2014 Buddhist Philosophy Syllabus

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<ul><li><p>1 </p><p>Buddhist Philosophy </p><p>PHIL 318 </p><p>Antioch Education Abroad, Fall 2014 </p><p>Instructor: Justin Whitaker </p><p>Buddhistethics@gmail.com </p><p>Syllabus </p><p>In Buddhist Philosophy we will take a critical look at some of the key aspects of the Buddhas teachings and </p><p>their interpretations through Buddhisms history. By critical here I do not mean a negative approach, but rather </p><p>a careful and systematic analysis. In fact in doing this we begin with a sympathetic approach, meaning that we </p><p>try to feel with (pathos+sun) the Buddha and his disciples or later writers. We need to put ourselves in their </p><p>place as much as we can (traveling to Bodh Gaya is a good start) in order to get a full sense of the meaning of </p><p>the terms and ideas being discussed. </p><p>We begin with what we hope are fundamental or universal questions like what is the nature of reality? what </p><p>is the meaning of all this? or what should I do to live a good life? As philosophers, we want to know what the Buddha and his later followers had to say about such things. We also start and end the course with </p><p>reflections on Buddhist ethics and the environment, as it is increasingly clear that this is an issue to which we </p><p>must respond with mindfulness and wisdom. </p><p>We will follow the schedule of the meditation course to some degree; however remaining focused on the Indian </p><p>philosophical groundwork that is found in later (in our case Zen and Tibetan) traditions. We will conclude with </p><p>the Keown text on Buddhist ethics, exploring a variety of Buddhist responses to contemporary issues and </p><p>student presentations based on their final paper in a conference-like style. </p><p>Evaluation (see below for grading rubrics): </p><p> Summer essay: 10 % </p><p> Attendance, participation, pop-quizes: 20 % </p><p> Presentation and paper: 20 % </p><p> Mid-term exam: 20 % </p><p> Final exam: 30 % </p><p> Evaluation SheetSummer essay (and final paper with consideration for your presentation) </p><p> 1. Clear thesis, appropriate to assignment 5 6 7 8 9 10 2. Effective introduction 5 6 7 8 9 10 3. Essay is clearly and logically organized 5 6 7 8 9 10 </p><p>4. Effective, vivid supporting material 5 6 7 8 9 10 5. Author uses clear, sophisticated sentences 5 6 7 8 9 10 6. Effective paragraphing w/ transitions 5 6 7 8 9 10 7. Essay is free from mechanical errors 5 6 7 8 9 10 8. Essay demonstrates proper English usage 5 6 7 8 9 10 9. Essay demonstrates insightful critical thinking 5 6 7 8 9 10 10. Effective conclusion 5 6 7 8 9 10 Grade &amp; Comments: </p></li><li><p>2 </p><p>READINGS: </p><p>(G) Gombrich, F. Richard: What the Buddha Thought. Oakville, CT: Equinox Publishing, 2009. </p><p>(K) Keown, Damien: Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. </p><p>(H) Nhat Hanh, Thich: The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajaparamita Heart Sutra. Berkeley, </p><p>Paralax Press, 1988. (the 20th anniversary edition is acceptable) </p><p>(WW) Wallace and Wallace: A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Ithaca: Snow Lion Publications, 1997. </p><p>(W) Williams, Paul, Anthony Tribe, and Alexander Wynn: Buddhist Thought. A Complete Introduction to the Indian </p><p>Tradition. London: Routledge, 2010. (1st edition is acceptable and page #s below will follow the 1st ed.) </p><p>(SB) Sourcebook of selected readings. (to be provided in India) </p><p>COURSE SCHEDULE: </p><p>------------------------------- THERAVDA AND KEY PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS ------------------------------- </p><p>Friday, September 5 Overview of the class and some answers to how and why we study Buddhist </p><p>Philosophy. </p><p>- (SB) John Stanley and David R. Loy: Introduction from The Bauddhadharma and the Planetary </p><p>Crisis, (2009), pp.3-14. </p><p>- (SB) Gross: Toward a Buddhist Environmental Ethic </p><p>Monday, September 8 Exploring the context of the Buddhas life and teachings. </p><p>- Paul Williams, et al.: The doctrinal position of the Buddha in context from (W), pp.1-40 </p><p>- (SB) Kenneth K. Inada: The range of Buddhist Ontology </p><p>Wednesday, September 10 An outline of Buddhist thought, part 1: from the Four Noble Truths to karman. </p><p>- Paul Williams, et al.: Mainstream Buddhism: the basic thought of the Buddha from (W), pp.41-74 </p><p>- (SB) Klma Sutta: To the Klmas (AN 3.65), Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans. </p><p>Friday, September 12 An outline of Buddhist thought, part 2: from the universe of the Buddha to </p><p>Abhidharma. </p><p>- Paul Williams, et al.: Mainstream Buddhism: the basic thought of the Buddha from (W) pp.74-95 </p><p> Monday, September 15 Reviewing the context of a central philosophical doctrine: karma. </p><p>- Richard Gombrich: Introduction, More about Karma, and Its Social Context, The Antecedents of the </p><p>Karma Doctrine in Brahminism, and Jain Antecedents from (G) preface-p.59 </p></li><li><p>3 </p><p>Wednesday, September 17 A second central philosophical idea: no-self (anatt/antman) and its positive </p><p>moral ramifications. </p><p>- Richard Gombrich: What Did the Buddha Mean by No Soul? and The Buddhas Positive Values: </p><p>Love and Compassion from (G) pp.60-91 (Assessing the Evidence pp.92-110 is optional) </p><p>- (SB) Douglas W. Shrader. Between Self and No-Self: Lessons from the Majjhima Nikya </p><p>- (SB) Sabbsava Sutta: All the Fermentations (MN 2), Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans. </p><p>Friday, September 19 Analyzing the world/cosmology of the Buddha and the resulting doctrine of escape or </p><p>soteriology: the Middle Way of Dependent Origination. Also a look at the Buddhas </p><p>Philosophy of Language. </p><p>- Richard Gombrich: Everything Is Burning: The Centrality of Fire in the Buddhas Thought, Causation </p><p>and Non-random Process, and Cognition; Language; Nirvana from (G) pp.111-160 </p><p>- (SB) dittapariyya Sutta: The Fire Sermon (SN 35.28), Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans. </p><p> Monday, September 22 Into the mind of the Buddha himself, meta-analysis of the Buddha and his followers. </p><p>- Richard Gombrich: The Buddhas Pragmatism and Intellectual Style, and The Buddha as Satirist; </p><p>Brahmin Terms as Social Metaphors from (G) pp.161-192 </p><p>- (SB) Tevijja Sutta: The Three Knowledges (DN 13), Maurie Walshe, trans. </p><p>Wednesday, September 24 Final thoughts from Gombrich and a look at the varieties of early Buddhism. </p><p>- Richard Gombrich: Is This Book To Be Believed? from (G) pp.193-201 </p><p>- Paul Williams, et al.: Some Schools of Mainstream Buddhist Thought from (W) pp.112-130 </p><p>----------------------------------- MAHYNA ----------------------------------- </p><p>Monday, September 29 Entering the Mahyna, the Great Vehicle. </p><p>- Paul Williams, et al.: Perfection of Wisdom and Madhyamaka from (W) pp.131-152 </p><p>Wednesday, October 1 Buddhist Idealism (?): Yogcra, the Practice of Yoga, a.k.a. Cittamtra, Mind-Only. </p><p>- Paul Williams, et al.: Yogcra and the Buddha-nature in India from (W) pp.152-166 </p><p>- (SB) Begin Duerlinger on Vasubandhu </p><p>Friday, October 3 . </p><p>- (SB) Duerlinger, James. Vasubandhus Refutation of the Theory of Self translation and notes, </p><p>(2003), pp.71-121 </p><p>Monday, October 6 Gazing into Emptiness, the Heart of Wisdom </p><p>- Thich Nhat Hanh: Full book (H) pp.vii-54 </p></li><li><p>4 </p><p>Wednesday, October 8 - Review for exam (no new reading) </p><p>Friday, October 10 - MIDTERM EXAM </p><p>------ A MAJOR PHILOSOPHICAL DEVELOPMENT: NTIDEVA, THE PHILOSOPHER-POET ------ </p><p>Monday, October 13 Introducing ntidevas world and vision. </p><p>- Alan Wallace and Vesna Wallace: Preface, Introduction, The Benefit of the Spirit of Awakening, The </p><p>Confession of Sin, and Adopting the Spirit of Awakening pp.7-37 </p><p>- (SB) George Dreyfus, Meditation as an Ethical Activity </p><p>Wednesday, October 15 Futher into ntidevas work. </p><p>- Alan Wallace and Vesna Wallace: Attending to the Spirit of Awakening, Guarding Introspection, and </p><p>The Perfection of Patience from (WW) pp.39-76 </p><p>Monday, October 20 Cultivating the Perfections. </p><p>- Alan Wallace and Vesna Wallace: The Perfection of Zeal and The Perfection of Meditation from </p><p>(WW) pp.77-113 </p><p>Wednesday, October 22 The final Perfection. </p><p>- Alan Wallace and Vesna Wallace: The Perfection of Wisdom and Dedication from (WW) pp.115-</p><p>144 </p><p>- (SB) Luis O. Gmez: Emptiness and Moral Perfection </p><p> --------- CONTEMPORARY DEVELOPMENTS: ETHICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT --------- </p><p> Friday, October 24 What is Buddhist ethics? </p><p>- Damien Keown: Chapters 1-4 from (K) pp. 3-68 </p><p>Monday, October 27 Applied Ethics, some cases. </p><p>- Damien Keown: Chapters 5-8 from (K) pp. 69-115 </p><p>Wednesday, October 29 Wednesday, November 5 Student Presentations </p><p>Friday, November 7 FINAL EXAM </p></li></ul>