Asian Philosophy

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Asian Philosophy


TUESDAYS AT 5;30 P.M. (ends at 6:30 P.M.)

Learn from the masters. Asian philosophy opens the door to a whole new world of thinking, and in this semester-long class we'll explore the big ideas of Asian philosophy. Using texts including The Bhagavad Gita, The Analects of Confucius, the Dao De Jing and moon in a dewdrop: writings of zen master dogen, we'll examine Asian conceptions of self and community, environmental ethics and our relationships with the natural world, connection and independence, yoga and enlightenment, and more. This class is a smart choice for high school students who want to continue their philosophy studies in a new direction, those who want a creative alternative to World Literature, as well as a fun option for students who want to make sense of the philosophy behind their favorite martial arts movies or anime. Confucius says: Think Deeper.


What students will get out of the class

  • Students will engage with a variety of primary philosophical tests through close reading, writing, and discussion.
  • Students will identify major movements and ideas in Asian philosophy.
  • Students will develop critical thinking skills and discussion skills through Socratic class discussions.
  • Students who opt in to a final paper will exit the course with a paper useable for the writing sample required for entry to college


What students should be prepared to put into the class

  • You should show up for class having read the assigned materials for each session and be prepared to join the class discussion
  • The weekly journal assignment is optional, but it’s a great way to focus your thoughts for class discussions.
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Required materials: TBD


About the teacher: Shelly Denkinger earned her B.A. in Philosophy at New College and completed her M.A. and Ph.D. coursework and exams in Comparative Philosophy at the University of Hawai'i. She worked as an instructor and lecturer at the University of Hawai'i for ten years, teaching Introduction to Philosophy, Logic, Asian Philosophy, Ethical Theories, and other philosophy courses. She has also taught reading enrichment and critical thinking classes to elementary through high school students. In addition, she has organized, moderated, and presented papers at international philosophy conferences