Asian Philosophy Syllabus & Schedule

K's Coffee Berkeley

K’s Coffee

PHIL 37 FALL 2015, Class Code: 40470

FRI 1:30 – 4:20 PM, Room: BCC 14

Instructor: Eric Gerlach, email:

Office Hours: Friday 12:30 -1:30 pm @ K’s Coffee, next door to BCC

Fast Image Copy Center MapCourse Description: This course introduces students to the history of Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese Philosophy by focusing on the core ideas of central thinkers.

Required Text: The only text for the class is the course reader, available at Fast Imaging, 2022 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 845-6333. A copy of the reader will be put on reserve in the BCC Library.

Assignments: 4 Response Essays (40%) MIDTERM Exam (30%) FINAL Exam (30%)


Aug 28 – Introduction to Asian Thought

Sept 4 – Indian Thought & Hinduism

Sept 11 – The Upanishads & The Indian Epics

Sept 18 – The Orthodox & Unorthodox Indian schools

Sept 25 – Buddhism in India & Tibet  (FIRST RESPONSE)

Oct 2 – Buddhism in China & Japan        

Oct 9 – Chan/Zen Buddhism & Koans


Oct 23 – Chinese Thought & The Period of the Hundred Schools

Oct 30 – Confucius & the Analects

Nov 6 – Mencius, Xunzi & Neo-Confucianism

Nov 13 – Mo Zi & the Logicians  (THIRD RESPONSE)

Nov 20 – Daoism, Laozi, Zhuangzi & Liezi

Dec 4 – Warriors & Strategy: Sunzi & Bushido

Dec 11 – Review for Final


Essay Grading Policy:  For response essays, write at least three pages, stick to your own thinking and provide a clear and focused argument, earning 2 points per page (one point off for every half page less than 3 pages), 2 points for sticking to your thinking, as opposed to summarizing the material, and 2 points for clarity and focus, for 10 points total.

This class is acceptable for credit at UC and CSU. It counts towards GE AA/AS area 3; CSU area C2; and IGETC area 3. It can be used as an elective for the Liberal Arts with an Emphasis in Arts and Humanities, Associate in Arts Degree Program and the Liberal Arts: Intersegmental General Education Transfer (IGETC) Certificate of Achievement and the Global Studies AA Degree.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

Information Competency: understand philosophical concepts and systems

Critical Thinking: evaluate philosophical concepts and argue for and against viewpoints

Global Awareness & Valuing Diversity: understand and appreciate diverse cultures of thought

General Student Requirements: Students are expected to come to class prepared to ask questions and participate in discussions. All readings and assignments should be completed by the beginning of class on the day they are listed here. This class is run as a lecture/discussion course.  Students are responsible for all class material (even if they miss class). If you miss class, it is strongly advised that you ask a classmate for notes. It is your responsibility to ask if you missed something; it is not the instructor’s responsibility to remind you. Please read through the syllabus and plan ahead.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarists, intentional or inadvertent, will receive a zero on the assignment in question; repeat offenders will get an F for the course and will be subject to college disciplinary action. Students are encouraged to review plagiarism policies in the current Vista College catalog.  Attendance is mandatory. If you miss more than five classes, you will receive an F in the course. (Note: I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences; if you miss more than five classes, for any reason, you cannot pass the class.)

Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS) are provided for any enrolled student who has a verified disability that creates an educational limitation that prevents the student from fully benefiting from classes without additional support services or instruction. Please let the instructor know if you require any support services or would like more information about DSPS.

This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Any changes will be announced in class. Additional handouts of required readings may also be added.

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