Asian and Comparative Philosophy

Subject 674-307 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty two contact hours per semester: two 1-hour lectures per week for the first 11 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week beginning the third week of semester
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: At least one single-semester first-year philosophy or Asian studies subject (in consultation with the lecturers) or permission from the Head of School or the lecturers in charge of the subject.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Guy Leslie Petterson


Dr Guy Petterson

Subject Overview: This subject is an introduction to central aspects of Asian philosophy, and especially the philosophical traditions of India, China and Japan. Students can expect to learn the basic elements of the philosophical thought of Hinduism, Buddhism (including Zen), Islam, Taoism, and Confucianism. Issues in both ethics and metaphysics will be considered. Some parallels with Western philosophy may be drawn.
Objectives: Students who sucessfully complete this subject will
  • be introduced to some of the central philosophical ideas and principles of the Asian/Eastern traditions, with a particular focus on Indian, Chinese and Japanese traditions;
  • have developed a critical understanding of the ways in which Asian thinkers have responded to problems in metaphysics, theories of knowledge and ethical thought;
  • be able to undertake independent inquiry in any of the Asian traditions covered, or comparatively, on any specific problem in philosophy and religion.
Assessment: A 2-hour written examination (not open-book) 50% (at the end of semester). Tutorial mini-papers each week, the best five will be counted 50%.
Prescribed Texts:
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to bring philosophical skills to bear upon their studies in other disciplines;
  • have improved their ability to engage with complex texts;
  • develop skill in the critique of arguments.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy

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