Asian Philosophy Syllabus & Schedule

PHIL 37 FALL 2018, Class Code: 40298

FRI 1:30 – 4:20 pm, BCC Room 14

Instructor: Eric Gerlach – email:

Office Hours: Friday Noon – 1 pm @ K’s Coffee, next to BCC

Texts:  The readings will be posted at the top of each lecture online.

Assignments: Two 4-5 page essays (2 x 25%) & a final 8 -10 page paper (50%)


Aug 24 – Introduction to Asian Thought

Aug 31 – Indian Thought & Hinduism

Sept 7 – The Upanishads & The Indian Epics

Sept 14 – The Orthodox & Unorthodox Indian Schools

Sept 21 – Office hours for Papers – 1st 4-5 pg Paper Due Sunday Sept 23

Sept 28 – Buddhism in India & Tibet

Oct 5 – Buddhism in China & Japan


Oct 19 – Chinese Thought & The Hundred Schools

Oct 26 – Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi & Neo-Confucianism

Nov 2 – Office hours for Papers – 2nd 4-5 pg Paper Due Sunday Nov 4

Nov 9 – Mozi & the Logicians


Nov 23 – No Class Thanksgiving Break

Nov 30 – Daoism: Laozi, Zhuangzi & Liezi

Dec 7 – Zen Buddhism

Dec 14 – Warriors & Strategy: Sunzi & Bushido – Final 7-10 pg Paper Due Sunday Dec 16

Essay Grading Policy

For each essay, state the question you are answering and take a clear position at the beginning, then argue with clear and focused points for the required page length.  Do not summarize material that is irrelevant. You can include personal experience, examples from fiction or material from outside the course.  You are not graded on the position you take, but on the quality and quantity of your argument.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Upon completion of this class, students will be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of major Asian philosophers.
  2. Analyze & evaluate philosophical positions through argument that displays individual perspective.

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.

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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