Eng
A A A
Postgraduate

Course Description

***New course code is in effect from August 1, 2010. For those who are familiar with the old course code, we provide a conversion table (in PDF) here.
Explanation on new course code (coming soon)

Elective Courses (3 units each):
PHIL5500 Research Paper: Guided Study in Philosophical Problems
 

*Area I: Chinese /Eastern Philosophy
PHIL5310 Seminar on Pre-modern Chinese Philosophy
PHIL5320 Seminar on Modern and Contemporary Chinese Philosophy
PHIL5330 Seminar: Issues in the History of Chinese Philosophy
PHIL5511 Topics in Confucianism
PHIL5521 Topics in Taoist Philosophy
PHIL5531 Topics in Buddhist Philosophy
PHIL5541 Topics in Eastern Philosophy
PHIL5551 Topics in Comparative Philosophy

*Area II: Western Philosophy
PHIL5340 Seminar on Modern Western Philosophy
PHIL5350 Seminar on Contemporary Anglo-American Philosophy
PHIL5360 Seminar on Continental European Philosophy
PHIL5370 Seminar: Issues in the History of Western Philosophy
PHIL5512 Moral and Political Philosophy: The Good and the Right
PHIL5522 Language, Meaning and Communication
PHIL5532 Metaphysics and the Quest for Reality
PHIL5542 Philosophy and Conceptual Analysis
PHIL5552 Mind and Cognition
PHIL5562 Interpretation, Understanding and Dialogue: Theory and Practice

*Area III: Applied / Practical Philosophy
PHIL5513 Applied Ethics and Moral Dilemmas
PHIL5523 Philosophy and Cultural Criticism
PHIL5533 Philosophical Analysis of Literature and Art
PHIL5543 Philosophy of the Human Condition: Life, Death, Love & Desire
PHIL5553 Chinese Philosophy and Modern Life
PHIL5563 Methodology and Argumentation
PHIL5573 Topics in Applied Philosophy

*Only some of the courses are offered in each academic year.

 


 

 

Elective Courses (3 units each):

PHIL5500 Research Paper: Guided Study in Philosophical Problems

All students are required to write a research paper on a self-chosen topic under the supervision of a professor at their fourth semester of study. The aim of this course is to give the students rigorous philosophical training through reading, thinking and writing on a particular problem based on original texts.

[Top]


*Area I: Chinese /Eastern Philosophy

PHIL5310 Seminar on Pre-modern Chinese Philosophy

This course is designed to explore major issues, movements, schools, and philosophers in pre-modern Chinese philosophical history, such as classical Confucianism, Pre-Ch’in Taoism, Mohism, Legalists, Han Confucianism, Hsuan-hsue, and Sung and Ming Confucianism, as well as hermeneutical issues in the interpretation of philosophical texts.

[Top]

PHIL5320 Seminar on Modern and Contemporary Chinese Philosophy

This course aims to investigate new forms of thought and philosophy in modern and contemporary China and their transformation from tradition to modernity. Topics may include Neo-Confucianism, modern Taoist developments, conflicts and confusion between Chinese tradition and Western philosophy, Communist ideology, and Marxism in China.

[Top]

PHIL5330 Seminar: Issues in the History of Chinese Philosophy

This course aims to explore essential and methodological issues in the history of Chinese philosophy, including continuity and discontinuity in its development, religiosity in Chinese philosophy, similarities and differences between Chinese and Western philosophy, possible directions and approaches for development of Chinese philosophy in the contemporary world, evaluation of the application of Western philosophical concepts and methods in studies of Chinese philosophy, arguments about the authentic essence or authority of schools of Confucianism, research methodology, achievements and limitations of Western approaches to Chinese philosophy, and other concepts, problems, and debates in the history of Chinese philosophy.

[Top]

PHIL5511 Topics in Confucianism

This course is designed for in depth discussions on Confucianism, focusing on major periods, such as Pre-Ch’in, Sung, Ming, or Modern Neo-Confucianism. The course may cover issues concerning philosophy of life, ethical arguments, moral consciousness and knowledge, self-cultivation, nature of human beings, divergences and debates among Confucian schools, as well as between Confucian scholars and other schools, such as Taoism, Buddhism, Legalists, Mohists etc.

[Top]

PHIL5521 Topics in Taoist Philosophy

An advanced course on selected topics in Taoist thought. Figures and movements considered may include Laozi, Zhuangzi, Wang Bi, Guo Xiang, classical Taoism, the Huang-Lao school, and the Wei-Jin “Dark Learning” movement. Topics discussed may include ontology, subjectivity, freedom, naturalness, and skepticism. Other issues considered may include hermeneutics and the interpretation of Taoist classics; the relations between Taoist philosophy and Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoist religion; and the contemporary significance of Taoist thought, such as its bearing on ecology, gender justice and feminism, and the concept of ultimate concern.

[Top]

PHIL5531 Topics in Buddhist Philosophy

What is reality? How do we know? How shall we exist? This course intends to explore the rich sources of Buddhist philosophical traditions. Topics include emptiness and negation, theories of mind, language and perception. Attention will be given to their relevance to the contemporary discussions in Western philosophy. Readings include basic works of Abhidharma, Madhyamaka, Yogacara and Pramanavada.

[Top]

PHIL5541 Topics in Eastern Philosophy

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of Indian philosophy. The contents include: the background of Indian philosophy; Vedic Religion and Philosophy; Non-Vedic Schools (Materialism, Jainism, Buddhism); Nyaya; Vaisesika; Sankhya; Yoga; Mimamsa; Vedanta; Contemporary Indian Philosophy.

[Top]

PHIL5551 Topics in Comparative Philosophy

This course is designed to provide a comparative approach to the rich philosophical traditions of the East and West. Topics discussed may vary from year to year and may include such areas as religion, ethics, and mind. The course may be repeated for credit.

[Top]


*Area II: Western Philosophy

PHIL5340 Seminar on Modern Western Philosophy

This course aims at an in depth discussion of selected works of major philosophers in modern Western philosophy such as Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Hegel. Emphasis of the seminar may vary from year to year.

[Top]

PHIL5350 Seminar on Contemporary Anglo-American Philosophy

Discussion of selected issues and figures in contemporary Anglo-American thought. The content of the course will vary from year to year and may cover such writers as Brandom, Carnap, Davidson, Dennett, Dretske, Dummett, Dworkin, Fodor, Kripke, MacIntyre, McDowell, Millikan, Nagel, Nozick, Parfit, Putnam, Quine, Rawls, Rorty, Russell, Sellars, Taylor, and Wittgenstein, among others.

[Top]

PHIL5360 Seminar on Continental European Philosophy

This course is devoted to the study of a selected topic in the domain of Continental European Philosophy, such as Post-Hegelian philosophy, Neo-Kantianism, Phenomenology, Philosophies of Existence, Hermeneutics, Post-structuralism and Critical Theory. Continental European approaches to the study of philosophy of language, philosophy of history, and social and political philosophy may also be themes of the seminar.

[Top]

PHIL5370 Seminar: Issues in the History of Western Philosophy

This course investigates some major philosophical problems, conceptual distinctions, and controversies underlying the development of Western philosophy and explores how these issues might interrelate and how they have been approached in various historical settings. Main topics will include: the history of philosophy as Begriffsgeschichte and Problemgeschichte; Ionianism vs. Eleatism; the double criteria of truth: reason and belief; the primacy debate: intellectualism vs. voluntarism; the Head-Heart distinction or the relation between reason and passion; theodicy and the problem of evil; universals and individuals; the physis-nomos distinction and its various philosophical implications; categories and schemata; subjectivism and personalism and questions concerning periodization.

[Top]

PHIL5512 Moral and Political Philosophy: The Good and the Right

Discussion of selected issues in contemporary ethical and political philosophy. The content of the course will vary from year to year and may include such topics as deontological, consequentialist, and contractarian ethical theories; virtue ethics; ethical egoism; the nature of value and the good; ethical realism, relativism, and intuitionism; the role of rights in ethical and political theory; theories of justice; the debate between liberalism and communitarianism; Marxism; feminist critiques of contemporary moral and political theory; and the relation of Confucianism to recent ethical and political thought.

[Top]

PHIL5522 Language, Meaning and Communication

This course will survey major issues and theories in philosophy of language, covering topics such as meaning, reference, articulation, speech acts, understanding and interpretation, the social and communicative aspects of language, phonology, syntax and semantics, the possibility of a private language, metaphor, and metonymy. Writers discussed may include Aristotle, Locke, Berkeley, Humboldt, Frege, Saussure, Benveniste, Russell, Wittgenstein, Jakobson, Gadamer, Strawson, Quine, Austin, Grice, Davidson, Dummett, Chomsky, Fodor, Kripke, Brandom, among others.

[Top]

PHIL5532 Metaphysics and the Quest for Reality

This course is conducted either from the historical approach or the analytic approach, or a combination of both. The historical approach discusses such themes as Parmenides and the beginning of metaphysical questioning, Plato and Aristotle¡¦s metaphysical systems, Descartes¡¦ metaphysics of subjectivity, Hume¡¦s critique of metaphysics, Kant and the possibility of metaphysics as a science, Hegel¡¦s metaphysical idealism, and Nietzsche and the end of metaphysics. Themes discussed from the analytic approach includes: the problem of universals, the status of particulars, modality and possible world, the problem of self and identity, freedom and causality, realism and anti-realism, etc.

[Top]

PHIL5542 Philosophy and Conceptual Analysis

Analytic philosophers aim at obtaining insight into the traditional problems of philosophy by logical, linguistic, and conceptual analysis. This course will introduce students to the key concepts of the method of analysis from the analytic approach. Taking some central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, this course will also demonstrate how philosophical problems can be tackled using the skills of philosophical analysis.

[Top]

PHIL5552 Mind and Cognition

A survey of selected topics in contemporary philosophy of mind. Problems discussed will include: What sorts of things are ¡?mental¡¦? How are mental phenomena to be classified? How are minds related to our bodies? What is the nature of consciousness? Can science explain what consciousness is? What is the criterion for personal identity? How intimate is the connection between possessing a mind and operating a language. Will it ever be possible to build a conscious, thinking machine? How do we know that other people have mind?

[Top]

PHIL5562 Interpretation, Understanding and Dialogue: Theory and Practice

This course will survey major issues and main figures in contemporary philosophical theories of interpretation, i.e., hermeneutics. The main problems discussed will include: what is the nature of a text? what is the relationship between human existence and human understanding? Is the truth of interpretation subjective or objective? What is the relationship between tradition, language and interpretation? What is the role played by difference in interpretation and understanding? What is human communicative action and how is it possible? Thinkers discussed include Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, Gadamer, Riceour, Derrida, Habermas and other major contemporary European philosophers.

[Top]


*Area III: Applied / Practical Philosophy

PHIL5513 Applied Ethics and Moral Dilemmas

A survey of major moral debates that shows how philosophical thought can be brought to bear upon contemporary issues. This course will examine a range of moral problems confronting individuals in today’s society. Students will learn to identify relevant ethical principles and apply them to these problems, to reflect critically on the theoretical and methodological issues underpinning moral arguments, and to construct their own responses to practical situations. Topics covered include: moral reasoning, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, genetics and human cloning, animal rights, pornography, welfare and social justice, sexual morality, and the environment.

[Top]

PHIL5523 Philosophy and Cultural Criticism

Discussion of modern and contemporary thinkers’ critical reflections on the perils of modern cultural development. Topics discussed may vary from year to year and may include: Marx’s theory of ideology, Nietzsche’s critique of conventional morality, Freud’s diagnosis of malaise in civilization, the analysis of inauthenticity of everyday-life in Heidegger and Sartre, Benjamin’s critique of violence, Marcuse’s critique of technological domination, Adorno’s critique of the cultural industry, Foucault’s analysis of disciplinary society, Lyotard’s analysis of the postmodern condition, Jameson and Baudrillard’s critique of postmodern culture, Lao Sze-Kwang’s analysis of the punishment of history etc.

[Top]

PHIL5533 Philosophical Analysis of Literature and Art

This course introduces students to the basic issues and methodologies involved in the analysis of art and literature. The focus will be on modern and contemporary approaches, especially the latter. In discussing contemporary theories of literature and art, this course will emphasize their interdisciplinary nature and their application in different media. The theories discussed include Romanticism, new criticism, structuralism and post-structuralism, phenomenology and hermeneutics, deconstruction, psychoanalysis and feminism, and post-colonialism. Issues discussed may include subjectivity, representation, the body, the nature of fiction, the literary and artistic experience of space and time, modernism and postmodernism, and the sublime.

[Top]

PHIL5543 Philosophy of the Human Condition: Life, Death, Love & Desire

This course focuses on the existential problems of the human condition from a comparative philosophical perspective. Original texts on philosophies of life, death, love and desire from classical and contemporary Western as well as Chinese philosophical tradition will be discussed. Thinkers will include Plato, Aristotle, Freud, Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas, Lacan, Zhungzi, Sung and Ming Confucians etc.

[Top]

PHIL5553 Chinese Philosophy and Modern Life

This course aims to discuss results, problems, and further possibilities in the transition of Chinese philosophical tradition to modern forms, as well as the application of classical Chinese philosophies to modern social issues, such as Confucian and Taoist doctrines and issues in ecology, gender studies and feminism, moral education, self-cultivation, world peace and social order.

[Top]

PHIL5563 Methodology and Argumentation

This course is an exploration, from both a practical and a theoretical perspective, of various aspects of argumentation theory and informal logic, with emphasis on the pragmatic and communicative dimensions of critical thinking and methodology as they inform good reasoning in various contexts. Among the topics covered are: basic principles of formal logic, categorization and application of informal fallacies, presumption, scientific method, pedagogical issues in teaching informal logic, etc.

[Top]

PHIL5573 Topics in Applied Philosophy

This course discusses issues in applied philosophy understood in the broad sense. Topics discussed may vary from year to year and may include such themes as “Feminism and Philosophy,” “Environmentalism and Philosophy,””Multiculturalism and Philosophy,” “Globalization and Cross-cultural Understanding,” etc. This course is multi-taking.

[Top]

 

*Two to three courses from each and every areas are offered in a single academic year.