Buddhist Philosophy Syllabus & Schedule

PHIL 16 – SPRING 2018 – Class Code: 23918

Instructor: Eric Gerlach

email: ericgerlach@gmail.com

Wednesdays 6:30 – 9:20 PM – BCC Room 52

Office Hours: Friday 12 -1:20 pm @ K’s Coffee, next door 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: The readings for the class will be posted at the top of each lecture on the website.

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

Class Schedule

Jan 24th – Buddhism, Philosophy & Human Thought

Jan 31st – The Golden Age of Indian Thought

Feb 7th – The Orthodox & Unorthodox Schools

Feb 14th – Mahavira & Jainism

Feb 21st – Buddha & The Dhammapada (First Paper Due Feb 25th)

Feb 28th – Buddhism in India: The Theravada & Mahayana

Mar 7th – Buddhism in Tibet, China & Japan

Mar 14th – Daoism

Mar 21st – Zen: Bodhidharma, Huineng & Mazu

Mar 28th – Zen: Linji & the Rinzai School


Apr 11th – Zen: Zhaozhou & The Blue Cliff Record

Apr 18th – Zen: The Gateless Gate, Dogen & Hakuin (Second Paper Due Apr 22nd)

Apr 25th – Buddhism in Korea & Vietnam

May 2nd – Buddhism, Existentialism & Postmodernism

May 9th – Buddhism, Pragmatism & Wittgenstein

May 16th & 23rd – Office Hours for Final Papers (Third Paper Due May 27th)

Student Learning Outcomes:

1) Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of the three Buddhist schools, discriminate between the three Buddhist Vehicles (Yanas), and understand the foundation of Buddhist metaphysics and ethics.

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

3) Apply Buddhist philosophical 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.