Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PHI 2070 Eastern Philosophy Syllabus (in process)

illustration by RLon

Alfredo Triff, Ph.D.
Room 3604-37
Tel. 305.237.7554
E-mail: atriff@mdc.edu
Office Hours: Posted
Text: My own handouts + Upanishads, Baghavadgita, Dhamapada, Analects, Lao-Tzu, I Ching, etc.


Phi 2070, or Eastern Philosophy consists of a survey of the different philosophical systems from India & China, plus the development of Zen Buddhism in the Far East.

In the East, philosophy is a way of life. This does not mean that our Western ideas of truth, reason and logic are not pursued in the East. Perhaps the most important characteristic of eastern philosophy is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the universe as manifestations of a basic oneness.


To become familiar with historical and contemporary trends in the philosophies of the East. We take a look at the cosmogony, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics of these systems. The perennial question: Can we become better by absorbing these teachings?


1. Grades: A, B and C stand for outstanding, good and average respectively. D is below average. F means not enough work to justify credit for the course.
2. Testing: There are 3 tests, which count for about 70% of the final grade. I will let you know the material to be tested a week in advance. Tests are simple: fill-in the blanks kind of questions.
3. Posting: weekly 150-word-comments to different weekly posts on this blog (for a 20% of the final grade). These comments are important. They allow us to ponder the issues more specifically and expanding beyond the class time. Your comments are discussed in the following class and so on.
4. Participation: The remaining 10% is for class participation (this breakdown reflects a qualitative approximation).
5. Attendance: Two unexcused absences are permitted. Each unexcused absence thereafter will lower the participation grade by half a letter. Missing quizzes must be justified by a doctor's note or the equivalent. Please, send me an email if you have a problem, suggestion, etc.


1. We expect a minimum of class demeanor. Courtesy and respect are important. 2. In Philosophy discussions are essential. Be ready to share your point of view without any fear. As long as you are respectful and empathetic you can say what you want. After you talk, listen.



Weeks 1-3: Hinduism 

Weeks 4-5: Jainism 

Weeks 6-7: Yoga

Weeks 8-9: Buddhism 

Mid-term on philosophies of India.


Weeks 10-11: Confucianism 

Weeks 12-13:Taoism 

Week 13: The Yin-yang School

Weeks 14-16: Zen 

Final Exam