This course addresses the fundamental questions of philosophy—What is real? What is good? How do we know?—by considering the answers by classical philosophers from India and China. Philosophy in Asia has not been viewed as an abstract academic subject with little or no relevance to daily life. Rather, it has been seen as one of life’s most basic and important enterprises. Philosophy is seen as essential to overcoming suffering and improving the quality of human life. Since Asian philosophy is concerned with practical issues to a greater extent than in the West, the course considers how technology is understood and valued. Attention is given to the history of science in China and India. Since no rigid distinctions exist between philosophy and religion in Asian thought, the place of science and technology in relation to human values is also different. The class examines the Asian philosophical tradition to understand both its historical importance and its relevance to society today.
Prerequisites: Completion of first year writing requirements. Co-requisites: None. Notes: Satisfies a HuSS elective.