Course Description

Catalog Course Description

``Provides an understanding and appreciation of Oriental life and thought. Certain fundamental and characteristic problems are examined as they are considered in Oriental traditions.'' From the 2009-2010 Lander University Catalog


Herman Hesse. Siddhartha: An Open Source Reader. Eds. Lee Archie and John Archie. Version 1.0 GFDL, 2006. Free for use or resale under terms of the GFDL license.

Lee Archie and John G. Archie, eds. Readings in Eastern Philosophy: An Open Source Text. Version 1.0 GDFL, 2006. Free for use or resale under terms of the GFDL license.

Available in these formats:

If the Lander Website is unavailable, the textbooks are also available on the Web at Oxford University's academia site and http://www/

The textbooks are not available in hard copy at this time. Links above give convenient access online chapter-by-chapter in pdf, html, and mp3 sound files. The mp3 files may be played on an iPodTM or MP3 Player. Text files for conversion into Braille are available by request. If you choose to print out reading selections, the pdf form of the reading selections is clearer and less expensive.

The GFDL license makes this textbook freely available to anyone for any purpose for no charge. You may print it out for your own use or print it out to sell it so long as you inform the buyer where to access it online without charge.

Purpose of the Course

The general purpose of this course is to provide an understanding and appreciation of Oriental life and thought. Specific characteristics and fundamental Oriental beliefs and thought are introduced, clarified, and examined in their practical aspects of everyday life.

Main Objectives of the Course

Some of these main problems include:

  1. How can an understanding and an appreciation of Eastern philosophy be obtained?
  2. What are the fundamental philosophic problems of Eastern philosophy?
  3. How does Eastern life and thought differ from Occidental life and thought?
  4. What is the nature of relation between the Self and the universe?
  5. How do Eastern philosophies differ from Eastern religions?
  6. Of what does reality consist? How could we know?
  7. What should be the goals of life?
  8. What can be known about the purpose and meaning of life?

In this course you will learn how to inquire into some of complex philosophical problems of everyday life and begin to formulate your own philosophy of life. For this task, you will learn some effective methods of inquiry, analysis, and criticism. The central method used in our course is that of shared inquiry. We will learn some of the fundamental concepts of the world's great philosophies and the use of these concepts in a re-examination of our own philosophies.

Course Procedures

The methods used to obtain these ends are

  1. to learn to identify philosophical arguments, to evaluate and counter them, and to construct good arguments,

  2. to obtain the ability to relate arguments to one another and to judge the relative strength of different kinds of arguments,

  3. to analyze different techniques of definition and kinds of meaning in Eastern philosophy,

  4. to obtain the ability to identify common mistakes in philosophical reasoning and to reconstruct arguments to avoid them,

  5. to gain skill in evaluating philosophical theories,

  6. to recognize the differences between the inductive and deductive sciences and how they relate to ethical theories,

  7. to recognize the difference between á priori presuppositions and á posteriori principles,

  8. to study classic, influential, and abiding methods of experimental inquiry into the nature of Eastern philosophy,

  9. to apply usefully the several methods of inductive reasoning in everyday life and ordinary language.

In this course you will gain skill in asking interesting, productive, and insightful questions and will analyze ethical passages to obtain facility in the clear, complete, and methodological understanding of their content. You will also learn effective methods of analysis and criticism in the evaluation of philosophical argumentation.

Teaching Methods

We adopt specific techniques recommended by many educators, namely lecture, discussion, review tests, readings, and online supplementary material.

Lee Archie 2011-01-05