Buddhist Philosophy Syllabus & Schedule

Buddhist Philosophy Syllabus

PHIL 16 – Spring 2019 – Class Code: 20340

Instructor: Eric Gerlach – email: ericgerlach@gmail.com

Office Hours: Fridays, 12 -2 pm @ K’s Coffee next to BCC

Course Description: This course introduces students to the history of Buddhist philosophy, focusing on the core ideas of central thinkers from India, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

Texts: Readings are posted at the top of each week’s lecture on the website.

Assignments: Two 4 page essays (2 x 25%) & a final 8 page paper (50%), emailed to ericgerlach@gmail.com.

Class Schedule:

Jan 23 – Introduction

Jan 30 – India

Feb 6 – Mahavira & The Jains

Feb 13 – The Buddha

Feb 20 – The Teachings

Feb 27 – The Following

Mar 6 – Office Hours for 1st Paper Due Mar 12

Mar 13 – China & Tibet

Mar 20 – Daoism

Mar 27 – Zen


Apr 10-24 – Zen – 2nd Paper Due Apr 30

May 1 – Japan, Korea & Vietnam

May 8 – Nietzsche

May 15 – Wittgenstein

May 22 – Office Hours 3rd Paper Due May 26

Student Learning Outcomes:

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

1. Describe anatta,anicca,dukkha,and Dependent Origination as foundational principles of Buddhist ethics.

2.Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of three Buddhist schools, to discriminate between three Buddhist traditions, and to understand foundation of Buddhist metaphysics and ethics.

3. Assess foundational Buddhist principles critically.

4. Describe role of Buddhism in the development of national and religious culture.

5. Apply Buddhist existential principles to the understanding of the nature of life and self.

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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