Asian Philosophies, Religions and Cultures

Asian Philosophies, Religions and Cultures

Lectures: 30

Seminars: 30

Tutorials: 0

ECTS credit: 5

Lecturer(s): doc. dr. Petek Nina

Special attention is devoted to acquiring basic knowledge of philosophical schools and religious strands in India, Tibet, China and Japan.
1. Introduction to research in Asian philosophies, religions and cultures, with their periodization and embedding in historical context. The problematization of »Asian« philosophies – is it sensible to talk about »Asian« philosophies or is it perhaps more meaningful to talk about philosophy in general, i.e. world philosophy? The problem of setting limits between »East« and »West«, the phenomenon of »Orientalism«.
2. Beginnings of Indian civilisation and culture. First formations of philosophical ideas – Vedic Hymns and Upanishads. What is »Hinduism«? The question of methodology, introduction to philosophical terminology.
3. Overview of main philosophical-religious strands in India: astika (sa?khya, yoga, nyaya, vaise?ika, vedanta, purva mima?sa) and nastika schools (Buddhism , Jainism, lokayata, ajivika). Basic fields of interest (metaphysics, ontology, logic, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, soteriology), concentrating on the issues of nature of reality, limits of knowledge and language, human existence and its being torn between retaining the harmony of the social and reaching freedom.
4. Basic strands, concepts and doctrines of Chinese philosophical schools: Daoism (philosophy of change, dao, wu wei, yin yang, Daoistic theory of nature, technique of withdrawal, psychophysical cultivation, philosophy of language), Ne-Daoism, Confucianism (ren, li, Confucian social realization, notion of freedom in light of self-cultivation).
5. Ethical and cosmological interpretations of Shintoism and Zen Buddhism in Japan. Daoist and Buddhist elements in Japanese outlook on nature and art (basic concepts of Japanese aesthetics: yugen, sabi, wabi, mono no aware; no theatre).