EAC 399 (8665)

Confucius and Confucianism

Fall 2007

 

Meets TTh 4:15-5:35 p.m. in Humanities 019

 

Associate Professor Anthony DeBlasi

Office: Humanities 210

Phone: x2-5316

E-mail: deblasi@albany.edu

Office Hours: Tuesday 10:00-11:30 a.m.; Thursday 1:30-3:00 p.m.; and by appointment.

 

This course surveys the main texts and themes in the development of the Confucian tradition from its origins in China through its spread to Japan and Korea to its reemergence in contemporary East Asia. The emphasis is on the way that the tradition has responded to social conditions. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between Confucian intellectuals and political power. The rivalry with other traditions (e.g., Taoism, Buddhism, Marxism, Liberalism, etc.) will also be considered.

 

Books for Purchase:

Berthrong, John. Transformations of the Confucian Way. Boulder: Westview Press, 1998.

Confucius. Analects, with Selections from Traditional Commentaries. Edward Slingerland, tr. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2003.

Mencius. Mencius. D.C. Lau, tr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970.

Chu Hsi. Learning to Be a Sage. Daniel Gardiner, tr. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

 

Other Required Readings:

Besides the above readings, other assigned readings are available on the University library¡¦s E-Res system. The password will be distributed during the first class.

 

Requirements:

 

Text Interpretation Paper (5-7 pages)               25%

Problem Analysis Paper (5-7 pages)                 20%

Four Reflection Papers (1-2 pages each)           10%

Final Examination                                              25%

Class Participation                                            20%

 

CLASS PARTIPATION:

This course is a seminar. On most days, we will be engaged in careful discussion of important Confucian texts. Your participation in those discussions is a key component of your grade. It is important that you carefully read the material assigned for each day BEFORE that class. Because most of the texts deal with complicated philosophical issues, you should also allot sufficient time to read and digest the material.

 

FINAL EXAMINATION:

We will have one two-hour, cumulative final examination at the end of the semester. I will distribute a study guide prior to the examination to assist you in your preparation.

 

REFLECTION PAPERS:

Periodically during the semester, you will be asked to write one to two pages reflecting on a text that we have been discussing in class. Specific questions will be distributed in advance of when each paper is due.

 

TEXT INTERPRETATION PAPER:

Each student is required to select a passage from the assigned reading and write a five to seven page essay explaining the meaning of the passage. The assignment requires that you address the historical context of the passage as well as refer to other texts from the assigned reading to explain it. I will distribute more detailed guidelines in advance of the due date.

 

PROBLEM ANALYSIS PAPER:

Each student will also write a five to seven page essay analyzing an ethical or political problem from a Confucian perspective. Detailed guidelines and a list of suggested problems will be distributed ahead of the due date.

 

Grading policies:

Please note the following policies:

1. Letter grades are assigned according to the following scale: A=93-100, A-=90-92, B+=87-89, B=83-86, B-=80-82, C+=77-79, C=73-76, C-=70-72, D+=67-69, D=63-66, D-=60-62, E=less than 60. Please note that work never turned in counts as a zero (0).

2. Late papers lose one grade step for each day late. For example, a B+ that is two days late receives a B-.

3. I do not give make-up examinations or extensions unless you have an acceptable and documented excuse (for example, a medical excuse signed by a physician).

4. I will not consider requests for incompletes without a clearly documented and acceptable reason.

5. Plagiarism is using or purchasing the words or ideas of another and passing them off as one's own work.  If a student quotes someone in a formal paper, that student must use quotation marks and give a citation.  Paraphrased or borrowed ideas are to be identified by proper citations.  Plagiarism will result, at the minimum, in a failing grade for the assignment.

 

 

Schedule of Classes:

 

Date

Day

Topic

Assignment

8/28

T

Class Introduction and Historical Background

 

8/30

Th

Confucius: The Analects

Berthrong, pp.1-22.

Analects, Books One to Seven (1-77)

9/4

T

Confucius: The Analects

Analects, Books Eight to Thirteen (78-152)

9/6

Th

Confucius: The Analects

Analects, Books Thirteen to Twenty (153-235)

9/11

T

The Classics: Book of Documents (the Shujing)

Jame Legge, tr. Shoo King ¡§Oath of Tang,¡¨ ¡§The Injunctions of Gaotao,¡¨ ¡§The Great Plan,¡¨ and the ¡§Instructions of Yi¡¨: pp. 68-75, 173-76, 191-98, and 320-44. (ERES)

 

Reflection Paper #1 due.

9/13

Th

HOLIDAY

 

9/18

T

The Classics: Book of Changes (the Yijing)

Legge, tr. The I Ching, pp.57-63, 107-108, 213-15, 233, 348-407. (ERES)

9/20

Th

The Classics: Book of Odes (the Shijing)

Legge, tr. She King, ¡§Guanque,¡¨ ¡§Northern Wind,¡¨ ¡§Large Rats,¡¨ ¡§The Call of the Deer,¡¨ ¡§King Wen,¡¨ and ¡§The Dark Bird¡¨: pp. 1-5, 67-68, 171-73, 245-47, 427-32, 636-38. (ERES)

 

Stephen Owen, Reading in Chinese Literary Thought, ¡§The Great Preface,¡¨ pp.37-48. (ERES)

9/25

T

The Classics: The Spring and Autumn Annals (the Chunqiu)

Legge, tr. The Ch¡¦un Ts¡¦ew with Tso Chuen, pp.1-7, 188-96, and 833-35. (ERES)

 

Watson, tr. The Tso Chuan, pp.1-4 and 45-49. (ERES)

9/27

Th

The Classics: The Record of Rites (the Liji)

Legge, tr. The Li Ki, pp.61-82 and 449-79. (ERES)

 

Reflection Paper #2 due.

10/2

T

Mencius

Berthrong, pp.23-27.

 

Mencius, pp.3-75

10/4

Th

Mencius

Mencius, pp. 76-121.

10/9

T

Mencius

Mencius, pp. 122-67.

10/11

Th

Xunzi

Berthrong, pp.27-34.

 

Soource Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp115-35. (ERES)

 

Reflection Paper #3 due.

10/16

T

Dong Zhongshu and Han Confucianism

Berthrong, pp.35-60.

 

Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp. 271-288. (ERES)

10/18

Th

No Class

 

10/23

T

No Class

TEXT INTERPRETATION PAPER DUE in HU-210

10/25

Th

Video: ¡§Tu Wei-ming: A Confucian Life in America¡¨

 

10/30

T

The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean

Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp. 84-94 and 95-114. (ERES)

11/1

Th

Reviving the Pursuit of Sagehood in the Tang and Song Dynasties

Berthrong, pp.61-114

 

Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp. 450-80, 495-500, 518-526, and 544-52. (ERES)

11/6

T

Zhu Xi

Learning to Be a Sage, pp.3-34 and 85-127.

11/8

Th

Zhu Xi

Learning to Be a Sage, pp.128-96.

11/13

T

The School of the Mind: Wang Yangming I

Berthrong, pp.115-43.

 

Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp.654-667. (ERES)

 

Reflection paper #4 due.

11/15

Th

Wang Yangming II

Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp.667-691. (ERES)

11/20

T

Confucianism and the World

Berthrong, pp.144-73.

 

Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp.709-36. (ERES)

 

Lee, ed., Sourcebook of Korean Civilization, pp.117-118 and 613-33. (ERES)

 

Tsunoda, et al. Source of Japanese Tradition, pp.47-51, 346-48, 354-58, 360-62, and 369-75. (ERES)

11/22

Th

HOLIDAY

 

11/27

T

The Third Wave

Tu Wei-ming, ¡§Selfhood and Otherness: The Father-Son Relationship in Confucian Thought,¡¨ in Confucian Thought: Selfhood as Creative Transformation, pp.113-130. (ERES)

11/29

Th

Confucianism and Chinese Culture: The Family

Walter H. Slote, ¡§Psychocultural Dynamics within the Confucian Family,¡¨ pp. 37-51 (ERES)

12/4

T

Confucianism and Chinese Culture: Government and Politics

Wm. T. de Bary, The Trouble with Confucianism, pp.1-23. (ERES)

 

Henry Rosemont, ¡§Two Loci of Authority: Autonomous Individuals and Related Persons,¡¨ pp.1-20. (ERES)

12/6

Th

Discussion: Confucianism in the Twenty-first Century

PROBLEM ANALYSIS PAPER DUE.

 

Berthrong, pp.201-205.

12/12

W

FINAL EXAMINATION:

10:30 a.m. ¡V 12:30 a.m. in HU-019