Japanese philosophy

Course Dates: 15/05/23 - 31/07/23
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: Keeley Street
Japanese philosophy extends well beyond Zen, with several philosophical traditions including that of the modern Kyoto School. Developing distinct cultural, aesthetic and political concepts, Japanese philosophers offer a rich field of thought.
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Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £120.00

Course Code: HP112

Mon, day, 15 May - 31 Jul '23

Duration: 11 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

An overview of some of the major strands of Japanese philosophy from around the 7th Century CE to the present.

What will we cover?

The strands that we will explore will include: Buddhist traditions such as Zen and Pure Land; Neo-Confucianism (the development of Chinese philosophy by Japanese thinkers); Shinto and 'Native' Studies (thinking on the 'way' of Japan) ; and contemporary thought from The Kyoto School and associated thinkers. We will also dedicate some time to Aesthetic traditions including reference to contemporary culture.

Some of the thinkers we will consider will include: Dogen, Zeami, Nishida, Nishitani, and Watsuji.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Provide a brief exposition of some of the main ideas of the key traditions of Japanese Philosophy using simple examples to illustrate those ideas.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course does not assume any prior knowledge. Some prior exposure to Buddhist or Chinese philosophy would be beneficial but is not required.

The key textbook for the course will be (there is no requirement to buy this):

Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook. 2011. James W. Heisig et al (Eds.). Univ. Hawai'i Press.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Course will run in seminar format with short presentations including discussion and Q&A. There will be some readings discussed in pairs or small groups in the sessions. Slides and relevant links will be available online. No work outside class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Notemaking equipment of your own choice.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please see City Lit's website for further information about philosophy courses.

John Goff Tutor Website

From reading Philosophy at a young age to the formal study of Cognitive Science, Philosophy & Psychology at the Universities of London and Sussex - after a prior career in video-arts - John Goff has been presenting philosophy courses to adults since the early 2000s. He uses a cross-disciplinary, seminar-based approach in his courses, drawing on Philosophy, Psychology and the wider Humanities & Social Sciences with an emphasis on the intersection of contemporary and classical European and Asian philosophical thought. He is the author of several works of philosophical fiction concerning artificial minds and organisms and alternative-human worlds including the novel 'The Last Days of the Most Hidden Man' and the novellas 'Eidopolis', 'Agents of Erasure', 'Jupiter|Saturn' and 'Sleep|Nothing|Asylum'. His academic writings can be found on his academia.edu page at 'https://independentscholar.academia.edu/JohnGoff'.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.