal counts up to 15 points (15 x 5 =75 points) and the remaining 25 points are for the 5,000 word paper. 
  • Those regularly and actively participating in the blackboard discussion could earn an extra credit up to 10, but no one will be losing points for not participating. 
  • Grades are non-negotiable unless there is a clerical error. 

Grade A: Mastery of the issues and literature, and an ability to make some original contribution. 
Grade B: Good grasp of issues and literature, but little or no attempt at own contribution. 
Grade C: Some but uncertain grasp of the issues. 
Grade D: Failure to grasp issues but some attempt made. 
Grade F: Not even trying. 

3. What are the Basic Requirements for a 5,000 word Paper? 

  • Topic: any figure/topic of your choice from the textbook(s) or classroom discussions - if in doubt/in need of help, do feel free to email me for help.
  • Primary Source: textbooks (designated as "required texts") and links on this syllabus page.
  • Outside Sources: print or internet-based, in any combination, up to 10; any reference, whether a url, a chapter, or a book, counts as 1. 
  • Bibliographic Format: any standard academic style such as APA/Chicago/MLA
  • The submission deadline: the last day of class: firm
  • Again, upon request, students will have a chance to receive live feedback on their drafts, and the grade for the writing component will be determined solely on the basis of the polished portfolio submitted on the last day of class.   

Can I submit a draft paper for a quick comment and preliminary grade before submitting the final version?
Yes. I have created an optional "draft submission" folder in Turnitin for that purpose. The deadline for this is two weeks before the final paper deadline. 

Can I incorporate my own journals into my final paper by literally reusing some passages? 
Yes. Your paper could certainly expand on some of the key points in your own journals also by importing some sections, as long as your paper as a whole makes sense.  
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Statement of College Policy on Plagiarism
"Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else‘s ideas, words, or artistic, scientific, or technical work as one‘s own creation. Using the ideas or work of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism. It is the student‘s responsibility to recognize the difference between statements that are common knowledge (which do not require documentation) and restatements of the ideas of others. Paraphrase, summary, and direct quotation are acceptable forms of restatement, as long as the source is cited. Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The Library has free guides designed to help students with problems of documentation." (From the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Undergraduate Bulletin, p. 36)
Should plagiarism be determined, a formal disciplinary action will be taken immediately: the student in question will receive an F grade for the course.

Accommodation of Religious Observances
Upon request, academic accommodations for a religious observance are available on an individual basis; by the end of the second week, please provide me with a supplementary document that specifies and verifies your context and needs for modification. 

Accommodation of Documented Disabilities
Please contact me within the first two weeks of the semester. An appropriate, case-by-case arrangement will be made to ensure that the student in question is given an equal opportunity for learning. 

BACK TO INDEX
PHI 351. Classical Chinese Philosophy
Prof. Kyoo Lee, 524 West 59th St. Rm 8.63.15, Dept. of Philosophy, John Jay College, CUNY
Office Hours: By Appointment 
kylee@jjay.cuny.edu