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Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Spring 2006

R S 352 • The World of Confucians

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43513 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
WEL 2.304

Course Description

n this course we examine the philosophy and historical context of classical Confucianism. Focusing on the translated writings of Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi, as well as on recently discovered texts found in Warring States tombs, this course examines the systems of thought in early Confucian writings. In addition to discussing the history of ideas, we will also pay close attention to the cultural background of the period and to the social context in which these texts were written by considering such issues as literacy and the transmission of specialized knowledge in ancient China. The focus of the course will be on the classical period (sixth through third centuries B.C.E.), but we will also consider the legacy of Confucian thought and institutions in the early empire and beyond.

Grading Policy

Class participation: 20% Reading journal: 15% Midterm exam: 20% Short paper: 20% Final paper: 25%


Confucius: The Analects, trans. D. C. Lau (New York: Penguin Classics, 1979). Mencius, trans. D. C. Lau (New York: Penguin Classics, 1970). Hsün Tzu: Basic Writings, trans. Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1963). Robert Eno, The Confucian Creation of Heaven: Philosophy and the Defense of Ritual Mastery (Albany: SUNY Press, 1990). Herbert Fingarette, Confucius: The Secular as Sacred (New York: Harper & Row, 1972). Mark Edward Lewis, Writing and Authority in Early China (Albany: SUNY Press, 1999).


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