PH321 Eastern Philosophy

for S1J 2009

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Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PH 321 Eastern Philosophy


S1J 2009 DN


Harrison Hartley


Senior Adjunct Instructor


B.A. (English,Social Science)
B.S.Ed. (English, Education)
M.A. (English, Philosophy) (Teaching Fellow Univ. of MO: English; MO School of Religion)

Office Location

Before and after class and by arrangement.

Office Hours

Before and after class and by arrangement.

Daytime Phone

(816) 279-8100 (Leave a number on the answering machine for a prompt return call.)

E-Mail (Use both for the fastest response.)

Semester Dates

12 January - 8 March 2009

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM



Credit Hours


Asian Philosophies ( Fifth Ed.) by John M. Koller  (Prentice Hall) ISBN 0-13-195183-1

Additional Resources:
Additional resources will be supplied by the instructor or will be readily available from the university library or internet.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
PH 321 Eastern Philosophy (MLL) An introduction to the philosophical traditions of India China and Japan. Topics include: (1) the development of the Upanishads and the orthodox Hindu schools, and emergence of Buddhist philosophy as a challenge to Hinduism; (2) the development and interaction of Confucianism and Daoism (and later Buddhism) in Chinese history and culture; (3) the transmission, development and transformation of Chinese philosophical schools in Japan. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
An old saying has it that "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet," but they have met and are increasingly interdependent. The world is a community, and mutual understanding is a vital necessity for peace and progress. The purpose of  PH321 is to provide a foundation for that understanding based on a sympathetic study of the deepest aspects of Eastern thought, compared with and contrasted to Western tradition (particularly the tension between materialism and idealism). Class sessions will include readings, lectures, discussions, video essays, and demonstrations incorporating art and artifacts from India, Tibet, China, Vietnam, and Japan, and class members will produce analytical essays on readings and lectures in addition to standard tests and quizzes over assigned material.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. At a minimum, class members who successfully complete this course will be able to name and describe the contents of the major philosophical disciplines and differentiate between philosophy, religion, and science;
  2. Explain by means of comparison and contrast the Oriental and Occidental intellectual traditions relative to the subjective/objective aspects of religion, philosophy, and science;
  3. Recognize, define, and properly use between 50 and 75 terms common to philosophy;
  4. Identify and explain empiricism, rationalism, and mysticism;
  5. List, define, and explain the three functions of religion as a social institution, the five characteristics of all mystical religions, and the nature of materialistic state religions (particularly, Confucianism);
  6. Define and demonstrate the concepts of truth and logic as aspects of Occidental thought and compare and contrast these with Oriental concepts of truth and logic;
  7. Analyse and explicate some aspect of Eastern thought using standard philosophical principles;
  8. Demonstrate an increasingly subtle comprehension and appreciation of Oriental thought  in verbal discussions and assigned essays.
Class Assessment:
PH321 will include comprehensive midterm and final examinations, five study-guide groups and quizzes, a shorter response paper comparing some aspect of Oriental and Occidental thought, and a longer paper requiring some research over an approved topic of interest to the class member and appropriate to the course..

Five Study-guide Sets and Quizzes at 10% each:       50%
Midterm Examination:                                               10%
Shorter Essay:                                                          10%
Research Essay:                                                        15%
Final Examination:                                                     15%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments will be accepted late with the instructor's approval (and a good reason), but all material must be submitted by the last class, and exceptions (such as severe illness or military duty) will require verification and review by Park administrative staff.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Please remember to turn off cell 'phones or place them on silent mode during class sessions. Feel free to bring food or drink; class members who wish to use a laptop or tape recorder are welcome to do so. We will break for food about 6:40 and again for The Imperious Call of Nature about 8:15.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Following are class dates, topical quotations and comments, assignments (listed for the following week), and notes of tests and items due. All page and chapter references are to the Koller text; other material will be provided.

Class 1, 12 Jan.:  The Eastern Way and the Western Ways: A Brief Introduction to the History of World Culture,
          "There are only atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion." - Democritus of Abdera (450 BCE)
      For next week, read Ch.1, 2, and 3 (note some have specific sections assigned); study guide set 1 due.

Class 2, 19 Jan.:  "Who knows for certain? Who shall here declare it?
                            Whence was it born and whence came this creation?
                            Only He who surveys it from the lofty skies, only He may know....
                             Or, perhaps, He knows not,"
                                                      - Rig Veda, Book 10, Hymn 129
     The Wisdom of India: The Hindu Tradition. (Study set 1 due; quiz 1; Campbell and Sagan video essays if time permits.)
     For next week, read Ch.7, 9, and 11 (note some specific section assigned for 7 and 9).

Class 3, 26 Jan.:   "If the brightness of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky,
                             That is as the splendor of the Mighty One; for I am become Death,
                             The Destroyer of Worlds."
                                                           from The Bhagavad Gita
     Samsara and the Veil of Illusion: The Hindu tradition contrasted with the teleology of the Abrahamic religions.
     Midterm review; study guide set 2 due; quiz 2. 
     For next week, read Ch. 4 and 5 (as assigned) and essays provided; study guide set 3 due.

Class 4, 2 Feb.:  A good Buddhist question: what happens when your karma runs over your dogma?
     (An introduction to the man who woke up.) Study guide set 3 due; MIDTERM exam.
     For next week, read Ch. 19 and 20; study set 4 due; consider topics for paper 1 (due week 6).

Class 5, 9 Feb.:  *Namaste!.. A sojourn in Tibet.
                                      (*I salute the divine place in you which is also in me.)
     Study guide set 4 due; quiz 4. For next time, read Ch. 14, 15 and essays provided; paper 1 due.
Class 6, 16 Feb.: I. You ZEN me, man!!! ("A little foolishness - enough to enjoy life; a little wisdom - enough to avoid the                                                                            errors; that will do!" - Osho
                           II: From The Analects of Reverend Master Kung: "What the superior person seeks is in the self; what                                    the small person seeks is in others." (An introduction to Confucius and the Five Perfect Virtues.)
     Paper 1 due; for next time read Ch 17 and 18 with study guide set 5; consider topic for paper 2 (due by week 8).

Class 7, 23 Feb.: "He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened." - Tao Te Ching
                                                              "Know thyself." - Solon of Athens
      I.Taoism and the great balance (and a brief introduction to Shinto). II.State religions in modern times: a short comment.
      Final review; study set 5 due; quiz 5; paper 2 due next time; for next time, read Ch. 23.

Class 8, 2 Mar.: Joseph Campbell tells a story of hearing famous Zen scholar Daisetz Suzuki describe his reaction after studying Wesern beliefs: "I come here and see man against nature, nature against man; man against God, God against man; nature against God, God against nature.... veeeery funny religion!"   Paper 2 due; all other work due; FINAL EXAM.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
NB: All Park University rules regarding academic honesty and plagiarism will be strictly observed.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
An education seems to be the one thing Americans are willing to pay for and then not get. Come - collect what you paid for! If you  must come late, do so! If you know you must be absent in advance, arrange with the instructor to make up work as soon as possible. If you must miss otherwise, call or email Mr. Hartley as soon as possible to catch up.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .
All possible accommodations will be made to insure optimum classroom conditions for every participant.


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Last Updated:11/25/2008 12:20:51 PM