What are we? How do we know what we know? What really exists? Are we intrinsically good? How should society function? What is moral? This course takes such perennial questions in human history and explores them from the perspective of some of Asia’s greatest minds. It focuses on understanding the central tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, and Confucianism and traces their later developments up until the fifteenth century. In doing so it provides an introduction to the main religious and philosophical traditions of India and China. On account of the parallels and exchanges between their respective intellectual traditions, the course weaves between Chinese and Indian thinkers in order to encourage comparison and cross-cultural conversations.
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