Course Outline

Chinese Philosophy





   Teaching Staff    Course  Description    Lectures    Tutorials
   Texts    Assessment    




Lecturer:                Dr Stephen Watson

Room:                     TBA 

Phone:                    No              


Consultation:        TBA


Note: please enter the subject heading ‘PHILxx-yyy’ in all email correspondence.





This subject introduces the student to the fundamental concepts in several important areas of Chinese Philosophy. Students will consider a number of important philosophical issues, such as: 


·         Are these real philosophies?











Lectures commence in Week 1 of semester. Lecture notes will be made available through the course homepage each week. They are not comprehensive enough to substitute for attendance at lectures.





Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Tutorials commence in the second week of semester:









Tutorials commence in the second week of semester. Tutorials will typically consist of discussions of the material covered in that week’s lecture. For each tutorial there will be specific texts with which students will be expected to have made themselves familiar. 

Discussion and debate are important aspects of philosophical inquiry. Tutorials are designed to give you the opportunity to discuss and work through lecture material in a more relaxed and personal environment. Tutorial Participation will be graded (10% of overall mark). This reflects the value placed on these important opportunities to pursue course material in greater depth, to see philosophy "being done" by dialogue with your tutors and fellow students, and to find out more about areas of the course that you find unclear or which seem interesting to you. Remember, tutorials are your chance to use teaching staff as your own resource and you are strongly advised to make use of the opportunity. Verbal skills are an important aspect of university education, and tutorial discussion provides a good opportunity for developing them.





There is no set text, but the following are useful general works:


   de Bary, William Theodore et al. (eds.) 1964. Sources of Chinese Tradition. (2 vols.) New York : Columbia University Press.

   Chan, Wing-tsit. 1963. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton , NJ : Princeton University Press.

   Creel, Herrlee Glessner. 1953. Chinese Thought, from Confucius to Mao Tse-tung. Chicago : University of Chicago Press.

   Fung, Yu-Lan. 1948. A Short History of Chinese Philosophy. New York : The Free Press. Edited by Derk Bodde.

   Fung, Yu-Lan. 1953. A History of Chinese Philosophy. (2 vols.) Princeton , NJ : Princeton University Press. Translated by Derk Bodde.

   Graham, A. C. 1989. Disputers of the Tao: philosophical argument in ancient China. La Salle , Ill. : Open Court .

   Ivanhoe, Philip J., & Van Norden, Bryan W. (eds). 2001. Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. Indianapolis : Hackett Publishing Company.

   Kupperman, Joel J. 2001. Classic Asian Philosophy: A Guide to the Essential Texts. Oxford : Oxford University Press.


Many students have found the following book very helpful both for writing essays and for approaching the subject of philosophy generally:


   Seech, Zachary, Writing Philosophy Papers. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth.





In addition to the expected continuing attendance of lectures and tutorials you will be required to complete the following assessment:


Tutorial Participation                              10%

Three Essays    (1500 words)                 30% each




Extensions on due dates for essay assignments or the take-home exam are only permitted if you have a legitimate reason (e.g. illness, etc.). If you cannot submit an assignment by the due date, you should consult the course coordinator  immediately concerning the possibility of an extension. You should not ask for an extension after the essay is due as it will not be given, except where you were physically incapable of making a phone call before the essay is due. Evidence of your illness etc. will be required. Conflicts with assessment for other courses, computer failures and work constraints are not sufficient grounds for being awarded an extension. Late papers will receive a one point grade reduction per day overdue (e.g., if your paper is worth a 5 and is one day late the grade drops to 5-).




All students should refer to the “Guide to study in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences” as well as the Bond University Handbook for policies regarding plagiarism and grades.


General Assessment Criteria and Policies


Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with School policy regarding assessment.