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PHILOS 2E03 Classical Chinese Philosophy

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Barry Allen


Office: University Hall 301

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23463

Office Hours: TBA

Course Objectives:

An introduction to Chinese philosophy of the Classical (pre-Qin) period. We read works by all the
major thinkers known to us from this decisive period of Chinese thought: Confucius, Mozi, Mencius, the
Daodejing, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, and Hanfeizi.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy, edited by Philip J. Ivanhoe and Brian Van Norden, 2nd
ed. (Hackett). There is a website for this book with interesting and useful supplementary material at:

Method of Assessment:

Two writing assignments (1000 words) on the readings, a final exam (multiple choice), and a
component for attendance and participation in tutorials.
First assignment 30%
Second assignment 30%
Final exam 30%
Tutorial 10%


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:


Week 1
Confucius, Analects
Week 2
Confucius, Analects
Week 3
Confucius, Analects
Week 4
Mozi, continued
“Robber Zhi” (Yang and Yangism)
First assignment posted on Avenue

Week 1
Week 2
First assignment due in class
Week 3
Mid-Term Recess
Week 4

Week 1
Week 2
Second assignment on Avenue
Week 3
Week 4
Second assignment due in class

Week 1
Week 2

Other Course Information:

Please be aware of these points:

• Late assignments subject to penalty of 3% per day (including weekends).

• No electronic submission of papers. Do not submit assignments to the Philosophy Department
office. Do not place papers in the department drop-box. The box is not secure, is
not regularly checked, and your paper may be lost. Submit your papers in class.

• In order to receive a passing grade in this class, you must complete all the assignments and
write the final exam. Failure to complete any component will result in a failing grade for the

• It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all e-mail from students to instructors (including
TAs) must originate from a McMaster account.

• You are expected to exhibit honesty in all aspects of the learning process. Academic dishonesty
is knowingly to act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit.
This behavior can result in serious consequences. It is your responsibility to understand what
constitutes academic dishonesty. For information see the Academic Integrity Policy:

• The instructor and the University reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the
term, including the dates and deadlines for course work. Reasonable notice will be given with
opportunity for student comment. It is the responsibility of students to check their McMaster
email during the term and note any changes.